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Science Fair Special Award for Geoscience Excellence (SAGE)

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

AWG calls for 2013 Science Fair Judges

"The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is the Olympics, the World Cup and the World Series of science competitions. Held annually in May, the Intel ISEF brings together over 1,200 students from 48 states and 40 nations to compete for scholarships, tuition grants, internships, scientific field trips and the grand prize: a trip to attend the Nobel Prize Ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden. Science Service founded the ISEF in 1950 and is very proud to have Intel as the title sponsor of this prestigious, international ompetition." from the ISEF website

Official SAGE Guidelines

The Association for Women Geoscientists is pleased to provide an Award Certificate to female students whose projects, in the opinion of the judges, exemplify high standards of innovativeness and scientific excellence in the geosciences. Special consideration will be given to projects that increase public awareness of the geosciences, illustrate the interdisciplinary nature of the geosciences, or promote the sensitivity to the earth as a global system.

Special Award for Geoscience Excellence

AWG encourages members to participate as judges at your local science fair. AWG provides awards to outstanding projects completed by girls in any field of geoscience, the Special Award for Geoscience Excellence, or SAGE award. This award is funded by the AWG Foundation (AWGF).

If you wish to provide any extra award from your area/local AWG group/yourself, please feel free to send a proposal to AWGF. They are eager to help you!

Judging at a Science Fair

Information on how to judge at science fair from ISEF:

Valerie Honeycutt is AWG's liaison to ISEF. She suggests leaving a "business card" at each project that you judge, because often the student is not present for the judging, but needs to know that her project was seen. Several varieties of perforated business card sheets are available, and the vellum is a nice choice when printed in color.Another available "calling card" is one-half of an 8 1/2 x 11" piece of paper with the AWG logo and room for your signature. Half-page perforated certificate paper is available at office supply stores if you want to dress it up. A brocure on Earth Science Professionals is also available at Student Brochure click here.

AWG members have been judging geoscience projects at ISEF for years. Here are some suggestions for judging from experienced veterans:

Mary Rose Cassa of the Bay Area AWG chapter

Following are some judging criteria prepared by the organizers of the San Francisco Middle School Science Fair, in which AWG members have participated as "general" judges and as judges to select the SAGE nominees:

1. Scientific methodology
- Does the experimental procedure test the hypothesis?
- Do the data support the conclusions?
- Was the work well controlled? Were an adequate number of trials done?
- Is the work repeatable? Were good records kept?
- Does the student recognize the limitations of the project and suggest
further research ideas?
2. Creativity
- Are there signs of insight and originality of approach?
- Is the project a discovery and not a demonstration?
- Do clarity of thought and imagination play a role in the development of
the project?
3. Communication
- Is the problem easily understood and concisely stated?
- Is it logically presented?
- Is the display attractive, dramatic?
- Is the exhibit neatly constructed, with legible lettering?
- Are grammar and spelling correct?
- Do the title and final report convey information which help develop the
project idea?

Susan Swingholm of Texas:

"I've judged for the last ten years at the Science Engineering Fair of Houston. Here is my list:

1. wear comfortable shoes and bring a clip board
2. pick a head judge to be the liaison with the science fair
3. the head judge should contact potential judges and provide all appropriate paperwork to the judges
4. it's both easier to judge a group alone as it is to judge in a group; a group has to come to consensus
5. at the SEFH, we've judged all three divisions (senior, junior and 7th/8th grades) each year; judged ONLY girl's projects, but tried to judge ALL GIRL'S projects in the divisions each year (it's depended on the number of judges participating - I judged my first fair ALONE)!
6. we usually picked first, second, and third place winners from the three divisions for a total of nine winners
7. make sure you get the winner's correct name, address, and phone number; school name, address and phone number; and teacher name; so that you can mail things to the winners if you don't get to meet them; also, to acknowledge the winner to their teacher
8. in the beginning, we had big celebrations with the winners and their families but it was too much for us to handle; the fair has an awards ceremony the following day and many "special awarding agencies" show up then with their prizes
9. we usually gave savings bonds worth $150 for first prize, $100 for second prize and $50 for third prize; we sometimes printed out and framed
signed certificates; gave books, etc.
10. make sure you have enough matching funds to cover the cost of the prizes

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Updated 02/22/13
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