Learn how projects are judged

Regional Judging

Judging is organized into six regional areas of the United States and Canada. Regional judges consist of approximately 50 NSTA’s district judges and approximately 12 Ph.D. scientists from NASA, NIH, NSF, FDA headed by the Head Judge and vetted through the ExploraVision judges selection process. The following maximum points are allocated to each part of the project:

  • Present technology:  10 points
  • History:                         10 points
  • Future technology:      20 points
  • Breakthroughs:           15 points
  • Design process:         10 points
  • Consequences:          10 points
  • Bibliography:                 5 points
  • Sample Web pages:  20 points

Projects will be judged on creativity, scientific accuracy, communication and feasibility of vision. Judges will award higher scores to projects that are different from those that have won previously. (See Winners.) To ensure an impartial selection process, the judges will not see student, teacher or school names.

A judging committee will select 24 teams, one for each grade-level category in each of the six regions. Regional winners will be notified in early March.

National Judging 

National judges consist of  Ph.D./Ph.D/M.D. scientists from NASA, NIH, NSF, FDA, etc. who specialized in the area of specialty of the wining students’ project and headed by the Head Judge and vetted through the ExploraVision judges selection process. The 24 regional winning teams will have a very exciting opportunity to bring their visions to life. Using their original projects as a guide, each regional winning team creates a website for its future technology, along with a prototype. The website must relate to the original project description and incorporate at least one video of 1 – 2 minutes.

To assist in this process, teams will receive:

  • A Toshiba notebook computer with wi-fi capability, a webcam and Web design software (this system will be given to the school listed on the entry form as a regional prize)
  • Easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions designed for the beginning computer user with no experience in website design

Websites will be judged on creativity, originality and the substance of the promotional message — not on the professional quality of the website. Primary and Upper Elementary Level teams may receive additional help from their adult advisors in producing their websites.

Mandatory criteria:

  • Websites must be able to be viewed within approximately five minutes
    (keep this in mind if adding video footage, advanced graphics and/or numerous links)
  • Website must incorporate at least one original video of one to two minutes
  • Site must relate to the original project description
  • All team members must contribute to the production of the website
  • Website design must feature a prototype of the proposed future technology, shown in drawings, photographs or videos: This may be an actual model or visual representation — it does not have to be a working device; prototypes are not to be submitted with the website

Websites are due in early April. The national judging committee consists of leading science educators, as well as science and technology experts. The committee will review original projects and actual websites and select eight finalist teams (two from each grade-level entry category). The eight finalist teams will be notified in early May.

From these finalists, the judges will award four first-place and four second-place prizes at ExploraVision Awards Weekend. All decisions of the judges are final. 

Confused about something? Ask an ExploraVision expert