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Dear Judges,

This year we are preparing to go virtual for the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair judging! We are planning now for the fair to take place on March 15 & 16, 2022. You can support the Fair and the students by volunteering as a judge. We will make this 2022 Science Fair as successful as all the previous fairs--just possibly a little different because of virtual judging caveat. zFairs will be the registration site and the contest management platform. The virtual benefits with zFairs include early preview of student projects, online interviews and scoring. Learning videos will be available to help with virtual judging.

This year, we have 2 new categories and new descriptions for others. Please visit GSDSEF Categories | Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair  for descriptions.

  1. Animal Sciences

  2. Behavioral and Social Sciences

  3. Biochemistry

  4. Biomedical/ Health Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering

  5. Chemistry

  6. Cellular and Molecular Biology (NEW in 2022)

  7. Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (New in 2022)

  8. Computer Science and Systems Software

  9. Earth and Environmental Sciences

  10. Engineering: Electrical, Mechanical, and Robotics

  11. Engineering: Energy, Materials, and Transport

  12. Mathematics

  13. Microbiology

  14. Physics and Astronomy

  15. Plant Sciences

  16. Product Testing (Junior Division only)


Vickie Driver

Judging Coordinator


For your information:


The Fair has three sets of judges.


1- The Category judges decide the Fair's own placements (first through fourth) in categories like math, animal science, chemistry and so forth.

2- Grand Awards Judges decide on the Fair's top awards in Life and Physical Sciences. 

3- Registered Professional Societies choose among the participants based on specific criteria


Judging Timeline for 2022

Categorical (Morning) Judging will take place on Tuesday, March 15th, 2022 from 7:30AM – 12:00PM online through zFairs.


If you are an experienced categorical judge and are ready to volunteer, please complete the Judging Registration . More information and instructional videos about virtual pre-judging will be sent to you a few weeks prior to the Fair.




If you have not judged before and would like to know more, please look at “About Categorical (Morning) Judging” information below.


Grand Awards Judging will take place during the 2nd morning on Wednesday, March 16th, 2022.


Professional Society Judging will take place during the afternoon of Tuesday, March 15th, 2022.



Judging Descriptions

About Categorical (Morning) Judging


The Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair is an exciting and important San Diego community event that relies entirely on the generosity of our community's volunteers. The Fair will usually have about 800 science projects on display along with the 800 plus 7-12th graders who produced them. This year will also include 6th graders.


Being a judge is actually a lot more fun than it sounds.  It mostly requires listening to enthusiastic young kids tell you what they did.


For anyone new to judging, there is a great deal of advice regarding "how to judge" and "what kinds of questions to ask" (see links below).  Also, judging is done in teams, so there are typically experienced judges to assist someone new, should that need arise.


Most of the projects are done by 7th and 8th graders, so you don’t need to be a PhD (although we do appreciate having PhD’s on our judging teams).  You do need a background in science, math, computers or engineering and a good knowledge of the scientific method.


Please complete the Judging Registration to volunteer!


Grand Award (formerly Sweepstakes) Judging

These are the very best projects in the Fair.  Projects recommended for Grand Award consideration are reviewed by teams of our most experienced judges during the 2nd morning judging session (7 or more years of experience are required). Four Grand Award and four Runners-up are selected in both Junior (7th -8th grade) and Senior (9th -12th grade) Division.


Professional Society Judging  

Some 100 Professional Societies and other organizations present awards at the GSDSEF. Each provides its own judges and sets its own criteria for awards.

In order to participate, one person for the Professional Society must agree to act as a point of contact for the GSDSEF. This person is responsible for recruiting judges for that Professional Society, and reporting their selected winners to the GSDSEF. Awards may be then left with the GSDSEF for distribution directly to students, or the Professional Society may arrange another method to present their awards.

For more information, or to sign up your Professional Society, please contact