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Dear Judges,


Judging for the 2024 Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair took place in person at the Municipal Gymnasium on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. You can support the Fair and the students by volunteering as a judge. To register as a judge, please click here to access zFairs. While we are planning on in-person judging, early virtual previews of student projects will still be available in zFairs. Learning videos will be available to help you navigate through zFairs.

With your help as a judge, we will make the 2024 GSDSEF as successful as all the previous 69 Fairs!  

For 2024 we will continue with these categories and descriptions which were introduced in 2022. Please visit GSDSEF Categories for descriptions.

  • Animal Sciences
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical/ Health Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
  • Computer Science and Systems Software
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Engineering: Electrical, Mechanical, and Robotics
  • Engineering: Energy, Materials, and Transport
  • Mathematics
  • Microbiology
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Plant Sciences
  • Product Testing (Junior Division only)

Vickie Driver

Judging Coordinator
For more information, please contact:


For Your Information:

The Fair has three sets of judges.

1- The Category judges decide the Fair's own placements (first through third) in each of the 16 categories.

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 2024

Category (Morning) Judging will take place on Wednesday, March 13th2024 from 7:30AM – 12:00PM 

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 on Wednesday afternoon, March 13th, 2024 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.

Professional Society Judging will take place during the afternoon of Wednesday, March 13th, 2024 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.



Judging Descriptions

About Category (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 6th-12th graders who produced them. 

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. 


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 afternoon 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  

Over 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













Comparing Projects (781.4 KB)