We are more than just a support group...

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Homeschool Science Fair Judge Information

Volunteer Judges Needed for Science Fair

We are looking for science-minded community members to donate their time to judge students’ science projects. If you would be available to assist, we would greatly appreciate it.

The main focus of the science fair is to help the students LEARN and ENJOY science, and to communicate what they have learned to others. A good judging experience may be the catalyst that a student needs to really grow their love of science.

Judging will take about 3 hours of your time on March 16th, (plus an additional hour if you choose to stay for the award ceremony). A light luncheon will be provided.

Judging will consist of listening to a short oral presentation given by the student, examining their science display and report, and asking thoughtful questions about the project on display. Judging criteria and instructions will be given.

For more information beyond what is shown on this page, or to volunteer, please contact AHSGsciencefair@gmail.com


The Arundel Homeschool Support Group (AHSG) Science Fair is coming up, and community judges are needed. The main focus of the science fair is to help the kids LEARN and ENJOY science. Homeschool students from K-12 participate in the science fair, and each project is judged by three separate judges in order to give the students experience in presenting what they have learned.

What do judges do?

Judges listen to the students’ oral presentations, read their display boards, and review their final reports. They will ask the students questions about their projects, and score the students using a provided scoresheet and general guidelines.

When and where is the science fair?

March 16th, 2024 at Grace Lutheran Church, 2503 Belair Dr., Bowie, MD 20715

Judges need to arrive before 9:45am, and stay until judging is complete (between 12:30pm and 1pm). (Students arrive earlier to set up.)

It is open to ALL Maryland homeschool students in grades K-12. Divisions are K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grades.

How to get there, and what to do when you arrive:

Location: Grace Lutheran Church (Ericksen Hall), 2503 Belair Drive, Bowie, MD 20715

· Judges and visitors will use the red entrance in the front.

· When you arrive, go to the judges room (there will be signs).

What is the schedule?

We expect it to take about 3-4 hours, depending on whether or not you stay for the award ceremony.

Judging schedule:

9:45 am Judge Orientation begins

10:00 am – 12:00 noon Judging

12:00 noon Judges confer and finish scoresheets (and eat lunch)

1:00 pm Awards presentation (optional for judges to attend)

We expect the judges to be in the judges’ conference room at 9:45 for instructions and distribution of assignments. Student judging starts at 10am and should be done by 12 noon. Final scoring and determination of special awards are done in the judges’ conference room after judging is complete. A light lunch and snacks will be provided for judges during this time.

How many projects will each judge grade?

Depending on how many participants and judges we have, each judge will have 6-8 projects. Judging should take 10-20 minutes per project. For younger students, the projects are faster to grade, and for older students, the projects take longer.

Is this a paid position?

No. Unfortunately, we cannot pay for your time, but will provide a small light lunch (likely a tray of deli meat sandwiches or something similar) and snacks. You also get the gratitude of students and organizers.

As a prior judge myself, I enjoyed the ability to help students learn and it always encouraged me to see the interesting projects they came up with and the excitement and enthusiasm they have for science and learning.

What makes the AHSG Science Fair Different from other Science Fairs?

Unlike many other science fairs, participants aren't limited to experiments. There are six total categories available. Apparatus, Collections, Demonstration,  Engineering Design, Experiments, and Research projects.

  • Experiment: The goal is to confirm or deny a possible answer to a science question (hypothesis) by performing repeatable tests.
  • Research: The goal is to answer a question about science using primary sources.
  • Collection: The goal is to illustrate (show) the diversity of a set of items .
  • Demonstration/Model: The goal is to illustrate (show) a scientific principle or fact .
  • Apparatus: The goal is to illustrate (show) the use/function of a scientific tool or implement .
  • Engineering Design Project: The goal is to solve a problem by designing a process or a physical item.

Because there are so many categories (as well as additional sub-categories based on grade levels), we do not give out place winnings (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) Instead, students will be judged on their own merits. The award that they receive (Bronze, Silver, or Gold) will be determined by how well they understand the science and how well they followed the project guidelines.

In addition, we will give out several “excellence” awards for students whose projects, knowledge, or science skills impress the judges.

If I want to judge, what do I do?

Please contact AHSGScienceFair@gmail.com with the following information:

Your name:

Best email to use to contact you:

Best cell phone number to reach you on the day of the Science Fair (in case of cancellations or delays):

A short (one or two sentence) blurb about you for us to use when introducing you as a judge: (For instance, “Jane Doe is a professor of entomology at the University of Bugland, with 25 years of experience in all things related to bugs.” Or “Joe Smith has been involved in gardening as a hobby for 10 years and has 3 children involved in the science fair this year.” Just a couple of sentences on information regarding your science background and/or community background are all that is needed.)

Grade group(s) you are willing to judge: K-2nd grade / 3rd-5th grade / 6th-8th grade / 9th-12th grade.

If you have a relative or close associate presenting a project in the fair, please indicate the child's/children's name(s), grade division, and project category (if known). We will avoid having family members judge projects in grade divisions/project categories where their relatives have entered projects.

If you have any questions, you can reach us at ahsgsciencefair@gmail.com.

File Downloads

The following files may also be useful for judges:
Volunteer Judge Info - this is information for potential judges that goes over the time commitment and expectations.
Judge Reference Guide - this is information the judges are given on the day of the science fair with guidelines on how the judging process works.
2024 Judging Forms - these are blank forms of the type that the judges will be using on the day of judging.

This is the student Guidebook. (Judges do NOT need to read this! It is provided for the curious only.)
If you are curious, the information that students are given is provided on their own page here: Homeschool Science Fair

Is there any more information I can have?
The students are provided with a handbook and other information at the Homeschool Science Fair Participants page. It is not necessary for you to read this, though!