Volunteer Opportunities

Rio Grande Valley Regional Science and Engineering Fair

The Regional Fair is made possible through the help of a tremendous number of volunteers.

Over 60 volunteers are needed the days of the events in addition to over 180 judges for the competition.

The categories for the 60th RGV RSEF can be found on the Categories webpage.

A Letter to Judges is below with additional information about judging including a draft agenda.

Judging Criteria for the 60th RGV RSEF are aligned with the 2019 International Engineering and Science Fair criteria and can be viewed at the bottom of this page.

Judges are critically needed volunteers, please sign up at the link below:


If you are interested other volunteer positions, see the contacts below:

Fund Raising (contact RGVRSEF@rgvrsef.com)

Mentoring students (contact RGVRSEF@rgvrsef.com)

Display and Safety Committee (contact RGVRSEF@rgvrsef.com)

Scientific Review Committee (RGVRSEF@rgvrsef.com)

Dear Prospective RGV Regional Science and Engineering Fair Judge,

The 60th Rio Grande Regional Science and Engineering Fair (RGV RSEF) will be held on Saturday, February 15, 2020, at the UTRGV Brownsville Campus. We are inviting you and your colleagues, and faculty and students with a science-related background or interests to join us in judging at the Fair.

The day of the event is a very exciting one for students in grades 6-12 from across the entire Rio Grande Valley as they present their science projects. It is a great opportunity for students to interact with individuals, like yourself, who are truly interested in the area of their research.

The RGV RSEF serves as the qualifying event for students to advance to the Texas State Science and Engineering Fair hosted by Texas A&M University in College Station at the end of March. It is of special importance for the Senior Division (grades 9-12) students whose projects could be one of the top four selected by the Grand Champion Judges to represent the RGV RSEF at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Anaheim, California in the middle of May 2020.

Judging of projects is by caucus consensus. This means a group of judges will conduct student interviews and then come together with their peer group to determine the top five projects in a category. The top four projects will have the opportunity to advance to state competition.

Below is the current draft of the agenda for February 15th and the projected locations for the event. We ask that you select your preference for Junior (grades 6-8) or Senior (grades 9-12) Division judging. We also ask you to provide the top three categories you would prefer to Judge. More details will be forwarded to those registering to judge at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScfVGKuboEtjkghDrjUbznqpVuwp6L3W16HQtF8BJpe4eNu3w/viewform

Thank you for joining us in this historic and important event in the lives of our students! If you need additional information, please email rgvrsef@rgvrsef.com or contact Dr. Arturo Fuentes at the UTRGV Department of Mechanical Engineering at arturo.fuentes@UTRGV.edu or (956) 665-7099. You can also contact Roni Louise Rentfro, RGV RSEF 60th Fair Director, at the information below.

Sincerely,

Roni Louise Rentfro, Ed.D., M.S.I.S, B.S.

60th RGV Regional Fair Director

Roni.rentfro@bisd.us

ronilou@gmail.com

956-371-4155

Judge’s Agenda for Saturday, February 15, 2020

8:00 AMJudges check in to their respective location:· Enjoy breakfast· Attend RGV RSEF Orientation· Get final category and caucus group assignments9:00 AMJudging Starts – Sponsors and Parents are not allowed to go into the competition sites—only judges and monitors are allowed during judging NoonLunch with caucus group while students are dismissed for lunch1:00 PMJudging continues and Grand Champion and Special Award Judging 1:00 PM to 4:00 PMGrand Champion Judging completed while students, sponsors and public can participate in UTRGV Science Fair ConferenceNOTE: Once a caucus group has reached consensus and the Fair Judge’s Coordinator has verified the winners, the judges may leave with our sincere thanks and a certificate of appreciation. 4:00 PM to 5:00 PMCommunity Project Viewing at competition sites:· Junior Division Competition at Garza Gym · Senior Division Competition at either Gran Salon & Salon Cassia and/or Music Science Learning Center 5:45 PMDoors open for RGV RSEF Awards Ceremony at Jacob Brown Auditorium. Judges are invited to attend and be recognized at the Awards Ceremony6:30 PM to 8:30 PM 60th RGV Regional Science and Engineering Fair Awards Ceremony at Jacob Brown Auditorium

These are the current planned locations for judge’s rooms on February 15, 2020 but final arrangements will be forwarded before the Fair:

· Junior Division Judge’s Room – Garza Gym Annex (start at this location--Biology related projects will be in the Gran Salon)

· Senior Division Judge’s Rooms – Music Science and Learning Center Building Room 1.217 (start at this location but caucus rooms will be different areas)

Judging Criteria for ISEF will be used for the 60th RGV Regional Science and Engineering Fair to be the basis for Consensus Judging by a panel of Judges.

The following evaluation criteria are used for judging at the ISEF. As shown below, science and engineering have different criteria, each with five sections as well as suggested scoring for each section. Each section includes key items to consider for evaluation both before and after the interview.

Students are encouraged to design their posters in a clear and informative manner to allow pre-interview evaluation and to enable the interview to become an in-depth discussion. Judges should examine the student notebook and, if present, any special forms such as Form 1C (Regulated Research Institution/Industrial Setting) and Form 7 (Continuation of Projects). Considerable emphasis is placed on two areas: Creativity and Presentation, especially in the Interview section, and are discussed in more detail below.

Creativity: A creative project demonstrates imagination and inventiveness. Such projects often offer different perspectives that open up new possibilities or new alternatives. Judges should place emphasis on research outcomes in evaluating creativity.

Presentation/Interview: The interview provides the opportunity to interact with the finalists and evaluate their understanding of the project’s basic science, interpretation and limitations of the results and conclusions.

 If the project was done at a research or industrial facility, the judge should determine the degree of independence of the finalist in conducting the project, which is documented on Form 1C.

 If the project was completed at home or in a school laboratory, the judge should determine if the finalist received any mentoring or professional guidance.

 If the project is a multi-year effort, the interview should focus ONLY on the current year’s work. Judges should review the project’s abstract and Form 7 (ISEF Continuation Projects) to clarify what progress was completed this year.

 Please note that both team and individual projects are judged together, and projects should be judged only on the basis of their quality. However, all team members should demonstrate significant contributions to and an understanding of the project.

Judging Criteria for Science Projects

I. Research Question (10 pts)

___ clear and focused purpose

___ identifies contribution to field of study

___ testable using scientific methods

II. Design and Methodology (15 pts)

___ well designed plan and data collection methods

___ variables and controls defined, appropriate and complete

III. Execution: Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation(20 pts)

___ systematic data collection and analysis

___ reproducibility of results

___ appropriate application of mathematical and statistical methods

___ sufficient data collected to support interpretation and conclusions

IV. Creativity (20 pts)

___ project demonstrates significant creativity in one or more of the above criteria

V. Presentation (35 pts)

a. Poster 10 pts)

___ logical organization of material

___ clarity of graphics and legends

___ supporting documentation displayed

b. Interview (25 pts)

___ clear, concise, thoughtful responses to questions

___ understanding of basic science relevant to project

___ understanding interpretation and limitations of results and conclusions

_ degree of independence in conducting project

___ recognition of potential impact in science, society and/or economics

___ quality of ideas for further research

___ for team projects, contributions to and understanding of project by all members



Judging Criteria for Engineering Projects

I. Research Problem (10 pts)

___ description of a practical need or problem to be solved

___ definition of criteria for proposed solution

___ explanation of constraints

II. Design and Methodology (15 pts)

___ exploration of alternatives to answer need or problem

___ identification of a solution

___ development of a prototype/model

III. Execution: Construction and Testing(20 pts)

___ prototype demonstrates intended design

___ prototype has been tested in multiple conditions/trials ___ prototype demonstrates engineering skill and completeness

IV. Creativity (20 pts)

___ project demonstrates significant creativity in one or more of the above criteria

V. Presentation (35 pts)

a. Poster (10 pts)

___logical organization of material

___clarity of graphics and legends

___ supporting documentation displayed

b. Interview (25 pts)

___ clear, concise, thoughtful responses to questions

___ understanding of basic science relevant to project

___ understanding interpretation and limitations of results and conclusions

___ degree of independence in conducting project

___ recognition of potential impact in science, society and/or economics

___ quality of ideas for further research

___ for team projects, contributions to and understanding of project by all members


Extracted from: https://student.societyforscience.org/judging-criteria-isef 12-10-2019