2016 Call for Senior Division Judges for the AISES NAIVSEF

AISES is currently seeking judges for the National American Indian Virtual Science and Engineering Fair (NAIVSEF). If you are interested in judging, please review the information below and contact Kathy DeerInWater at kdeerinwater@aises.org by February 17th, 2016.

The National American Indian Virtual Science and Engineering Fair (NAIVSEF) Senior Division is a Society for Science and the Public (SSP) affiliated science fair and, as such, is part of the larger SSP-affiliated fair network. The NAIVSEF differs from other SSP-affiliated fairs in that it is a "Virtual Science Fair.” We estimate this year’s fair should have 15 Senior Division (grades 9-12) projects.

Like any SSP affiliated fair, students must use and follow Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) forms, requirements, and rules.  While our student participants will not have a display and do not attend a “live” event, they do complete the same paperwork and, if approved to compete, submit slideshows and a required video.  Scoring is “virtually” the same.  However, instead of being on the floor and judged in person, each student/team will have a telephone conference call consisting of Q & A and discussion, which is factored into their final score.  Unlike larger fairs which have grade level divisions and over 20 different subject matter categories, this fair will have just two categories, “Life Sciences” and “Engineering & Math.”  All of the ISEF categories fall within these two categories.  There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners awarded in both categories for the Senior Division, plus overall Grand Finalist winners from both categories, who will go on to represent AISES at the International ISEF.  Special Award prizes will also be offered that align with some of the ISEF categories. 

AISES is recruiting for three types of judges:  Category Judges, Lead Judges, and Grand Award Judges.  The roles of each are described below.

Category Judges, who serve on panels of three (3) will be grouped by category, Life Sciences or Engineering & Math, and each panel of 3 will judge and interview 5-8 projects.  Judging of all project documents and materials including student slideshows and videos is conducted virtually (via our online science fair platform) from March 23-30, 2016.  Category Judges can review and score submissions online, during that period, independently and anytime or anywhere they have internet access, doing a few at a time or all at once. All scores must be submitted by midnight on March 30th.  Judge panels then conduct conference calls to interview student teams/individuals on April 2-3, 2016 (the actual fair dates).  During these interview calls, each panel comes together and jointly meets with each project’s student/team (no parents or sponsors participate in the dialogue) for 20 minutes.  The calls (toll-free) are scheduled and setup by AISES. Following the calls on April 2 and 3, 2016, the panels reconvene for a consensus call where they discuss the project scores, derived from the slideshows/videos and the scores from the interviews, and come to a consensus on the final overall score for each project and recommendations for Special Awards, if any, for the group of projects they judged.  These final consensus calls will be held late afternoon on the same days (depending on the call schedule).  Individuals selected as Lead Judges participate in the consensus calls with the panel judges and facilitate the process.  Lead Judges communicate the Category Judges scoring results to AISES staff.  Top contenders from each panel of Category Judges are then reviewed by a Grand Award Judges Committee, which ultimately determines the winners for both categories of the Senior Division, as well as the Grand Award Winners (pulled from both categories), who will be allowed to compete at the Intel ISEF.  Grand Award Judges review the top contender scores and materials and make their selections April 4 to 10, 2016.

Science fair judges play a crucial role in the success of the AISES science fair, both as role models and supporters of STEM research and initiatives. We encourage you to serve if you have the time and want to help Native youth interested in STEM.  To be a judge, the minimum requirement is a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in the scientific or engineering area you'll be judging and several years of professional experience in that area. Postdocs and advanced graduate students in scientific or engineering fields are welcomed, as well as retired scientists and engineers with the above qualifications.  You do not need to be Native American/Alaskan Native to judge.    

If you have any questions, please contact Kathy DeerInWater via email at kdeerinwater@aises.org or phone at 720-552-6123.

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