You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to volunteer as a judge for the annual science fair sponsored by the Gila County School Superintendent’s Office - for that matter you’re not required to be expert in biochemistry, math, medicine, physics or astronomy either. So, what is required? Just ask Ryan Brossart, who volunteered as a judge last year: “I look forward to being a part of the science fair again this year, I was impressed with how well-organized it was, the large variety of categories available, and the number of projects and presentations. I’m a big advocate for education, curiosity, and creativity and last year’s science fair was a great melting pot of all three. Encouraging our youth to seek out opportunities to develop their education, curiosity, and creativity in a fun environment is so important to shaping future generations. Aside from viewing the projects that I was assigned to judge, one of my favorite parts was walking around and seeing all the other entries. Some of the questions asked and the presentations were amazing.”
Dr. Ryan Brossart is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center, and now’s the time to sign up as a volunteer judge and join him. Gila County School Superintendent Roy Sandoval and his staff this month announced their annual invitation to recruit and assign judges ahead of time to prepare for the March 4 regional science fair. There isn’t much that’s required of volunteers prior to the event. In past years the day began with a complimentary breakfast and brief orientation for the judges, before official judging of projects began around 8 a.m., continuing ‘til noon.
“It is an awesome experience and one that I would just recommend you have to experience for yourself,” said Brossart. “I enjoyed getting to meet and talk with young members of the community about what they learned and why they chose to do their specific project. The categories are so spread out that I think every judge would be able to select a category that they are, at least somewhat, familiar with; however, I don’t think that a science background is needed. You are given instructions on judging criteria and the main focus is to listen to the presenter about what they asked and what they learned from their experiment. The focus is not to interrogate and refute their project with ‘your expertise’ in the area.”
Science Fair projects are judged based on age, division, and subcategory. First place winners in each division and category from participating schools/districts are eligible to compete in the regional science fair. First-place winners of Gila County’s event are eligible to compete at the State Science and Engineering Fair. Judges are asked to evaluate all age divisions within their categories. Judges will receive judging forms that clearly inform them (by color and label) of a project’s age division. Senior Division Categories include Animal Science, Behavioral & Social Science, BioChemistry, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Cellular & Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Computational Biology & Bioinformatics, Earth and Environmental Science, Embedded Systems; Translational Medical Sciences, Engineering Mechanics, and ‘Energy: Sustainable Materials and Design.’ Elementary & Junior Divisions Categories include Animal Sciences, Plant Sciences, Behavioral & Social Science, Cellular & Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth and Planetary Science, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Medicine & Health Sciences, Physics & Astronomy, Environmental Engineering, Materials Science, Mathematics, Microbiology, Physics & Astronomy, Plant Sciences, Robotics and Intelligent Machines, System Software. Volunteers interested in helping judge the Gila County Science Fair, or anyone with questions, are welcome to call Vanessa Barajas at the Gila County School Superintendent’s Office 928-402-8788 or email [email protected].