science fair needs judges

Choosing the best entries in the annual Gila County Regional Science Fair, which is March 5, is not an easy task, but rewarding, organizers say.

While the Gila County Regional Science Fair competition is in early March, the Gila County School Superintendent’s Office is recruiting judges now. You don’t have to be a scientist, researcher or lab tech to judge the science fair.

What attributes are needed? As one described it last year: “an ideal volunteer judge should be curious, open-minded, a good listener, and willing to engage and encourage our young folks. If you’re reading this article — you probably possess these qualities!”

Volunteer judges with experience in any of the science, engineering and agricultural fields listed below are needed; but any enthused adults willing to help judge are welcome. If you have questions or wish to volunteer and judge the science fair, call Vanessa Barajas at the Gila County School Superintendent’s Office, 928-402-8788 or email

The competition begins at 7:30 a.m. March 5 with breakfast and a short orientation for the judges; then they’ll spend the morning from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. walking the exhibit hall to review projects — including personal interviews with science fair participants from 10 a.m. until noon. Science fair exhibits open to the public for viewing at 1 p.m., with trophies and ribbons awarded after 1:30 p.m.

Students may enter exhibits in a range of categories from astronomy and animal sciences to behavioral and social sciences; biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology; biomedical and health sciences chemistry; computer science, earth and planetary science, computational biology and bioinformatics engineering; earth and environmental science; embedded systems, mathematical sciences, energy; chemical medicine and health sciences; plant science, engineering robotics and intelligent machines system software.

Science Fair projects are judged based on the age of the student; division, and sub-category. First-place winners are eligible to compete at the state Science and Engineering Fair.

For more information, contact Vanessa Barajas at the Gila County School Superintendent’s Office at or 928-402-8788.

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