Photos by Elizabeth Eaton

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Pull Quote

“An ideal volunteer for judge… should be curious, open-minded, a good listener, and willing to engage and encourage our young folks. If you’re reading the Payson Roundup – you probably possess these qualities, so please volunteer and make the Gila County Science Fair another success.”

Joe Bowman

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? Longtime judge and Rim Country resident Joe Bowman says an ideal candidate for judge “should be curious, open-minded, a good listener, and willing to engage and encourage our young folks. If you’re reading the Payson Roundup – you probably possess these qualities, so please volunteer and make the Gila County Science Fair another success.”

And now’s the time to signup as a volunteer and judge, join Gila County School Superintendent Roy Sandoval and his staff this month as they 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. and continuing until noon. 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, can call Vanessa Barajas at the Gila County Schools Superintendents Office, 928-402-8788 or email vbarajas@gilacountyaz.gov.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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