A sixth grade science fair entry is judged based on how well the entrant understood and applied scientific methods in developing the project, according to Discovery Education. Criteria listed by the University of Southern California include quality, ability to clearly explain the project, and actual application to the real world.
Other considerations are verification of experimental results through repeated trials and the inclusion of genuine scientific breakthroughs. Predicting results using analytical techniques and discovery of little-known facts are also mentioned by the University of Southern California.
The judges’ scoring sheets might require that marks be assigned for individual project elements. Examples are a testable question, a proposed solution, a research-based hypothesis, clearly defined variables, data analysis and a conclusion.
Judges also look for qualities such as curiosity, enthusiasm and a willingness to try something different in search of a new discovery. The project display should reflect the presenter’s own personality, as suggested by Discovery Education. It is an opportunity for the science fair participant to stand out from the crowd, so it should contain only the best photographs and graphics displayed in the clearest and most compelling manner possible.
In general, a project should address every category required and provide a caption or label for every photograph, chart, graph or illustration. It should also be free of any errors in spelling, grammar or punctuation.