Encourage young researchers and innovators by being a judge at MSSF! Our judges come from a variety of backgrounds and each one brings their own unique experiences and perspectives to the event. We truly could not do this without you!

SCHEDULE for the 2024 MSSF

Saturday, March 23, 2024 | University of Maine

Ferland Engineering Education Design Center, 75 Long Road, Orono

Schedule subject to change.

We’ll give judges an overview of the day and set the stage for a great event.

Judges will go to their assigned tables to meet the other people on their team. Lead Judges will distribute paperwork and facilitate the team as they make a plan for the morning.

Half of the projects will be judged from 9:00 to 10:15. Students in round 1 should be at their posters during this time. Judges will approach students, who can describe their projects and then answer questions.

Judges get a chance to recharge while the second group of students prepares for their judging round.

The remaining projects will be judged from 10:45 to 12:00. Students in round 2 should be at their posters during this time. Judges will approach students, who can describe their projects and then answer questions.

Judges should return to Headquarters to grab lunch in preparation for discussing the projects they saw that morning.

Lead Judges will facilitate a discussion about the top projects in the category and whether any of the projects should be nominated for special awards or ISEF.

Each lead judge will submit their team’s ballot to MSSF staff. If a project in their category is nominated for ISEF, we ask the Lead Judge to stay to discuss the project (or choose another volunteer from the team to represent them).

Teachers and students will gather to celebrate the day. Judges are welcome to watch the live-streamed awards. We will also provide a place to watch on campus.


The Maine State Science Fair is recruiting judges across all project categories. 

  • Animal Sciences
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Biological Sciences and Engineering
  • Biomedical and Health Sciences
  • Chemistry and Materials
  • Computer Science
  • Energy and Transportation
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences and Engineering
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Microbiology
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Plant Science
MSSF Judges must have advanced training or practical experience in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, computer science, or an associated field. Judges must engage in constructive analysis and discussion of a research or engineering project with a high school student and determine the relative strengths and weaknesses of a given project according to a standard rubric. Judges must be highly collaborative and able to work in small groups.  In addition to evaluating projects, judges also serve as informal mentors, providing useful feedback, advice, and encouragement to all students.

If you have questions, please email sciencefair@mmsa.org


Apply by March 1, 2024 to be a judge at Maine State Science Fair!

All judges are invited to our online orientation session on Friday, March 15, 2024 from 11:30am to noon.

Judging will take place on Saturday, March 23, 2024 from 8am to 1pm.

Help us recruit more judges by sharing our flyer! 


Judges assess student work using the International Science & Engineering Fair criteria. There are two rubrics for judging at MSSF: one for scientific research projects and the other for engineering design projects.