posted by: mcrocker
I recently judged again at a local science fair, and I could not help but be curious about the scoring process that I was involved in. I know that I am second guessing myself a lot recently, but I was really worried that none of the projects I judged were included as any of the winners. I would say there were about 30 projects, and about 10 winners, so it could just be random variation. However, I talked to some of the other judges there, and I felt that there was a significant difference between my group’s average rating ~45 and the other group’s average ~55. The points were out of 60, and other judges told me that 60 was awarded multiple times by their group. The highest my group awarded was 49. It made me feel bad, almost that I should have known to judge differently, or something.
After further reflection, however, I decided that there is nothing to suggest that I judged wrongly. There might have been much better science fair projects than the ones I judged. Also, I trust that if there was a really excellent one (or two or three), it (or they) would have won, no matter any sort of scoring inflation or inconsistency. Also, the organizers might have had something in place to account for the differences in the judges. I hope this is just a symptom of my current woes, which stem more from me approaching my Ph.D., dealing with big-picture life issues, and dealing with the long waiting period of a very competitive job search.