Science Fair Judge First Reflection:
My first volunteer experience was at White City school judging their science fair. Firstly, when we arrived we had to wait for about an hour before the actual judging started. When the actual judging started, we were given sheets which gave us guidelines to follow for the judging. The guidelines were to see if the presentation was an experiment, study or innovation, this was rated a 1,2,3 or 4 then we had to do a second rating from 0-9 that specified the first rating. I got to judge about 12 different presentations. I thought it was a little disorganized near the end as we were told not to judge the ones in French but when given numbers I had about four presentations that were in French. This had me going back and asking what else they wanted me to judge, and continuing to be given French presentations. My thoughts were full of nerves; I was nervous to judge and was nervous knowing that these students had spent months on these and in 2 minutes it would be over. I personally know from my know projects I have done that when the time comes, we want it to be perfect and when it doesn’t we can get down on ourselves. As myself and the two other ECS 200 students were talking I was concerned that I was marking too hard or vice versa, I know this is a problem I am going to face this concern in the classroom, so this is giving me good experience on grading and that I must keep unbiased opinion when grading or judging. As I continue judging the science fairs, I’m hoping to work on asking more questions and pushing the students to reach deeper in their research as well as giving them confidence in the field on science. This is the first big exposure to science for some of these students and I want it to be a positive one. Science is tough but it is a field that can be explored and where new and creative ideas are encouraged which is what I am hoping these students take from this experience.
Science Fair Judge Second Reflection:
My 10 hours of volunteering is only after my second-time volunteering, so I am still getting used to my placement and how things work. Since I am not at the same school every time, I get a different feel each time I volunteer. In my initial thoughts, I said that it was very unorganized and I was nervous to judge, since it was a different school there was a different vibe and this time it was much more organized. I had also touched on how nervous I was to judge the students, this time around I was more confident in my judging skills but I am still having difficulties giving less than ideal marks knowing that the students will not be happy. For only being my second time going, I get so excited to see what the students come up with for their projects, no two are the exact same and it brings light to the fact that young minds have full imagination and my high hopes for the future. The biggest thing that surprised me is how much I have learned in the two times going, so far I have learned that chewing bubble gum improves memory, men age 30-40 have a better memory than anyone and that mushrooms are now being used to soak up oil spills and help treat cancer. These are just some examples of things I had no knowledge on and now I have already told a few others about this fascinating information. To date my greatest learning experience has been the marking, listening carefully to every aspect and looking at every detail to make sure I give that student or students the fair mark they deserve. From the first-time judging and seeing the criteria for the first time to this time knowing what to expect, this allowed me to have a better understanding of the rubric and how I interpret each category and my style of judging. I still have three more times to judge and I’m excited to see what each school bring and especially looking forward to the regional fair in Lumsden and what students have moved forward hopefully seeing some that I judged myself. Within the next 3 times, I hope to gain more knowledge on every topic and what these students are interested in. This experience is also giving me good experience on being on the other side of the presentation that I will be doing for this class, I now have insight in what I would want to see in a presentation and hopefully transfer that to my own poster presentation.