Project Categories

Judging Rubrics:

Categories 1-7

Category 8

Category 9


Category Descriptions:

Category I – General Biology

Any aspect of biology not better judged by someone with specific training in biochemistry or molecular biology as described above.  Projects may involve plants, simple organisms, animal behavior, and classical genetics.

Category II – Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The study of chemical processes in living organisms or biology at the molecular level.  Focuses on the structure, function, and processes of cells (e.g., nucleic acids, proteins, lipids). 


Category III – Medicine and Health

Studies focusing on areas including disease diagnosis, patient care, public health, epidemiology. These studies may involve a secondary analysis of data or data collected by the student. 


Category IV – Behavioral and Social Science

Studies of human cognition and/or behavior or studies involving larger units of analysis such as economies or political systems.  Common fields of study include psychology, sociology, education, economics, and political science. 


Category V – Chemistry 

The science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter. Projects typically involve :  Organic, Analytical, Physical, Inorganic, . Over the last several years, additional concentrations have begun to emerge, including Nuclear chemistry, Polymer chemistry, Biophysical chemistry, Environmental chemistry


Category VI – Earth and Environmental Science

Projects having to do with any aspect of the environment, energy, or Earth Science.  Projects may combine biological, chemical and physical components.


Category VII – Physics and Astronomy

The areas of natural science that study non-living systems. Projects typically involve physics, and astronomy


Category VIII – Engineering

The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, processes, and systems.
Subcategories: Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Controls, Mechanical Engineering, Robotics, Thermodynamics, Solar or Wind technologies,  Fuel Cells.


Category VIIII – Computer Science and Modeling

The study of information processes, the structures and procedures that represent processes, and their implementation in information processing systems. It includes systems analysis and design, application and system software design, programming, and datacenter operations, the use of computers to model natural or other systems, and the analysis of biological or other information using computers.