STEM Expo may offer awards in special or extra areas (categories) for entries that show a focus on these particular aspects in their project. Unless noted below, these awards are open to all entrants, and are awarded in addition to the normal awards for the category.
Entrants are automatically entered into the special categories when they enter the primary category: no separate entry for the special category is required.
There are no rubrics specific to these categories. During the course of judging, the judges may elect to nominate entries into these areas, then a special individual judge or panel of judges will determine the category award after reviewing the entries.
Note that projects that include some aspect of all of these categories are commonly among the most successful in their primary category.
STEM Expo may elect to include or exclude any or all of these award categories on the day of the event.
Creative Arts Awards
The Creative Arts category focuses on the presentation from an artistic standpoint. The intent is to recognize the entry(s) that have artistry in their presentation.
This artistry could be represented in one aspect (for instance a single drawing or graphical element) or as part of the project presentation as a whole.
The Research category focuses on the research that an individual entrant did in the preparation of the entry. The intent is to recognize the value of the research as a separate context and appreciate an entrant who has gone above and beyond the normal level of research for their category.
Research is applicable for all categories, and may be presented in any form as part of the entry.
The Imagination award celebrates creativity and “thinking outside the box”. This award is to recognize an entry that does things in a different manner. Whether it is the entrepreneurial spirit, the pioneer spirit, or just “it’s the way I wanted to do it”, these awards are presented to entries that the judges want to encourage because of the imagination involved in the project.
Sometimes judges want to recognize outstanding work in an entry that doesn’t quite fit into any other award category. Judges awards are presented at the request of the judging team, they are completely optional on the day of the event and can be presented to any entrant to encourage their continued work in the STEM fields.
Advancement to the next level
Certain STEM Expo events are the local nominating affiliate for state and/or national STEM competitions. As such, all entries are considered for advancement to those events. STEM Expo is given a certain number of attendees that we may advance and they are expected to be the best representation of the standards at STEM Expo.
This advancement is applicable for all categories, depending on the requirements of the next level competition.