What actually happens after you upload your entry? How are the awards determined? Take a look behind the scenes to see what happens during the judging process.
by Aadil Kara, Galactic Challenge Chair
The deadline to enter Mission IV of the Galactic Challenge is 30th June. After everyone has uploaded their entries, we will spend the next few weeks judging all the entries and choosing the winners.
If you are reading this, you might be interested in how we actually do that. Let us take a look behind the curtain, and see what happens during the judging process!
What happens to my entry after I upload it?
We start by looking through all the entries – every single one.
This is a quick check to make sure everything is in order. We check for corrupted and broken files. Sometimes people send us the wrong files by mistake, so we check for those too.
(If you’re wondering, some of the things entered over the last year include: a screenshot of our own website; some unrelated geography homework; and the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song Never Gonna Give You Up. None of them won any awards.)
We then pass the remaining entries over to the judging panel. To make this as fair as possible, all the entries are anonymised.
The judges don’t know your names or the school you attend. They only see:
- the name of your entry
- the number of people in your team
- your school years and age group.
How are the entries judged?
The judges have experience in science, space and education. To make it fairer, your entry will be judged by a pair of judges working together.
There are six things we look at in each entry.
- Three of these are the different tasks (they are labelled 1 to 3 on the website)
- The other three look at the overall quality of the entry (we call them Science, Creativity and Presentation)
How can you get a high score? Here is a free hint: notice that each of the tasks has a blue box with a “Tip”. Those tips exactly match what the judges are looking for. Your entry will qualify for an award just by following those tips.
You can get even better awards by exceeding them!
How are awards chosen?
If the judges think that your entry achieves everything in the blue boxes, it will qualify for an award.
The entries are ranked using the scores given by the judging panel. Entries that qualify are given Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.
The Special Awards are a little different. There are seven Special Awards:
- Best of Key Stage 2 (Individual)
- Best of Key Stage 2 (Group)
- Best of Key Stage 3 (Individual)
- Best of Key Stage 3 (Group)
- The Science Award
- The Creativity Award
- The Presentation Award
At the end of the process the whole panel meets to select the final winners of these Special Awards.
What can I do to get an award?
Here are some ideas of what you can do: