Interview Framework

[CSEF stripe]

All students will be interviewed on Tuesday, April 12, by judges in their division- and category-specific judging panel. Simply due to the fact that the number of projects in each of these panels varies greatly, the schedule for interviews will be different in different panels. The fundamental pattern of interviews any student will experience will differ depending upon whether theirs is a “small” or a “large” panel, where the dividing line for size will be approximately 24 projects.

  1. Small Panels will have every interview individually scheduled. Both students and judges in these panels will see their personal schedule on zFairs.
  2. Large Panels will not have individually scheduled interviews, but rather will require each student to be present in his/her project’s “interview room” for either the entire morning or the entire afternoon while judges will visit them. This is the same manner in which judges visit physical project displays during normal “in-person” years.

In both large and small panels, all interviews will start (and end) on a regular 10-minute schedule.

Large Panels

Large Panels will be assigned to one of two different sessions. Aside from the start time, these sessions are identical to that in a standard CSEF in-person fair.

Students in large panels must be present in their zFairs room for the entirety of their assigned session (except for the break) because judges will arrive at unpredictable times. Both Category Award judges and Sponsored Award judges will use the same session, but different periods within it.

The following judging panels are “Large Panels.” The Panel column shows the first four characters of each project number in that panel.

J-06ChemistryJunior DivisionMorning
J-10Electronics & ElectromagneticsJunior DivisionAfternoon
J-11Environmental EngineeringJunior DivisionAfternoon
J-17Physics & AstronomyJunior DivisionAfternoon
J-18Plant BiologyJunior DivisionAfternoon
S-03Applied Mechanics & StructuresSenior DivisionMorning
S-04Behavioral & Social SciencesSenior DivisionMorning
S-08Computational Systems & AnalysisSenior DivisionMorning
S-09Earth & Environmental SciencesSenior DivisionMorning
S-11Environmental EngineeringSenior DivisionAfternoon

Small Panels

Small Panels will mean a shorter time commitment by each student because each interview will be scheduled, with a minimum (or lack) of breaks between them. Generally, small panels will have fewer judges than large panels.

Small Panels will start at staggered times throughout the day. While judges will interview projects in contiguous 10-minute interview periods, depending upon the number of projects and judges in a given panel, projects may or may not have contiguous interviews. Nevertheless, interviews of every project will be scheduled so as to be as compact in time as possible.

Here are the judging panels that are “Small Panels.” Please note that this table is ordered by Panel (the first four characters of your Project Number) and not alphabetically. Your project number tells you which panel you are in. This table gives the window in which your project will be interviewed. It does not tell you when in that window your actual interviews will be scheduled. Your personal interview schedule will be posted to your zFairs account on Saturday, April 9.

Students should ignore the "Judge Mtg" column. This is a meeting for judges in each judging panel in their own meeting room to go over procedures and final preparations before coming to speak with you.

PanelCategoryDivisionJudge MtgStart
J-02Alternative EnergyJunior Division2:30 PM3:00 PM4:50 PM
J-03Applied Mechanics & StructuresJunior Division9:40 AM10:10 AM1:30 PM
J-04Behavioral & Social SciencesJunior Division9:50 AM10:20 AM2:30 PM
J-05Biochemistry/ Molecular BiologyJunior Division11:30 AM12:00 PM3:00 PM
J-07Cognitive ScienceJunior Division8:00 AM8:30 AM12:00 PM
J-12Mammalian BiologyJunior Division2:50 PM3:20 PM5:00 PM
J-13Materials ScienceJunior Division2:30 PM3:00 PM4:50 PM
J-14Mathematical SciencesJunior Division11:50 AM12:20 PM3:50 PM
J-15Microbiology (General)Junior Division9:50 AM10:20 AM2:30 PM
J-19Product Science (Biological)Junior Division8:00 AM8:30 AM9:50 AM
J-20Product Science (Physical)Junior Division8:50 AM9:20 AM1:00 PM
J-22ZoologyJunior Division8:30 AM9:00 AM11:10 AM
J-24Earth & Environment: Air/ WaterJunior Division8:00 AM8:30 AM11:50 AM
J-25Earth & Environment: Soil/ PollutionJunior Division11:40 AM12:10 PM3:50 PM
S-05Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology ISenior Division12:00 PM12:30 PM4:00 PM
S-06ChemistrySenior Division8:00 AM8:30 AM11:30 AM
S-10Electronics & ElectromagneticsSenior Division10:40 AM11:10 AM3:10 PM
S-12Mammalian BiologySenior Division8:50 AM9:20 AM11:40 AM
S-14Mathematical SciencesSenior Division1:00 PM1:30 PM4:00 PM
S-15Microbiology (General)Senior Division8:00 AM8:30 AM11:50 AM
S-17Physics & AstronomySenior Division11:10 AM11:40 AM3:30 PM
S-18Plant BiologySenior Division8:00 AM8:30 AM10:40 AM
S-21ToxicologySenior Division8:00 AM8:30 AM9:50 AM
S-22ZoologySenior Division11:50 AM12:20 PM4:00 PM
S-23Computational Systems: MedicalSenior Division12:00 PM12:30 PM4:40 PM
S-26Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology IISenior Division8:00 AM8:30 AM12:00 PM

Time Commitments and Exceptions

If you are in a Large Panel:
You must be present in your project’s interview room for the entire morning session or the entire afternoon session (except for the scheduled break) as indicated above. We cannot predict when during your session any particular judge will visit. That depends upon them. Please plan your day so that you can be present for all of your interviews.
If you are in a Small Panel:
On Saturday, April 9, you will be given your specific schedule of interview times during which you need to be present in your interview room. Each of your interviews will be within your window given above. This schedule is private to you and will only show up on your zFairs account within the "Virtual Contest" tab.

Whether you are in a large or a small panel, we are sorry, but there is no possibility of rescheduling any interviews owing to conflicts with outside events. Because rescheduling even a single interview would require coordinating with multiple people, we simply do not have the ability to make changes to the schedule for anyone, student or judge. Please do not ask for an exception. None will be given.

[CSEF stripe]
Sat Apr 2 22:38:37 PDT 2022
California Science & Engineering Fair / Interview Framework /