Have you ever wondered how an online STEM Competition such as the Wiz Prodigy Competition and the Wiz Summer Innovator Competition are being judged?
We’ve been busy at Wiz Robotics!
Today, we want to talk about a component of the competition that gets overlooked but nonetheless crucial to participants’ success —
The Judging Criteria.
These are a set of guidelines that we have laid out for participants with the goal of guiding them to bring their best work forward.
“… the Wiz judging criteria was crucial in the development of my games and apps. … The Wiz judging criteria are very relevant to the real world of software development. I am tremendously grateful that I was able to experience these elements firsthand, and I believe everyone should follow them when creating their own software projects.”
— Sean, previous WSI participant & Wiz student
Even though the Wiz Prodigy Competition and the WSI Competition are different, they share three core judging criteria in common:
To give you a better understanding of our expectations, we spoke to previous WSI Competition participants Sean and Leo, who broke these judging criteria down in their own words and shared their experience.
We like to think of this as the “backbone” of your creations. We want to see the participant understanding the code and the programs needed to make it work.
Sean: Technicals, taught me to think like an engineer and problem solver. It inspired me to explore new features and solutions through code.
Leo: Things to keep in mind include functionality (does it work?), readability (can I understand it? Is it neat?), and modularity (does each part work on its own, or does it rely on other parts too much?).
As a competitor myself, I would create a brief outline of things to code, create it, and fix any bugs that I find along the way, and find resources (documentation, Stack Overflow) if I need help.
The design of any engineering project requires a plan. We want the participants to show us a well thought-out design as well as considerations and explanations for why they chose their particular design.
In the case of Wiz Prodigy, we want to see the planning from the initial brainstorming process to the final physical Rover model. For WSI, it’s more about the visual appeal.
Leo: As a competitor myself, I would focus on this part once I have the main project done, but when I do, I will think about my theme and add art elements to make the project more immersive.
Sean: … Design, reminded me to plan out my projects and make them aesthetically appealing. It showed me how attractive a beautiful product could be.
A while back, we also wrote about a previous Wiz Prodigy Competition participant’s experience. Read more about how Jason’s design and planning process went for his Cybertruck.
We want our participants to think outside of the box! Ideally, participants should be creative and show uses of technology and ideas that are not in the tutorials provided through our Wiz learning platform, but still relevant to the theme of the competition.
Sean: It encouraged me to think outside of the box and add my own creative touches to my projects.
Leo: Things to keep in mind include uniqueness (is it different from others?), problem solving (is this is a cool way to solve an issue?), and diversity (is there a wide range of things?)
As a competitor myself, I would brainstorm ideas that I believe would make my projects fun to play if I look at it from the user’s perspective.
There you have it! The three core judging criteria for the main Wiz competitions.
Online STEM competitions can be a lot of fun despite the challenges the participants might face in their projects. It’s the perfect way to encourage students to apply STEM skills to solve problems.
I think my experience as a competitor was amazing and very fun. It let us be creative and make something off of a topic. The Wiz people were all very nice and taught us how to use new apps to code. The judges were all very nice.
Btw, ty for the robux!
— Alicia, previous WSI participant
Most importantly, in order to reap in the full benefits of an online STEM competition, students should always have fun!
… it was very fun to be a competitor, and I was able to gain lots of experience from the camp.
— Oliver, Wiz student