Judging Criteria

Children’s Science Picture Book

One book will be chosen as the winner in this category, the author and illustrator will be honored.

  • The book is appropriate for children in grades K-4.
  • The book contains no serious errors or deficiencies in explanations of science content or processes.
  • Although written for young children, the book successfully examines important scientific concepts without perpetuating stereotypes or misconceptions.
  • The book has a clear purpose, is well organized, and the scientific concepts are accurately presented.
  • In accordance with Project 2061’s Science for All Americans, the book must support the development in young people of positive attitudes toward learning science, mathematics, and technology.
  • In accordance with Project 2061’s Nature of Science benchmark, the book should stimulate curiosity, and engage students in taking an interest in their environment and the workings of nature.
  • When fitting, the book shows that doing science engages men and women of all ages and backgrounds.
  • The illustrations engage the young reader and enhance the text.
  • The illustrations accurately depict the scientific concepts being examined.
  • The illustrations provide an alternate way for students to examine the concepts being discussed in the text.
  • The illustrations show boys and girls of different backgrounds involved in science.

 

Middle Grades Science Book

One book will be chosen as the winner in this category, the author will be honored.

  • The book is appropriate for children in grades 5-8.
  • The book contains no serious errors or deficiencies in explanations of science content or processes.
  • The book has a clear purpose, is well organized, and the scientific concepts are accurately presented.
  • In accordance with Project 2061’s Nature of Science benchmark, the book should engage early adolescents in science and encourage them to reflect on the science they are engaged in.
  • The science portrayed in the book is open to inquiry and should encourage the reader to ask questions.  
  • When fitting, the book shows that men and women of different ages and backgrounds are involved in science.  

 

Young Adult Science Book

One book will be chosen as the winner in this category, the author will be honored.

  • The book has the ability to engage young adult readers in science.
  • The books are judged on their ability to engage the YA audience. Both young adult and adult titles may be considered.
  • The book encourages the discussion and understanding of scientific ideas.
  • The book contains no serious errors or deficiencies in explanations of science content or processes.
  • The book has a clear purpose and is well organized.
  • In accordance with Project 2061’s Habits of Mind benchmark, the book should enable high school readers to view science and technology thoughtfully, being neither categorically antagonistic nor uncritically positive.

 

Hands-On Science Book

One book will be chosen as the winner in this category, the author will be honored.

  • The book contains fun and exciting investigations, opening the door to even more things to explore.
  • The activities are inquiry based and encourage the reader to explore scientific concepts by asking good questions.
  • The activities are open ended and enable the reader to develop problem-solving and research skills that enable them to become lifelong learners.
  • The book contains no serious errors or deficiencies in explanations of science content or processes.