The process of judging entries in contests in Central Texas is a complex one. It requires a preliminary evaluation, the selection of judges based on the number of participants, and the use of an online registration system. Moreover, judges must be aware of any conflicts of interest and must attend orientation sessions to understand the evaluation process, the annual topic, and the necessary rules. The evaluation is conducted in two rounds. Initially, several teams of judges are assigned to assess each entry within its division and category.
The highest-rated applications by each team are then re-evaluated by a new team of judges in the second round to determine which are the winning entries in the category. The number of participants in the finals and the evaluation procedures vary by contest and category, and are at the discretion of the contest coordinator. When evaluating entries, judges must use their professional skills and experience to make each competition an enjoyable and enriching experience for young people. They must also be familiar with the current manual of one-act plays, the rules of the competition for one-act plays contained in the current Constitution, and understand the limitations placed on directors. In addition, all projects must comply with the general and category-specific rules set out in the NHD competition regulations.
In the final round of evaluation, TCEQ commissioners and executive staff and representatives of the Texas Chemical Council will select the Grand Prize and the finalist for each category. Texas students enrolled in grades K-5 are invited to participate in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's Take Care of Texas Kids art contest. In the first round, Take Care of Texas staff will review and rate all submitted works, selecting the best works from each category.