AMES, Iowa – Now is the time for all good judges to volunteer for the State Science + Technology Fair of Iowa (SSTFI). The annual event is expected to bring more than 450 youth in grades six through 12 and their research projects to Ames March 28-29. Volunteers can sign up to be judges at the SSTFI Web site, (www.sciencefairofiowa.org).
“During the past few years we have experienced tremendous growth in the number of youth registering for SSTFI. This is great news that brings with it the challenge to register more judges,” said Jay Staker, director of Iowa State University Extension Science, Engineering and Technology (E-SET).
SSTFI is searching for at least 50 judges with master’s degrees or doctorates in science, engineering, technology or related fields to help lead judging teams. An additional 300 judges are needed who are either majoring in or have degrees in these fields.
“ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development is pleased to have SSTFI as a key event for youth as part of our program,” noted Jack Payne, vice president for ISU Extension and Outreach. “We encourage qualified volunteers to take advantage of this great opportunity to work with Iowa’s young scientists.”
According to the SSTFI Web site, judges evaluate how well students followed the scientific method, the detail and accuracy of research as documented in their data books and whether experimental procedures were used in the best possible way. Students are judged on creative ability, scientific thought or technology goals, research thoroughness, technical skill, clarity and dramatic value in their oral presentation.
“One of the most important things the judges do is talk with the students to find out if they have a good grasp of their project from start to finish and can talk confidently about their work,” Staker said.
To register to be a judge, go to the SSTFI Web site (www.sciencefairofiowa.org) and click on the judge registration link on the left side of the page. Staker suggested that judges be flexible and volunteer to judge in high school or junior high and in two sessions.
The fair runs Friday, March 28,12-5 p.m. and Saturday, March 29, 9:30 am - 3 p.m. with an award ceremony at 4-6 p.m. The events are at Hilton Coliseum and the Scheman Building at the Iowa State Center in Ames. SSTFI is affiliated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and is open to any student in Iowa in grades six through twelve.
Jay Staker , Extension Science, Engineering and Technology (E-SET), (515) 294-8417, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Sternweis , Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, email@example.com