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 27-28. Volunteers can sign up to be judges at the SSTFI Web site, (www.sciencefairofiowa.org).
“We have judges come back year after year because it’s exciting and a great way to get involved in the passion of these kids,” 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 a 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.
“If volunteers have a science background and are willing to spend time talking with youth to help them understand research better and to spark that interest – those are the kind of people we want,” 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 in high school or junior high in two sessions. The schedule has changed and all high school judging will be held on Saturday.
The fair runs Friday, March 27, 12-5 p.m. and Saturday, March 28, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. with an awards ceremony at 5 p.m. The events are in Hilton Coliseum and the Scheman Building at the Iowa State Center at Iowa State University 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 12.
Jay Staker, Extension Science, Engineering and Technology (E-SET), (515) 294-8417,
Caitlyn Miller, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294- 9915, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, email@example.com