67th State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa to Showcase Innovation and Young STEM Talent

March 20, 2024, 1:52 pm | Sydney Peterson, Alexa Groff

State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa.AMES, Iowa — The State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa is gearing up for its 67th annual event, set to take place April 4-5 at Hilton Coliseum on the Iowa State University campus. The fair, a dynamic platform for young minds in grades 6-12 to present their STEM research projects, is set to feature over 600 participants showcasing more than 480 projects.

“This two-day extravaganza promises to be a celebration of innovation, scientific inquiry and the bright future of STEM,” according to Alexa Groff, Iowa 4-H STEM coordinator and SSTFI director with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Attendees will have the chance to explore a diverse range of projects, from environmental science to cutting-edge technology, demonstrating the creativity and dedication of Iowa's youth.

The research experience is core to the mission of SSTFI. According to Groff, the research aspect allows students to gain critical scientific skills needed for postsecondary work. Through participation in the event, students learn about science and engineering processes, problem solving, and the importance of being able to communicate and defend those findings to others. Participants are asked to prepare a research poster detailing their findings and the data collected to compete.

Beyond the projects, participants will engage in the unique “Lunch with a Scientist” series, providing an invaluable opportunity to interact with STEM professionals, gain insights into various fields, and foster mentorship connections, Groff said.

The fair also offers educational outreach programs across Iowa State University's campus, allowing youth to experience hands-on activities and demonstrations from different departments and groups. This interaction aims to spark curiosity, inspire learning and reinforce the connection between science and everyday life.

With over six decades of history and holding the Governor’s STEM Seal of Approval, the SSTFI has become a cornerstone event for the Iowa STEM community. The fair not only encourages scientific exploration but also provides a competitive platform for participants to vie for awards and prizes, recognizing their outstanding contributions to the world of STEM.

The SSTFI is open to the public, welcoming parents, educators and STEM enthusiasts to witness the incredible projects and engage with the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators.

Event details

  • Date: April 4-5, 2024.
  • Location: Hilton Coliseum, Iowa State University, Ames.
  • Youth Public Day Event: Friday, April 5. For those not participating, come and see the projects and become inspired to do your research next year.
  • Participants: Over 600 youth showcasing 480+ STEM projects.

Support for SSTFI

The State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa is organized through ISU Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development with support from the following sponsors: Blue Bunny; Broadcom Foundation; Cargill; Corteva Agriscience; Elder Corp.; Iowa Bio; ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; ISU College of Engineering; ISU College of Human Sciences; ISU Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering; Iowa Renewable Fuels Association; Iowa State University; Loras College; McKee, Voorhees & Sease PLC; NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium; University of Iowa College of Public Health; and University of Northern Iowa.

For more information on the SSTFI, please visit https://sstfi.org/ or contact your ISU Extension and Outreach county office.

“Join us in celebrating the curiosity, creativity, and scientific achievements of Iowa's young minds,” Groff said.

For press inquiries and interviews, please contact: Alexa Groff, director of the State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa, 1259 Stange Rd, Ames, Iowa 50011, 515-294-8848, Agroff@iastate.edu

Shareable photo: SSTFI logo

About the Authors: