GENERAL FAQS

 

1.  CAN YOU REGISTER A STEM FAIR PROJECT EVEN IF YOUR SCHOOL DOESN'T HAVE A SCIENCE FAIR?

Yes, of course! All the materials that you need for the Sacramento Regional STEM Fair can be found here on the website. Everything that teachers receive can also be found here! So, don't let your school's non-participation stop you from doing a project! Students in grades 5 through 12 are eligible to enter the Fair who are in public, private, parochial, and home schools in Amador, Butte, El Dorado, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties. Our High School Division complies with the Intel ISEF Rules for Pre-College Science Research.

 

2.  WHO RUNS THE SCIENCE FAIR?

The NorCal STEM Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Sacramento. The Foundation is managed by Blanning and Baker Associates Inc. The STEM Fair is made possible through volunteers and enthusiastic teachers, administrators, business people, scientists, engineers, etc. -- all dedicated to the promotion of the next generation of student STEM research and development.

 

3.  ARE THERE OTHER SCIENCE FAIRS OR CONTESTS TO ENTER?

Yes! Please see our Other Competitions Page for more information.

 

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR PROJECT FAQS

 

1.   WHERE CAN I GET GOOD INFORMATION ABOUT ENGINEERING PROJECTS?

We like to recommend a perusal of our website: #engineeringprojects. Our Student Handbook also contains information you need regarding Engineering Design Process and how these projects are judged. #studenthandbook

 

2.   WHAT TIMELINE SHOULD I FOLLOW?

We know that different STEM projects take a different amount of time, however, we do have a suggested timeline available that will help you keep the stress level to a minimum! You can view it the timelines when you click on the links below: #suggestedprojecttimeline

 

3.   WHAT SHOULD THE PROJECT DISPLAY CONSIST OF? WHAT SHOULD NOT BE INCLUDED?

The best place to start to answer this question is to read our Items not allowed at your display document. See the Rules & Regulations for specificity. However, the big no-no's are anything potentially dangerous - hypodermic needles, diseased organisms, etc - anything of great monetary value, anything large enough to infringe on another exhibitor's space, and live plants & animals.

 

4.   WHERE CAN A STUDENT GET ADDITIONAL FAIR INFORMATION OR PROJECT ADVICE?

Check out the Helpful Websites under the Student Information link for some project advice and help. Please don't hesitate to call us at 916-441-3150 or to email us at sacstemfair@sacSTEMfair.org.

STUDENT REGISTRATION FAQS

 

1.   HOW MANY TEAM MEMBERS CAN I HAVE?

You can have 3 people on a team. These team members can be from other schools and different grades within your division of Middle or High School. However, you must make sure your teachers know that you are registering with a student from another school if you are participating through your science or engineering class. If you want to participate with a student in another grade, be careful because you will be judged by the oldest in the group. You cannot compete with a middle school and high school mixed team.

 

2.   HOW DOES A TEAM SUBMIT THEIR REGISTRATION?

The Student Leader on a team will submit the entire on-line registration. Each team member needs to scan their signed respective parental/student consent forms and provide them to the Student Leader to submit with the on-line registration prior to the start of the registration.

 

3.   I SUBMITTED MY PROJECT, I WOULD LIKE TO CHANGE SOME INFORMATION (description, title), WHAT DO I DO?

If you would like to change anything about your project, but you have already COMPLETELY submitted it, please contact Nadia at ncompton@sacstemfair.org.

 

4.   WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ABSTRACT ON THE REGISTRATION?

For our registration, a project abstract is a brief paragraph or two (limited to 250 words or 1,800 characters) summarizing the major points/most important ideas about a project. An abstract is what allows judges to determine the nature, scope, and skill of a project. Students should:

  • Emphasize these aspects: purpose (hypothesis), methods (procedures used), how they will collect data in a quick summary, and expected conclusions.
  • Focus only on the current year’s research.
  • Use short complete sentences, but vary sentence structure. Don’t abbreviate by omitting articles or other small words in order to save space.
  • Avoid jargon and use appropriate scientific language.
  • Use concise syntax, correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

 

The Staff suggests that you coordinate with the student’s English/Language teacher to assist the student in not only writing the abstract, but working on the structure in order to provide judges the best description possible.

 

NOTE: High school students should complete an abstract following the Intel ISEF form here once they have completed their projects – in the case they are selected to continue to ISEF, they will need this form to be completed.

 

5.   WHAT IF WE ARE UNABLE TO SIGN THE ELECTRONIC FORM?

If you are unable to sign the form on-line, you can print out the section; each page with a signature has a link at the bottom which will give you a printable version. Then you can either scan and upload the signed sheet back into the registration, or you can email it to Nadia at ncompton@sacstemfair.org. You also have the option to fax to (916)442-4182 or mail to 455 Capitol Mall, Ste 500 Sacramento, CA 95814.

 

6.   HOW DO STUDENTS FILL OUT THE REGISTRATION WHEN IT IS A TEAM PROJECT?

When there is a team project, only one student (the Student Leader) needs to fill out the registration.

 

7.   DO MY STUDENTS NEED INFORMED CONSENT FORMS FOR ALL HUMAN INVOLVED EXPERIMENTS?

Yes, all projects which involve humans – whether it is in survey form or non-anonymous observation – need to turn in a sample of their informed consent form in their registration. There is an option to upload the form they developed into their registration. If they are unable to do so, they can email, fax or mail it. The form does not need to be signed when turned in for registration. However, during the Fair it is crucial that students bring the signed consent forms just in case the judges ask for an example.

 

8.   WHAT IS A QUALIFIED SCIENTIST?

A Qualified Scientist is an individual with a doctoral/professional degree related to student research or Master’s degree with SRC approval.

 

9.   I WANT TO COMPETE, BUT I MISSED THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE - WHAT DO I DO?

The deadline to submit registration in the Competition Division for the 2018 Sacramento Regional STEM Fair is in February 2018. There will be no exceptions. If you miss the competition deadline, you will be automatically entered into the Showcase Division.

 

10.  DEADLINES

If you or your students are struggling with the deadlines, PLEASE do not be discouraged. Send us a note (sacstemfair@sacstemfair.org) and we would be happy to discuss it with you!

 

EVENT DAY FAQS

 

1.   DO PARENTS/TEACHERS NEED TO REMAIN ON-SITE?

We highly recommend it! We have created the day of the Fair with EVERYONE in mind! There is always something to do throughout the day whether it be attending a workshop or viewing the student projects during public hour. Please plan to make a day of the STEM Fair!

 

2.   WHAT HAPPENS DURING JUDGING?

Only students and judges are present in the exhibit hall for judging on Saturday at 9AM. Students should be prepared to explain their projects and/or answer questions about it in 2 minutes or less. It can be helpful to outline a possible presentation in advance, but don't rely on it - we do not suggest reading a set speech. The presentation should run about 2 minutes. Graphs, pictures and models  can be helpful in explaining the more complicated aspects of a project. Answer the questions to the best of your knowledge and remember to relax!

 

3.   HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD A STUDENT SPEND AT THE FAIR? WHEN MUST HE/SHE BE THERE?

There are only one time a student MUST be present: Saturday -- for judging (from 8AM to about 2PM) and to take the board down at 6PM. The Awards Ceremony, which will take place at 5:30PM, is not mandatory, but is recommended for all participants, teachers and their families.

 

4.   CAN PROJECTS BE TAKEN DOWN BEFORE SATURDAY?

No, by signing the application for entrance to the Fair, you agree to have your project up for public display until Saturday at 6PM. IF you cannot take your project down between 4:30PM-6:30PM on that Saturday, please have a classmate, teacher or other responsible party take charge of it.

 

5.   WHAT SHOULD STUDENT PARTICIPANTS WEAR?

On Friday for registration and set up you can wear casual attire. For Saturday's judging interviews and awards ceremony, business attire is recommended.

 

6.   IS FOOD PROVIDED TO THE STUDENTS?

Yes. The Foundation will always provide lunch. Breakfast and snacks may also be provided to participants dependent upon Sponsorships.

 

7.   ARE SOUVENIRS AVAILABLE?

Yes, commemorative pins and reusable bags will be provided to all participants!

 

JUDGE FAQS

 

1.   WHAT ITEMS CANNOT BE AT A STUDENTS DISPLAY? WHAT ARE THE RESTRICTIONS?

See Items Not Allowed At Your Display list.

 

2.   DESCRIBE JUDGING.

Judges will have time to look over the project boards and preview the displays prior to the commencement of judging. Only students and judges are present in the exhibit hall for judging on Saturday beginning at 9AM. Students should be prepared to summarize their projects and/or answer questions about it in 2-3 minutes or less. After 2-3 minutes, judges can begin to ask questions about the project. Remember, you are judging the project, not the student – do not ask personal questions like age, grade, or school. Please feel free to give as much positive feedback as time will allow.

 

3.   WHEN MUST A JUDGE BE PRESENT AT THE FAIR?

There are only two times when a judge MUST be there:

1) Friday --- for mandatory orientation, begins at 6:00PM

2) Saturday -- for judging from about 8AM to about 2PM.

Judges are invited to attend the Awards Ceremony which will take place at 5:30PM - this is not mandatory, but is recommended for all participants, teachers and their families.

 

4.   WHAT SHOULD I BRING?

We ask that judges wear a watch or bring a stopwatch (the one on your smartphone will do!) to ensure that when you are interviewing students you stay within your given time limit of 6-8 minutes per project interview. We want to provide the full interview time to all students!

 

5.   WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

On Friday for orientation and project preview you can wear casual attire. For Saturday's judging interviews and awards ceremony, you will be required to wear the Fair’s “Judge” t-shirt provided to you on Friday at orientation (or Saturday morning) or a shirt with your company logo. NOTE: If you are required to wear a uniform or official company shirt during public events, please do so.

 

6.   IS FOOD PROVIDED?

Yes, lunch is provided for all volunteers and student participants.

 

7.   ARE SOUVENIRS AVAILABLE?

Yes, commemorative pins and reusable bags will be provided to all participants, and are available for purchase by others at the Donations Table.

 

EXHIBITOR FAQS

 

1.   WHAT SIZE IS MY EXHIBIT SPACE?

Each exhibit space reserved includes a 10' x 10' space. All exhibitors are to provide their own tables, chairs and canopies unless requested during registration. We can provide you a table cloth if you request one, however, you are not automatically assigned one. If you would like to request additional space, please contact staff and let us know what kind of activity or space you would need. You can contact us at 916-441-3150 or sacstemfair@sacstemfair.org.

 

2.   WHERE WILL THE EXPO BE HELD?

The Expo will be held in conjunction with the STEM Fair. The Expo is typically held outside, granted the weather is favorable. Canopies will be available to rent for an additional fee.

 

3.   WHEN DO I SET UP?

Set up for Exhibitors can begin as early as 10AM; however, the College & Career Expo typically does not start until 12PM or 1PM. Check-in will be clearly marked on the venue map as the event approaches. Please arrive at check-in prior to heading to your specified space.

 

4.   WHAT KIND OF ACTIVITIES DO YOU RECOMMEND I BRING?

We recommend any hands-on activity that you can dream up! Obviously, we request that all activities be safe and eco-friendly.  We encourage your activity to be related to STEM; however, if you have a different focus, please use that!

 

5.   WHO CAN EXHIBIT?

We welcome ALL companies, organizations, groups, colleges, universities and more as exhibitors!

 

 

Contacts

455 Capitol Mall, Suite 500 Sacramento, CA 95814

P: (916) 441.3150

F: (916) 442.4182

sacSTEMfair@sacSTEMfair.org

Our Mission

The mission of the NorCal STEM Education Foundation is to inspire and engage students to become interested in pursuing scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) degrees and careers.

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