Tuesday, March 18, 2014

2014 Onsite Registration/Check-in Process (3 Steps)

In an effort to make the check-in process smoother, the Display and Safety Committee (DSC) will be operating a little differently this year.  The following are steps necessary to complete your check-in process at the 2014 SSTFI.

Registration, SRC Booth and DSC Booth ALL located near South Doors of Hilton.

1.    Registration 
Teachers/sponsors register their school at Registration Desk 

2.    Students with SRC violations proceed to the SRC booth 
Please remember – no flash/thumb drives; 
email in advance 
OR bring hard copy

3.    Teacher/Sponsor set up DSC “check time” for their school at the DSC booth
Once all projects are set-up AND cleared of SRC violations:
a.    The teacher/sponsor should proceed to the DSC booth to set up a DSC “check time.”  We will NOT accept students.
b.    At your scheduled DSC “check time” one or more DSC members will walk around with YOU the teacher/sponsor to complete the process.  All students must stay at their projects until the teacher and DSC member have cleared his/her/their projects. 
Once all of your school’s projects are cleared, you are free to leave, etc.

An example:  School A arrives at 1:00PM and completes registration.  All twenty of School A’s projects are set-up and all SRC violations are cleared at 1:45PM.  School A’s teacher then proceeds to the DSC booth and sets-up a time to check projects at 2:00PM.  Two DSC members and the teacher visit all 20 projects for approval and School A is free to leave at 2:30PM.

A few common problems that we have every year are:
·      Items NOT allowed at projects:
o   Living organisms, including plants
o   Plant materials (living, dead or preserved) which are in their raw, unprocessed, or non-manufactured state (Exception: manufactured construction materials used in building the project or display)
o   Glass or glass objects unless deemed by the Display and Safety Committee to be an integral and necessary part of the project
o   Photographs or other visual presentations depicting vertebrate animals in surgical techniques, dissections, necropsies, or other lab procedures
·      Allowed but with restrictions;
o   Photographs of human subjects for which signed consent forms are at the project or in the booth. Human Subjects Form (4) or equivalent photograph release signed by the human subject MUST be included in paperwork.
·      Items required to be visible at the project:
o   Abstract (displayed vertically -- does not have to be attached to the backdrop but must be visible in the display area!)
o   Photograph/image credits

For a complete list of Display and Safety rules:


McKenzie & Alexa
Display and Safety Committee Chairs

For more information regarding the SSTFI please visit our website at www.sciencefairofiowa.org

SSTFI Information for 2014 Event

The following message contains some miscellaneous information for teachers, parents and students.
{Onsite Registration Instructions will be sent in a separate email.}

1.     The SRC committee completed their reviews last week.  Just a reminder, you can check your projects at: http://www.sciencefairofiowa.org/teachers/get-project-report

Options for clearing violations:
  1. Email the updates/missing forms to me – they will be filed in a Dropbox Folder for the SRC to retrieve. This allows the SRC to have an electronic copy they can pull up to review with you on Thursday, March 27th during registration.  
  2. Bring a copy to registration – HARD COPY ONLY; because of computer viruses and spy ware concerns we will not accept it on a flash/thumb drive.  Please understand our concern in keeping our computers clean.
Please do not expect these violations to be cleared between now and the event.  The SRC reviewers have spent a great deal of time on reviews and have other job commitments to attend to during this time.
2.     T-shirt Sales
T-shirts will be available for sale ($15.00 each).  We decided to go with a black t-shirt.  There are limited quantities available.  

3. Floor Maps
These should also become interactive in our new Event Program App – but feel free to download from the website.

4.     Going GREEN!  Reduced Event Program printing
In an effort to reduce our printing costs we have decided to limit the number of SSTFI Event Programs.    

We will be offering the program in an interactive app format.  This app will be available across multiple platforms and devices (smart phones and tablets).  This version is not available yet (still loading in all of our data).  We are excited to be able to offer this service to you.  Best part – it is a free service!

For parents, guests or students that would still like a hard copy there will be a limited supply available for sale. ($5.00 each)  Teachers who would rather have a hard copy may ask for one copy free of charge.

5.   STEM Night Event
Want to once again encourage you to attend.  We have tried very hard to make this a fun and  educational event.  This is being funded through the Ames Community Grant Program and we would like to have a good showing and a fun evening.  Even if your students are not presenting a seminar the evening is based on seminar presenters having peer interaction along with providing a type of learning environment that we have not offered in the past.   

We will have 100 meal tickets available to students who are not presenting seminars (all seminar presenters and their teacher have already been provided tickets in their onsite registration materials).  Once the 100 tickets are gone – they are gone.  There will be additional meal tickets for sale at Ames High School ($10.00 each) - again this number is limited.

6.     Lunch on Friday.  
We realize 45 minutes is not a lot of time to take students to eat.  
Hy-Vee will have their concession stand open in Hilton on Friday.  
Outside food and drink cannot be brought into the event facilities!  Students are allowed a water bottle and IF there is a medical concern where they need to have certain snack items with them (example but not limited to – diabetic concerns), that is also allowed.
You are allowed to eat outside.  Granted, this is if March decides to warm up.

7. Friday afternoon 4:00 – 6:15 PM
With the change in the award ceremony time (7:00 PM) there will be time to go out for supper with your students.  This additional time can also be used for project viewing (all projects will be open to the public during this time).

This may seem like down time but this time is very critical for those of us working on award data management.  We would rather provide a 1 hour, efficient and accurate award ceremony that has been triple checked for errors to you, your students and our financial sponsors than provide a much longer, inefficient and potential for error filled ceremony.  

With only one day of judging and 375+ Junior High projects to go through in one day the Junior High judges will be pressed to have results done by 4:00 pm.  They will finish floor judging by 4:00 PM and probably debate until 4:30 pm.  We are building in the time we need to accomplish our tasks and provide a well run event. 

8. Award Ceremony (7:00 PM)
Special Awards will be handed out on the floor.  
We will run a Special Award Video prior to the Grand Award Ceremony.

We will start promptly at 7:00 PM – we do not keep the ROTC color guard waiting.

Students must be available to pick up their awards – awards will not be mailed.  Because we need signatures for all monetary awards the student receiving the award needs to be the one to pick up and sign for the award.

Immediately following the Award Ceremony the ISEF Finalists, their sponsoring teachers and student observer nominees MUST meet with me in the Media Room to be briefed on the trip and steps that need to be taken.  This will not take long but it is necessary.  Parents and guests are also welcome to attend.

9.  Social Security Numbers
IF a student will be receiving awards totaling $100 or more we will have to have their social security number before they will be able to receive the award(s).  Scholarship monies are handled separately.

We take the handling of social security numbers very seriously.  Here are the options we will provide in an effort to ensure SS# safety.
  • Students can have their SS# memorized – they will sign and provide the number on a document unique to them (no one else will sign on it).  They will be provided a file folder and privacy to fill out the information.
  • Students can have their SS# on their person; HOWEVER, teachers and parents should go over safety protocols with students regarding safe guarding their number and not letting it fall into the wrong hands.  DO NOT have students or parents carry the Social Security Card or a copy of it with them – this is NOT wise.  Also, if carrying the number DO NOT have the name and number on the same document.
  • Parents can have the SS# with them and help students sign after the ceremony back stage.
  • We understand – some parents/students may not be comfortable with any of these measures.  In this case we will send a document for the student/parent to fill out and return to us.  Once we have this signed document we will send their monetary award. (this is the only case where we will mail awards).
  • We do follow all protocols for destroying SS# information once it has been processed.
10. Call for Judges
We have a very real need for judges.  We have a record number of projects.  We have run into serious scheduling conflicts with another event the same day that is lowering our number of available judges.  We are asking that you please consider asking local people to help serve as judges.  Parents and chaperones that will be coming to Ames with you would be very welcome as judges.  They can sign up in advance here: http://www.sciencefairofiowa.org/registration/judges-registration-2014.html
Or walk-ins are also welcome
If they judge the entire day we will provide them breakfast, lunch and snack. 

We are asking that all teachers/adult sponsors consider taking 5 projects on Friday afternoon to interact with and provide constructive and educational comments to the Junior High students.  If each teacher that is signed up to bring students would take 5 project comment sheets to complete (from outside your school or area of the state) that would provide 350 reviews for students.  We are not asking you for a full day of judging – we understand you are needed elsewhere on Friday morning and at lunch.  But we could use your help after lunch for 5 projects (roughly 1 hour of time).  

Just think about having that many people hit the floor to talk to students around 1:00 PM.
This allows all students to receive comments and interaction in the afternoon; while allowing us to utilize the judges we have signed up to focus on the top group of projects and begin to put together the placings.

For more information regarding the SSTFI please visit our website at www.sciencefairofiowa.org

SSTFI STEM Night and Seminar Event!

We are excited to invite you all to attend the new SSTFI STEM Night and Seminar Event that is being sponsored by the Ames Community Grant Program!

For complete details and schedules please go here to download: http://www.sciencefairofiowa.org/seminars.html
This link includes both
  • STEM Night invitation and Schedule (including the free supper program – limited quantities available)
  • STEM Night seminar presenters and room assignments
OR rather than the link to the schedule you will find the invite and schedule below:
A new event is being introduced in conjunction with the
State Science + Technology Fair of Iowa (SSTFI), called the SSTFI STEM Night.
This event will be held at Ames High School.
This event will be run by AHS science teachers, IAS Member volunteers, SSTFI volunteers, ISU Science Education students, area teachers and retired teachers.
This event will be open to all SSTFI registered participants and the general public.
During this unique activity students will have a peer review seminar event that will involve participants, peers and the general public. Working with various Iowa STEM projects, there will be opportunity for the participants and general public to interact. This event focuses on the use of technology and multimedia presentation to showcase a student's research much as real world researchers are asked to present their work.
The event will be held on the evening of Thursday, March 27th as follows:
Open to the public
4:00 – 7:00       STEM Night - Organizational Booths and Activities on display            Ames High School                                                                  

5:00                        Seminar Participant Orientation                          
Ames High School, Auditorium
5:30 – 6:00       Seminar Room and Presentation Check          
Ames High School, Classrooms
6:00                        Seminar Supper *                                                              
Ames High School, Cafeteria
6:45                        Featured Guest Speaker                                                                              
7:15 – 8:30       Student Seminars & Reviews                                                     
Ames High School, Classrooms
8:30 – 9:00       Judging Orientation for Friday 
(same as presented at Hilton in afternoon – offered for those unable to attend the afternoon session)                                                         
Ames High School, Auditorium 
The Ames Community is invited to participate at the evening's events.
A number of local clubs and organizations have also been invited to participate and showcase their science and technology related expertise.   Organizations planning on attending at time of printing:
Water Rocks/Conservation Station
Ames Astronomers
ISU Chemistry Department
Pella Wildlife
Material Advantage

* Seminar Supper (ticket information):
We are pleased to announce that through the Ames Community Grant program we will be able to offer a sponsored (free) meal to all the seminar participants and their sponsor/teacher.   Tickets will be given out.

There will be an additional 100 sponsored meal tickets that will be available to registered/participating SSTFI students only.  These tickets will be available to pick up at the Registration Desk in Hilton on Thursday during registration.  
First come/first served basis.

In addition, an extra 50 meals will be available for purchase by guests, family members and sponsors/teachers.  The tickets for purchase will be available at Ames High School for $10.00/ticket.  Cash/Check only

We are catering from Valentino’s.  It will be a pizza & pasta/salad bar buffet that offers vegetarian choices.
Supported by the Ames Community Grant Program

For more information regarding the SSTFI please visit our website at www.sciencefairofiowa.org

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Registration is LIVE!


WAIT! Read below for some important info before you head that way!

TEACHERS:  IF you were registered last year and had students participating last year you DO NOT need to go to teacher registration – you have been auto updated into the system.  UNLESS:  your EMAIL ADDRESS has changed, or you moved to a different school (even if w/in the same school district).

NO ELECTICAL FEES in 2014!  Ignore any and ALL reference to electricity fees/charges.  There are no fees this year.  DO NOT SEND ANY MONEY WITH YOUR PAPERWORK!  Please don’t abuse this system – only sign up for electricity if the project truly needs it. 

FFA STUDENTS:  Before registering an FFA Member for the Iowa FFA Agriscience Fair please have the proper Chapter ID Number and the students’ personal 9 digit ID number.

SCREEN SHOT STEP BY STEP GUIDE: Want to see the online questions before going into registration (please DO NOT register test projects – keep our database clean please).  See the screen shot step by step flyer here: http://www.sciencefairofiowa.org/assets/files/SSTFI2012/12_OnlineProjRegInst.pdf (again ignore the electrical fee info and the seminar info)

SEMINARS:  There is NO online registration for seminars – please be sure to read the submission guidelines for seminar papers here: http://www.sciencefairofiowa.org/seminars.html

PROJECT ID:  Please make sure the PROJECT ID Number is on the paperwork  submitted (PROJECT ID not student id).  Write this number down – the project ID is how we match all paperwork up to the online data!

DEADLINE remains the same – one week from today: Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 system goes off-line at 11:59 pm.  This is for online registration, SRC paperwork submission (including SSTFI Permission Form) and seminar submission.

If you run into any problems with registering please send me an email.

For more information regarding the SSTFI please visit our website at www.sciencefairofiowa.org

Friday, February 21, 2014

Registration for the 2014 SSTFI

Registering for the SSTFI:

The online system is being worked on.  It is hoped that there will be a working version by 2/25.   

Here is my advice on how to ensure your entries are considered complete and on time. 
---Make sure your SRC paperwork is COMPLETE! 

IF you have not already done so send home the SSTFI Permission Form and get the required parent and student signatures!  This form is always available on our Forms Page or here (you do not have to wait for online registration to access it):http://www.sciencefairofiowa.org/assets/files/SSTFI2010/SignatureForm.pdf

As you complete the SRC paperwork for submission here a couple of items to remember:

1.      Please be sure you update the mailing address to be:
Andrea Spencer, Fair Director
3630 Extension and 4-H Youth Building, ISU
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011-3630
Note: you do not have to mail hard copy –
·       you can email items as a pdf document to aspence@iastate.edu ;
·       you can fax: 515-294-4443 (out of respect for the other people and programs in the office please do not use this method if submitting large quantities of pages)
·       or you can hand deliver to the office on campus (ATTN: Andrea Spencer and/or Vicki Speake)

1a.  IF YOU ARE MAILING using regular post services (not overnighting) and are worried you won’t make the deadline if you wait until later next week to postmark then go ahead and send them anytime.  Yes, I realize you won’t have the Project ID on the forms.  I will have to individually look your projects up to prepare them for the SRC.

If you will be submitting electronically or via over night post or fax – please wait a little longer and try to have the Project ID #’s on your forms – this tremendously speeds the process of prepping for SRC review. 

2.      The deadline for paperwork and online registration is Tuesday, March 4th – this is a RECEIVED deadline.  Yes, this is still the deadline at this point.  

3.      On any forms that ask for prior SRC approval (and signatures that project is pre-reviewed/approved) – this means your or your school’s own local SRC.  The SSTFI’s SRC reviews all papers to ensure they have met the rules and guidelines including using a local SRC to review papers needing prior approval and are qualified to compete at the state level.

4.      DO NOT SEND IN THE ORIGINAL SIGNED PAPERS!  Send copies!  Keep a copy for yourself as adult sponsor and have the student keep the original (or vice versa – whatever makes you comfortable).  The students should have a complete set of SRC paperwork in their project notebook at their display during the fair.

5.    PLEASE be sure when submitting changes, updates or any type of paperwork that the PROJECT ID# that is given at time of online registration is clearly visible - either in the subject line of the email, in the title of the saved document or clearly visible (written or typed) on the submitted paper.  IF I cannot find the # - your submission will be sent back to you (other than situation in #1a above).

6.  DO NOT SEND us ELECTRICITY FEES We no longer handle collecting fees of any sort to abide with ISU policy and guidelines!  Electricity will be billed AFTER the fair.

7.  Submission of SEMINARS – go here for details: http://www.sciencefairofiowa.org/seminars.html

To review the paperwork submission process there is a two part post from2011 on the SSTFI Blog: http://www.sstfi.blogspot.com/2011/02/submission-of-forms.html (NOTE: ignore the reference to any electric or late fees – we no longer handle financial transactions)

There is also a pdf checklist for form submission on the website: http://www.sciencefairofiowa.org/registration.html (scroll to the very bottom of the page)

If you have any questions regarding submission of forms please let me know.

Want the latest updates and event news:

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

For more information regarding the SSTFI please visit our website at www.sciencefairofiowa.org

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Seminar and Registration Update

Following email sent out today to the adult sponsor list:

Hello Adult Sponsors,

Seminar Guidelines:
Just a note to let you know that the new Seminar Guidelines went live on the website yesterday.  There are many changes from previous years – so please read everything carefully before proceeding.  To view: http://www.sciencefairofiowa.org/seminars.html

You will need to CLICK on the photo image to download the pdf document.

Yes, I know the website said registration will open in mid-January.  Rest assured we will have registration open but it will not be until sometime in February.  

Considering 80% of the online entries come in the week before (with a large majority of that 80% being the Monday before) the deadline there is no reason to stress at this point.  We will have it up and running at least 2 weeks before the deadline.  I am sorry I don’t have better news.  We apologize it wasn’t open in January.  Please be assured we are doing everything we can to open it soon.

And yes, I realize the Advisory Board has changed the rules for 2014 with NO LATE entries accepted.  Yes, registration will shut down at 12:00 am on Wed, March 5th.  At this point my suggestion would be (and you can ignore it if you want):
As soon as possible after registration opens we will post the status on our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/sciencefairofiowa and send an email to all teachers on this current list. 

Remember – ensuring a complete set of SRC forms per project is properly submitted on time is AS IMPORTANT as having the online registration completed.  A COMPLETE ENTRY is a combination of online entry AND SRC paperwork (forms) submission by 11:59 pm, Tuesday, March 4. If you have your paperwork ready to go the online registration will be a breeze!

If you need anything please let me know!

For more information regarding the SSTFI please visit our website at www.sciencefairofiowa.org

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

SSTFI Fall Update

Click on image to go to the Newsletter!
Be sure to check out the SSTFI Fall Update Newsletter for updates, policy changes and other information regarding the upcoming 2014 SSTFI!

Click on the image above to go directly to the Newsletter!

For more information regarding the SSTFI please visit our website at www.sciencefairofiowa.org