Judges and Volunteers

Support innovation and problem-solving among Minnesota youth by volunteering at the State Science and Engineering Fair.

Our participants and their research projects will inspire you!


A total of 420 volunteers:

  • 300 volunteer judges with credentials in STEM fields who can offer student projects and papers insights based on experienced perspectives grounded in their industry and 50 who can judge high school papers;
  • 120 general volunteers passionate about STEM education and creative problem-solving who can offer skills ranging from organization, data entry, registration, photography, chaperoning, time-keeping and other administrative and general tasks.




 When you click the Register Now button you will be taken to the MN Academy of Science Portal Login page.  

Follow the directions on the page to LOGIN to your account or CREATE an account if this is your first time on the page. 
Once you login, you will be taken to your User Profile page.
Look on the lower right for the Event Registration section and click the Click Here to Register link.
Choose Science Fair/JSHS on the next page and continue with registration


When are volunteers needed?

We need volunteers for:

-North Central Regional Junior Science & Humanities Symposium on March 23rd, 2019 at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul

-Minnesota State Science & Engineering Fair on March 30-31, 2019 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center

Judging shift times will be listed as options during your registrtion process for both events. 
General volunteers are needed in shifts ranging from three to eight hours throughout the duration of events.

Who can volunteer as a judge?

Judges typically represent university faculty and researchers, industrial engineers and scientists, representatives of private and federal research centers, and medical practitioners or researchers. 

To judge high school projects, judges must have a minimum of 6+ years of experience or a doctoral degree (this includes graduate students in their final year of their program). To judge middle school projects, judges must have 2+ years of experience or a Bachelor's degree (this includes upper division undergraduate students). 

Parents, relatives, teachers of students competing, and K-12 students are not allowed to be volunteers in certain areas based on conflicts of interest.

What are the roles and responsibilities of General Volunteer?

Areas in which volunteer duties will be performed are as follows (but not limited to):

Help Desk — Answer questions, give directions, process financial transactions, and reprint name badges. Close attention to detail required.

Registration/Check-In — Hand out name badges and registration bags and answer questions.

Display & Safety — Oversee the inspection of each project to ensure compliance with all Intel ISEF Display and Safety regulations.

Room Moderator — Introduce student presenters, keep time for student presenters, stop the presentation when time runs out, and announce that time is up for judge questions. Must be comfortable speaking in front of a small audience and calling time. 

Hall Monitor — Monitor outside of presentation rooms to ensure that people are quiet in the halls during paper presentations. Must feel comfortable telling people to keep quiet during the presentations.

Judge Form Management and Organization (restricted to volunteers who do not know students competing) — Separate judge scoresheets from comment sheets, alphabetize papers, give directions to judges, and walk judge forms back to the office for data entry.

Data Entry (restricted to volunteers who do not know students competing) — Enter student scores to the database. Must have close attention to detail, intermediate to advanced Excel skills, and be able to enter numerical data quickly and accurately.

Student Packet Handout — Hand out alphabetized student packets and manage lines of students.

Door Monitors & Project Hall Monitors— Monitor entrance into restricted areas. Porject hall monitors will be needed to walk the project hall during judging and address any issues raised by participants

Nightly Activity Moderator — Check badges for students and adults to ensure they are registered for events and activities. Must feel comfortable telling people they are not able to participate without their badge.


How do the competitions work?

When you arrive, we will provide you with orientation and instructions. Your volunteer shift is part of a culminating event in a three-day weekend. If iyou are nterested in participating beyond your scheduled shift, please talk to Sara Gomez, saragomez@mnmas.org or Jenny Worden, volunteers@mnmas.org. We would love to explore how MAS can support your extended involvement. Such involvement might include observing award ceremonies, additional activities, and participation in meal plans.

How will I get placed?

In the registration process, you will be asked to select your top volunteer and judging slots. Your Volunteer Coordinator will try to get you your top choice, but based on how many people volunteer you might end up working in your second or third choice area.

Content of student projects determine a lot of our variable needs. We try to utilize your experience and credentials to the best of our ability while supporting the needs of our youth.

Some volunteer shifts involve standing and walking, but none involve heavy lifting. No experience is necessary for any of the shifts unless indicated.

More questions?

If you have any additional questions, please contact Sara Gomez, Program Director.

email: saragomez@mnmas.org

phone: 612-643-0627