Parent & Student Information
A NOTE TO PARENTS
Parents – we want you to volunteer! We have many areas that require extra hands for the competitions to run smoothly. Although we don’t allow parents to volunteer in areas with potential conflicts of interest, we need your help in other areas that don’t have an impact on judging outcomes.
We know parents can’t always be there for the full weekend, we broke down the registration fee into individual events so you can attend just the parts that you are able and want to attend. For details on the this, please view the Registration Fees page.
WHAT TO BRING
All of your completed Scientific Review Committee (SRC) forms
A USB drive with your paper presentation.
Your project board.
Dress clothes (see below)
Casual clothes and comfy shoes for activities
Swim suit for the pool
Toothbrush and pajamas!
Camera to take pictures or a smartphone to post them on the Twitter feed
Extra money for meals that aren’t covered as part of registration. Meals covered as part of registration: Saturday breakfast, Saturday supper, Sunday breakfast.
The 2019 Minnesota State Science & Engineering Fair will be held at Earle Brown Heritage Center at 6155 Earle Brown Dr, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430 Information about this venue can be found HERE.
A tentative schedule will be posted HERE on the MAS website. At event you should refer to the schedule printed in your program booklet.
Embassy Suites is connected to the Earle Brown Heritage Center If you book a room at DoubleTree please note that you will be across the highway from the Earle Brown Heritage Center. We will provide limited shuttle service the morning of judging. These shuttle schedules will be posted in the program booklet. Please have a plan for transportation to and from the DoubleTree for events outside of judging.
You can find your regions state registration deadline HERE. If you are not registered by your region’s state registration deadline you may not be allowed to register late. Please make sure that if your region or school is paying for your registration that you ensure that this fee has been paid BEFORE check-in. If your fee has not paid by April, 1st you will be flagged to deal with this at check-in and will need to pay to participate.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PROJECT PASSES SAFETY CHECKS?
The Display and Safety Inspectors will approve your board. Once your board is approved, you are able to go outside the exhibit area and pick up your medal and t-shirt.
The Display and Safety Inspectors will do one last check after students have left the room. If there are any outstanding violations, students will need to go back to the exhibit hall and fix the violations. Students whose boards have a problem will be announced at the end of the Welcome Ceremony and will have time to fix their violation.
HOW DOES THE JUDGING PROCESS WORK?
PAPERS – Students and judges are assigned to rooms based on the category of their presentation. Students give a 12-minute powerpoint presentation which is followed by 6 minutes of questions from the judges. Judges fill out comment and scoresheets for each student (or team, if students do a team project).
PROJECTS – Students set up their project display boards in the exhibit hall the day before project judging. On judging day, judges will come by to talk with students for 15 minutes about their project. Think of it as more of a conversation – not a presentation. Students will be talking one-on-one with experts in the fields they have done research projects in. Judges fill out comment and scoresheets for each project and the comment sheets are given to the students on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
WHO ARE THE JUDGES?
All of the judges are volunteers from the local scientific community. Many of the judges work at local science and engineering companies (e.g. Seagate, 3M, Medtronic, etc…) or do research at local colleges and universities. Some of them are PhD candidates and others are retired, so students will see a wide range of judges.
6+ years of experience in their field of research or M.D., D.O., D.V.M., Pharm.D., Ph.D., or Ed.D. This includes graduate students in the final year of their PhD program.
Bachelors, Masters or 2+ years of experience in their field to judge middle school projects or papers.
WHAT SORTS OF QUESTIONS DO THE JUDGES ASK?
Each judge will approach a project with a certain background and knowledge about the topic that the student studied, so questions will be based on what the judge is interested in about your project. The questions listed below are examples of what students might be asked.
Where did you get the idea for your research?
Do your results indicate further study is needed?
How is your project different from past studies?
What are possible sources of error or bias in your study?
What are the limitations of your project?
How did you control the variables?
What instruments did you use to take your measurements?
What did you base your conclusions on?
How much time did you spend on your study?
Who helped with your project?
What would you do differently if you did your project again?
WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM NOMINATED TO BE AN ISEF FINALIST?
You will need to reference the program for the day of the awards ceremony and locate where the "Team MN ISEF meeting" will be and head there right after the awards ceremony is over.