Now that you have the principal on board with your school’s Science & Engineering Fair, it’s time to get others on board to set essential dates and reserve rooms. The sooner, the better. Be sure to include school administrators and parents (or PTA, PTSA, PTO, etc.) when evaluating dates. They might have insights on events that are in the pipeline that you might need to consider. The table below summarizes a few ideas for essential fair events, timing, and venue.
If you would like to give students the option of advancing to your Regional Science & Engineering Fair, then be sure to also plan timing of your fair around the required regional registration and paperwork deadlines. The Society for Science & the Public (SSP) offers the largest network of advancement options, from regional, state, national and international fair options. You can find an SSP-affiliated fair near you at: https://findafair.societyforscience.org/
Don’t make the mistake of not confirming the rooms you’d like to use for events well beforehand – in writing. Having a hundred kids lined up down the hall, late for buses because you had a repeated verbal confirmation, but not written confirmation, is no fun – yep, done that. You school likely has a formal process for reserving rooms and it might take weeks for the review and confirmation process. Wait to announce room locations until you have your written confirmation in hand.
|8 weeks before the fair or earlier
|Library, cafeteria (if you have snacks), or classroom
|If you allow projects that require IRB and/or SRC review: close registration 8 weeks before the fair or earlier. Otherwise, open registration 6 through 2 weeks before the fair.
|Google Forms, Sign-up Genius or Take-home Form
|Generally day prior to or day of fair date.
|Classroom or location of fair
Science & Engineering Fair
|Gauge based on in-class load, other events and deadlines for SSP-affiliated regional fairs
|Classrooms, Cafeteria, Gymnasium or local nonprofit venue