Indiana University Northwest
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Calumet Regional Science Fair and Associated Art Exhibit

Science FAQ's

Science FAQ's

How do I get to the Science Fair?

IUN Campus map

Are there any resources out there to help me?

YES, see the science ideas, the other science links, the workshops pages from this Web site or e-mail us! We would love to help!

There are so many forms out there! How do I know which ones I need?

All projects need the first three forms, The Checklist for the Adult Sponsor/Safety Assessment Form, Research Plan (1A), & Approval Form (1B), as well as the Calumet Regional Science Fair Entry form. The Checklist will help you decide if any other forms are needed. If there is any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail us. We will be happy to help you sort through the paperwork.

Isn't this an awful lot of work for just a kid's Science Fair project?

Yes, but we want children to learn good scientific research techniques. We certainly don't want any students hurt as a result of a project and we do not want other living things subject to brutalization in the name of science.

We also need to be aware of allergies other participants & visitors to the Calumet Regional Science Fair may have. Some people are allergic to animal fur, pollen, mold, chemicals, etc. These people have the right to expect to compete in/visit the Science Fair without aggravating their allergies.

The Rules seem to have taken a lot of the fun out of the old Science Fair I knew. Why are they all necessary?

See the previous question for majority of the answers

My school/district does not want to compete in the Science Fair. Is there anything I, as a teacher/parent/friend/etc. can do so a student can participate in the Calumet Regional Science Fair?

Yes, although the Calumet Regional Science Fair is primarily set up to use a previous local school Science Fair before entry to the Regional, it is possible, if your school or district does not have a local fair, for a student to be allowed to participate in the Regional. However, all of the rules have to be met. We will help interested young scientists in getting an IRB &/or SRC set up if necessary. But we will need to be contacted well in advance if we are to help.

Will there be food available at the Calumet Regional Science Fair for the Students?

No, the student may bring in food, or the parents may bring food in for the student

Are the students allowed to bring chairs to the Science Fair to sit on during judging and while the Fair is open to the public?

Yes, students may bring chairs as long as they have plastic or rubber feet that will not scratch the gymnasium floor. Students will need to remember that when the judges come to talk with them about their project, the student will be expected to stand up to explain the project. Another quick reminder: the students need to be at their projects in the afternoon for the 2nd round of judging.

How long do the science students need to be at the Fair?

Set up will be Friday evening from 2-6. Students will need to bring their projects in during that time so that they can pass the safety inspection. If this is impossible, then someone will need to call or e-mail us so that other arrangements can be made.

The judging will start at 9:00 on Saturday. The students will be competing for ribbons, prizes, scholarships, and trips. There are prizes for all categories. The Board has gone to great lengths to be sure there are prizes for the 5th and 6th graders as well as the Junior and Senior division students.

The judging will continue into Saturday afternoon. Students who are eligible for the top prizes in each category who are not at their projects when the judges come by will be disqualified. This competition is judging the students knowledge, not the project backboard. The backboard is just an aid to help the student present their work. The Fair will also be open to the public during Saturday afternoon. The Students will need to be present all day on Saturday, except for a lunch break. Projects are to removed at 5:00 on Saturday.

What type of security will be in effect?

The Indiana University Northwest Police force will be patrolling the parking lot as usual. The gymnasium will be locked Friday night after check-in, but students are encouraged to take any expensive pieces of equipment home Friday night and bring it back on Saturday. The entire Science Fair will be housed Saturday under one roof.

The gymnasium building has washroom facilities. The cafeteria is connected to the Activities building by an enclosed corridor. Volunteers will be stationed in the gymnasium all day on Saturday to answer questions. Students are encouraged to either not bring small expensive items such as I-pods with them or to keep them with them at all times.

Will food or drinks be allowed in the gymnasium?

No, food will not be allowed in the gymnasium. There is plenty of lounge space available for eating outside of the gymnasium. The only drinks that will be allowed in the gymnasium are drinking water.

What type of prizes will the different aged children be competing for?

In the Science Competition, there are gold, silver, and bronze pins available in each category at each division level. There are also 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, place prizes in each division. For a list of what prizes our sponsors give visit the awards page.

Many of the above prizes, like the Young Scientists Discovery Challenge Awards are only available to students in the younger divisions. Many of the other groups, like the Army and Navy award prizes across all the grades in the Fair. Some of the top trips and scholarships are only available to the Junior and Senior Division students.

When do the projects have to be at the fair?

The Science Fair Projects need to be at the Savannah Center Gymnasium between 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM on Friday.

When do I take my project home?

All projects, both science and art are to be taken home after the first awards ceremony on Saturday.

When and where is the Award Ceremony?

The first Award Ceremony for both the Art and Science portions of the fair will be in the Savannah Center Gymnasium at about 3:00 PM on Saturday.

The second Award Ceremony for both the Art and Science portions of the fair will be at 2:00 PM in the IUN Gymnasium. A list of students winning awards to be presented at the second Award Ceremony will be posted after the first Award Ceremony right outside the Savannah Center Gymnasium.

What is an IRB & SRC?

IRB stands for Institutional Review Board. It is a panel made up of 3 volunteers with specific qualifications in biomedical science, teaching, and animal care. The committee reviews the student's research plans and procedures to insure that any animals being used are treated humanely, any surveys student's are doing are not invading subjects rights, any experiments humans are to be subjected to are not harmful, etc.

SRC stands for Scientific Review Committee. It also is a panel made up of 3 volunteers with specific qualifications in biomedical science, teaching, and animal care. The purpose of the committee is again to determine if the risks involved in the proposed research plan are at an acceptably low level.

If the committee is properly constituted, an IRB and a SRC can be one in the same. The purpose of all of this red tape is to be sure that the student and the student's subjects are not going to be harmed.

What is an Abstract?

An abstract is a brief summary of what was used to do the experiment, what the experiment was about, and what the important results were. Brief means one or two paragraphs, no more than 250 words total. It is supposed to be a teaser, something someone would read to get a general idea of what the experiment was about. The objective is to give the reader enough of an outline of the project to determine if they want to read the rest or not.

What is protocol?

The protocol of an experiment is the sum total of all of the experiment plan, approvals, consent forms, etc. In other words, all of the forms that we ask you to fill out.

May I stay with my child the whole time?

No. The students are alone with the judges during the morning judging from roughly 9:00 to 11:00. There are enough adults in the room so the contestants are well supervised. The judges are there to see what the students know and understand, not what the parents know. There are plenty of seats in the Lounge area if parents wish to stay at IUN while the student is being judged. The parents are more than welcome to view the Fair and be with their students during the afternoon. Judging does continue in the afternoon and we trust that parents will respectfully withdraw while the judges are speaking with the students.

How much does it cost to enter?

The entry fee is $15/student.