Attention All Students & Teachers/Mentors

Any student, grade 5 through 12, whose project involves (even if only observing or surveying) human subjects, invertebrate or non-human vertebrate animals, recombinant DNA, tissues, pathogenic agents, or controlled substances, please complete the 2018 SRC Form.
Forms must be submitted to Doron Markus no later than December 1, 2017.

Teachers and Coordinators

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Getting Ready For The Fair

As teachers and coordinators, it is up to you to make sure the students in your school or district are ready to register for the fair. You must request allocations for your students, help them register if they need and make sure they have completed the Science Review Committee form if they need. It is also important to know that you are expected to either volunteer at the fair or provide a volunteer for the fair (1 per school).

Request Allocations

Important Dates and Details

Teachers and Mentors

  • Nov. 6 – Dec.1
    Schools/Districts Request Allocations
  • Dec.1
    Allocation Request Period Closes
  • Mar. 4
    STEM Fair & Arts Expo @ San Mateo County Event Center - Fiesta Hall
  • Mar. 8
    Awards Ceremony @ Hiller Aviation Museum (6:00 – 9:00 pm)

Request Allocations

Allocation requests will open November 6. Please check back here for the request form.

Suggested Timeline

Project Preparation Aug./Sept.

Teachers should start prepping the students for their projects. Talk to them about areas of science that interest them, things they wonder about, or are interested in knowing more about. Consider doing a class experiment to teach about experimental design.

By September, students should complete project question, the claim/hypothesis and initial research related to the topic.

Start keeping a science journal to record notes throughout your project, including observations, research notes, measurements, sketches and diagrams. Your background research should be summarized in a page or more, as this will be a part of your display board. Remember to keep track of your references.

Submit student project proposals (fall submission) involving human subjects, tissues, vertebrate animals, and hazardous chemicals for pre-approval to the Science Review Committee (SRC) if applicable.

Experimental Design October

Students should propose an experimental design. Determine what materials you will need, what kind of data will be collected and how will that data be displayed. Collect materials, and build anything that needs building. You may need to do a couple of “scouting” experiments before you settle in on the best set of experiments to conduct. Meanwhile continue researching your topic for more information and record notes in your science journal.

Check rules for County Science Fair so that teachers are well informed on regulations, requirements and timelines.

Help students conduct a review of the literature using previously identified library and Internet sources.

Advise students regarding contacting professionals who can help guide their project and supply necessary background (optional for teacher).

Collecting Data November

Teachers continue to work with students to understand the components of a science fair project. Assist students in selecting a suitable topic. Students should be conducting the experiment and collecting both quantitative (numbers and measurements) and qualitative data (descriptive observations).

Discuss the nature of experimentation with students, explaining the difference between controlled and uncontrolled experiments.

Review the process of observing, measuring, and collecting data.

Provide time, space, and guidance for experimentation.

Make arrangements for regular (weekly) progress reports from students.

Special forms may have to be completed. See SRC form and Informed Consent form.

Writing The Abstract December

All students participating in the STEM Fair must submit an abstract.

Assist students in writing a project abstract. Students should analyze data, draw conclusions, make graphs, diagrams and run more experimentation if needed.

Check to ensure that all projects conform to safety rules and proper care of human subjects, animals, tissue, and hazardous chemicals (Any experiment where animals or humans might be injured or experience pain should not be allowed.)

Schools fill out the Intent to Participate form from the SMCOE website in order to receive their allocations for the County STEM Fair.

Project Display January

Complete all of the components of the display board. Be sure projects involving humans have Informed Consent form for each participant.

Conduct school and/or district Science Fairs and select projects that will advance to the San Mateo County STEM Fair.

Schools will be notified of their final allocation (number of projects they can enter in the county STEM Fair.)

Students register online for the San Mateo County STEM Fair.

Fair Time! Feb./March

Conduct school and/or district Science Fairs and select projects that will advance to the San Mateo County STEM Fair by early February.

Scientific Review Committee (SRC) forms due February 1st for projects involving humans, invertebrate and non human vertebrate animals bacteria, recombinant DNA, tissue, pathogenic agents or controlled substances.

Students that advance to the county STEM fair must register online at the SMCOE STEM Fair web page.