For parent FAQ’s, please see below.

Frequently Asked Questions: Teachers and Schools

Q: Who can participate in the DC STEM Fair?

Only District of Columbia students in grades 6-12 can participate in the Secondary DC STEM Fair. Students from DC public, public charter, private schools and home-schooled students are eligible.

Q: How many projects can I register?

Each school can register up to 5 student projects for the Secondary DC STEM Fair.

Q: When is the registration deadline?

The registration deadline is March 1, 2018. Teachers who registered projects will received a list of students who have been confirmed for the Fair within 3 business days of registration. Contact stemfair@dcstemnetwork.org if students are not confirmed.

Q: Can team projects be registered?

Yes. Project teams should have no more than 3 students each. Schools can register up to 5 student projects for the Secondary DC STEM Fair. These may be individual or team projects.

Q: When and where should teachers drop off student projects?

Teachers are encouraged to drop off all of the projects from their school on March 16, 2018 the evening before the Fair. Drop off is at the Fair venue located at Ron Brown High School, 4800 Meade St NE, Washington, DC 20019 from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

Q: What are the project judging categories for the STEM Fair?

At registration, the responsible teacher should select the most appropriate judging category for each project.  The categories are:

• Animal Sciences (ANIM)

• Behavioral and Social Sciences (BEHA)

• Biochemistry (BCHM)

• Biomedical and Health Sciences (BMED)

• Biomedical Engineering (ENBM)

• Cellular and Molecular Biology (CELL)

• Chemistry (CHEM)

• Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBIO)

• Earth and Environmental Sciences (EAEV)

• Embedded Systems (EBED)

• Energy: Chemical (EGCH)

• Energy: Physical (EGPH)

• Engineering Mechanics (ENMC)

• Environmental Engineering (ENEV)

• Materials Science (MATS)

• Mathematics (MATH)

• Microbiology (MCRO)

• Physics and Astronomy (PHYS)

• Plant Sciences (PLNT)

• Robotics and Intelligent Machines (ROBO)

• Systems Software (SOFT)

• Translational Medical Science (TMED)

Q: Do teachers need to attend the Fair?

Teachers can attend the Fair however attendance is not mandatory. Teachers are encouraged to attend the welcome, professional development session (sponsored by Tiger Woods Foundation),  STEM Community Workshops, and public viewing. Only students, judges, and staff are allowed in the judging area.

Q: What happens during judging?

Students will stand by their projects throughout judging and public viewing between 9:00am-1:30pm. During that time, the students will be visited and interviewed by at least 3 judges. No teachers, family members or members of the general public are permitted in the judging area. During public viewing, students will be excused for lunch by division, and then return to their project table to talk about their project with the public.

Students who are eligible for Grand Awards will be informed and escorted to the Grand Awards interview room. Students will meet with a panel of judges for an interview to compete for the Grand Awards in the Junior or Senior Division. Grand Award judging will occur between 11:30 am-2:00 pm.

Q: How are the students judged?

Student projects are evaluated in person by at least 3 judges. Students must be at their poster and available for interview until the end of the judging period. Projects are judged according to this Scoring Rubric. Projects receive a score out of 100 total points from each judge. The average of the scores from the three judges is used to determine first, second and third place within each STEM category. Grand award first, second and third place are awarded to the top three projects across each division, as determined by the Grand Award Judges.

The Awards Ceremony will include the top three placements in each category and the overall Grand Awards in each division (Junior and Senior). The Secondary Fair Awards Ceremony will also include Special Awards from community partners.





Frequently Asked Questions: Parents

Q: Who can participate in the DC STEM Fair?

Only District of Columbia students in grades 6-12 can participate in the Secondary DC STEM Fair. Students from DC public, public charter, private schools and home-schooled students are eligible.

Q: How are students selected for the DC STEM Fair?

Typically, schools will select projects for the citywide Fair based on the results of their school-based fair (or other process to determine the projects of highest quality). Likewise, projects from home-schooled students should undergo a quality assessment process before registration.

Q: Who can register the students?

Student projects are to be registered by the responsible teacher.

Q: Can a parent or guardian drop off their child’s project?

We encourage teachers to drop off all projects from their school at the Fair venue on the evening before the Fair, 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm. However, parents may drop off their child’s project, during the same time, if necessary. If absolutely essential, students may bring their projects with them on the day of the Fair. In this case, every effort should be made to arrive by 8 am so that the project can be appropriately placed before the judging period begins.

Q: Will there be food and beverages available for the students?

Yes, students in the completion will be provided with a lunch and water.

Q: Will there be food and beverages available for parents and families?

Snack and lunch is provided only for student participants in the Fair. We recommend that you bring water and a snack from home.

Q: Will there be something for parents/guests to do while the student projects are being judged?

Yes. During the student project judging, there will be three different, 50 min interactive sessions, parents, family members, and children.

Q: What time is the DC STEM Fair Awards Ceremony?

The awards ceremony will take place at the University of the District of Columbia, Student Center, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.

Q: What time does the STEM Fair end?

The Secondary DC STEM Fair closes at 3:00 pm.

Q: When can student participants pick up their project boards?

Student participants can pick up their project boards after the closing ceremony around 3:00 pm from the school’s gymnasium.

Q: When can I pick up my child at the STEM Fair?

Parents should pick up their children from the Fair no later than 3:15 pm.

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