For parent FAQ’s, please see below.

Frequently Asked Questions: Teachers and Schools

Q: Who can participate in the Elementary DC STEM Fair?

Only District of Columbia students in grades 3, 4, and 5 can participate in the elementary 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 elementary DC STEM Fair by May 17, 2018.

Q: When does registration open?

Registration opens April 3, 2018. Please submit one registration per school.

Q: When is the registration deadline?

The registration deadline is May 17th. Teachers who register projects will receive a list of students who have been confirmed for the Fair. Only students who have been confirmed for the Fair are eligible to compete in the Fair. If you have not received a confirmation with the list of student participants, please email stemfair@dcstemnetwork.org ahead of the deadline to ensure your students can participate.

Q: Can team projects be registered?

Yes. Project teams can have no more than 3 students each. Schools can register up to 5 student projects for the elementary 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 the evening before the Fair.  Drop off is at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC)’s Student Center (4200 Connecticut Ave NW, at the corner of Van Ness and Connecticut), 4:00 pm to 6:30 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:

  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Space Science
  • Energy and Transportation
  • Engineering and Computer Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Mathematics and Physics
  • Medical and Health Science
  • Microbiology
  • Social and Behavioral Science
  • Zoology
Q: Do teachers need to attend the Fair?

Teachers can attend the Fair, however attendance is not mandatory. Teachers are encouraged to sign up for the free professional development in advance (PD will take place on site).

Q: What happens during judging?

Students will stand by their projects from 9:00 am till 11:00 am or until told that the judging period is complete. 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.

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 a 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 three highest scoring projects across the whole competition.





Frequently Asked Questions: Parents

Q: Who can participate in the Elementary DC STEM Fair?

Only District of Columbia students in grades 3, 4, and 5 can participate in the elementary DC STEM Fair. Students from DC public, public charter, private schools and home-schooled students are eligible.

Q: How are students selected for the Elementary 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, 4:00 pm – 6:30 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 competition will be provided with a snack.

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

Snack 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 STEM Community Workshops available for families during judging.

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

The awards ceremony is the same day of the Fair and begins after all student projects have been judged and scored. The ceremony begins at 11:45 am and ends around 12:15 pm.

Q: What time does the STEM Fair end?

The Elementary DC STEM Fair ends after the Awards Ceremony at 12:15 pm.

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

Student participants can pick up their project boards after the awards ceremony 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 12:30 pm.

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