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SCI://TECH Expo

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Education for Tomorrow Alliance’s SCI://TECH engages the business community with local private and public schools, offering 13 science, technology, engineering, and math competitions and events. Run as a partnership of EfTA volunteers and local educators, the SCI://TECH Exposition is one of the largest regional science fairs in the nation reaching thousands of students each year and qualifying students to compete in the Science & Engineering Fair of Houston, as well as state and international competitions. SCI://TECH 2021 will look a little different than in past years, but we will still engage hundreds of volunteers to offer STEM programming for thousands of students. Learn more at https://www.efta-us.org/scitech.html

Registration is now open for science fair judges! Virtual judging of the Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. Senior High and Entergy Junior High fairs will kick off in mid-January. Science fair judges will have a week to login and review student’s recorded project videos and supplemental materials in their assigned categories. Register here or check out the Q&A below to learn more about what virtual volunteering will like like in 2021.

VOLUNTEER Q&A

1. What does it mean to be a virtual science fair judge?
The Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. Senior High, Entergy Junior High, and Private School Science Fairs will be conducted 100% online in 2021. Registered volunteers will each receive an email on January 15 telling them how to access the RocketJudge judging platform, to review, and to rate student projects. Each volunteer will have access to pre-recorded student videos in a single science fair category. Judges will score projects according to the same rubric used in previous years and give an overall ranking to each project.

2. What is the time commitment required? 
On average, each volunteer shift will take less than three hours during the week-long judging period. Volunteers who sign up to judge both a senior high and a junior high category will take about twice as long, depending on the number of projects in each category.

3. Do I have to review all the projects in one sitting?
Volunteers can login anytime during the week-long judging period, January 15-22, to judge projects. They will only have access to the one category assigned to them. The online platform will use the same scoring rubric typically used at SCI://TECH. It does not matter if projects are all reviewed at once or a few at a time, so long as all scores are submitted by noon on January 22.

4. As a judge, will I talk directly with students online?
No. All student projects will be presented as pre-recorded slideshows where the student voice overs provide specific information about the projects. Only volunteers signed up as grand award judges will hear live presentations from students.

5. Do I need a special app or subscription to participate as a volunteer?
No. Any computer, tablet, or phone with internet access should work without additional set up. Volunteers will receive a link via email that gives them access to their category and list of student projects through the judging platform. Progress saves automatically.

6. Do I have to have a strong science background to be a good science fair judge?
No. Part of the process is for students to convey what they have learned during the process. Ideally, they share information clearly, regardless of the background of their judges. Volunteers without a science background should consider judging the junior high fair.

7. How can I participate?
Register as a volunteer at www.efta-us.org/scitech or click here. Volunteers will be asked for their preference of category and whether they want to judge junior or senior high projects. Those with a STEM background might consider senior high judging. Those that are volunteering for the first time might consider serving as a junior high judge. There is a tremendous need for volunteers, so please spread the word!

8. Do students still get recognized with awards this year?
Students still have the opportunity to win medals and cash prizes at this year’s SCI://TECH fairs. SCI://TECH qualifies students for participation at the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston, which will also be virtual in 2021. Plus, any constructive feedback volunteers have for the students will be sent to students through their teachers. So your gift of time is needed and appreciated!

 

Save the date, January 15-22, to be a virtual SCI://TECH science fair judge! Register here or check out the full events calendar here.

January 15 – January 22, 2021 – Virtual
Chevron Philips Chemical Senior High Science Fair & Entergy Junior High Science Fair  – Seventh and eighth grade students, and ninth through twelfth grade students, respectively, submit research projects in one of the life science or physical science categories in an online format. Volunteer judges review electronic entries, rank student projects, and prizes are awarded. The event serves as the district science fair for Conroe ISD and The John Cooper School. With about 1,500 students, it is the largest science fair in Texas and one of the largest in the nation. Each year, approximately one quarter of students participating in the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston qualify via their participation at the SCI://TECH science fair. Register here to become a volunteer!

Though some programing will look different, SCI://TECH still offers the opportunity for community members to support K-12 STEM education. In 2021, half of the SCI://TECH events will be virtual and half will proceed live, with additional protocols to promote the safety of students and volunteers.

Learn more and view all events at https://www.efta-us.org/scitech.html

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