Tag Archives: Cnysef

Three Local Science Fair Judging Opportunities In March: Science-y Adults Please Take Note!

Greetings fellow astrophiles (and other readers)!

March is increasingly looking like a very busy month for CNY science. On top of CNYO’s Liverpool Public Library Session on the 6th, upcoming Sidewalk Astronomy event on 8th, and the Regulus Occultation on the 20th, March also sees three big Science Fairs being hosted on the SU and OCC campuses (with some CNYO participants set to act as judges again this year).

If you’re a science-inclined adult, please consider participating as a judge for one or more of these events. While some of the categories at each event may require/prefer people in the sciences with Bachelors or advanced degrees for judging, many do not. Your interest in what the kids… er… researchers are doing is plenty for being able to support the efforts of these three science fairs.

Ryan Goodson and I participated in the Ying Tri Region Science & Engineering Fair last year and had an excellent time touring the projects and talking shop with many of the presenters. Of specific note for you astronomy buffs was the presentation shown below by Tyler Mucci, featuring a dual optic design for a telescope that lets two people observe the same object simultaneously. Better still, he brought the fully-functional prototype with him (and the results of his optics testing. We should have flown Bob Piekiel in from Marcellus for advanced topics).


You never know what to expect at a science fair (such as Tyler Mucci’s presentation above from the 2013 YingTRSEF event last March), but you’ll definitely be impressed.

The three upcoming science fairs are listed below with links to their home and registration pages.

Thursday, March 13

SUNY ESF Environmental Challenge at ESF and the Carrier Dome
The Info PDF for this event can be downloaded here: 2014feb26_envirochallenge_JudgeFlyer

Sunday, March 23

Ying TRSEF at OCC’s Gordon Student Center
The Info PDF for this event can be downloaded here: 2014feb26_yingtrsef_JudgeRecruitment

Sunday, March 30

The event info can be found at www.most.org/cnysef/.

For those looking for the quick summary, below is the judge invitation letter for the Ying TRSEF Fair…


Dear Colleagues:

Onondaga Community College is once again hosting the Dr. Nelson Ying Tri Region Science and Engineering Fair the weekend of March 22 – 23. This two-day science fest celebrates student interest in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and promotes and nurtures hands-on experience in Science and Technology.

We’re inviting you to judge at the Ying TRSEF, interviewing students in either the Senior (Gr. 9-12) or Junior (Gr. 5-8) levels.

Junior level judges only need a sincere interest in encouraging middle school students. In fact, we encourage college students in STEM fields to judge the younger students.

For the Senior level, we are looking for judges with at least a bachelor degree in a STEM field or Education, who will interview students competing in their own area of expertise.

This year, we are aiming for surpass last year’s record attendance! That means we need even more judges. JUDGES are the MOST IMPORTANT part of the Science Fair, because it is that personal contact with sincerely interested adults that encourages students. Student feedback consistently rates judging at the core of their fair experience.

The commitment? Only a few hours on March 23rd, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the latest (and we feed you really well).

Please fill out an online application at www.YingTRSEF.org/judges/. The Ying TRSEF website also has details about the Fair, judging, and pictures from earlier Ying TRSEF fairs.

Please forward this message to anyone you think might be interested in judging. For this you can think “distribute widely.” And, of course, feel free to contact me with questions.

Email: trsefjudges@gmail.com
Phone: (315) 445-1527
Date: Sunday, March 23
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. latest
Place: Gordon Student Center at OCC

Marcy Waldauer
Chair, Judge Recruitment
Ying TRSEF Committee

… and below is introductory material for the SUNY-ESF Environmental Challenge…

What: 2014 Environmental Challenge Science Fair
When: March 13 from 9 am to 1 pm (breakfast 8:30 am)
Where: SUNY-ESF Campus and the SU Carrier Dome

What is the Environmental Challenge?

The Environmental Challenge is a science fair and career exploration opportunity designed especially for all Syracuse City School District 7th and 8th grade students. 500 student participants are expected!

What does a Judge do?

Judging is EASY and FUN, and we are looking for at least 100 judges. No experience is necessary. Join us in the new ESF Gateway Center at 8:30 am for breakfast and a chance to mingle with other judges. A brief orientation will follow promptly at 9 am in Gateway. Each judge will be assigned to assess the projects of a group of students. As a judge you don’t only get breakfast and lunch, but the opportunity to influence the lives of the young student participants! The encouragement and interest shown by volunteer judges is an essential part of the Environmental Challenge experience.

How do I sign up? Questions?

Contact Maura Stefl at
Email: mhstefl@esf.edu
Phone: (315) 470-6811

… and, finally, an announcement email to the TACNY listserve about the CNYSEF from Earl Turner of Lockheed Martin MST:

Dear Colleagues,

Volunteers are needed to judge projects at the Central New York Science and Engineering Fair to be held on Sunday, March 30, 2014 at the SRC Arena. Students from Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties will compete in two divisions, the junior fair for 4th-8th graders and the senior fair for 9th-12th graders. Judges don’t need to be experts in science to listen as the students demonstrate how much they have learned and accomplished. A continental breakfast, lunch and training will be provided for the judges and volunteers. Those interested in serving as judges or volunteers can apply online here. If you have registered with the MOST online in the past, you do not have to register again. Send an e-mail to volunteer@most.org or call (315) 425-9069 x2141 indicating what fair assignment you would like (junior judge, senior judge, special awards judge, volunteer). For more information, contact me or the CNYSEF Director at CNYSEF@most.org.

The encouragement and interest shown by volunteers and judges is an essential part of the student’s science fair experience. Help inspire our future generation of engineers and scientists.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique: “Inspirations In STEM: Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”

Saturday – March 8, 9:30-11:00am

Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology – Syracuse, NY

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Share in Olivia Sheppard’s excitement as she tells her story of becoming a young scientist, eager to make discoveries. She will discuss how she became involved in science, why she chose to pursue a career in research, and where she hopes it will take her. Olivia will share how competing in science fairs has been life changing and afforded her even greater opportunities.

People interested in learning more about preparing for a career in scientific research are invited to attend the free Junior Cafe presentation on Saturday, March 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) in Syracuse’s Armory Square. Walk-ins are welcome, but we ask that people RSVP by emailing jrcafe@tacny.org by March 5, 2014.



Image from www.eaglebulletin.com.

Olivia Sheppard is a junior at Manlius Pebble Hill School in Dewitt, and science is both her passion and her future. She discovered this intense interest in science as she made new and interesting discoveries, finding answers that lead to new questions, on research for competition in science fairs. Miss Sheppard has conducted seven major science experiments specifically for science and engineering fairs over the last six years. Along the way, she has identified her own strengths, and how she can be a better scientist. In 2013, Miss Sheppard won first place at the Central New York Science and Engineering Fair. Her project focused on using alternate energy using Nano science to transfer the bioluminescence of firefly proteins. She then advanced to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, AZ. Meeting other kids who are interested in research and passionate about science is an amazing experience and motivates her to learn and do more! The advancement in science and technology, how we can research issues and the ways in which we can measure, record, and understand results of our experiments is moving forward at a lightning pace. Come and learn how you can be a part of this and find what ignites a passion in your heart and mind about science!

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique, a program for middle-school students founded in 2005, features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere and seeks to encourage students to consider careers in these areas. Students must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the MOST at no cost after the event.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.