1. What is the Northeastern Minnesota Regional Science Fair?

The Northeastern Minnesota Regional Science Fair is the local science fair held annually in Duluth, Minnesota. Approximately, 100 students from across five northeastern Minnesota counties of Carlton, Cook, Lake, Pine and St. Louis participate by exhibiting science projects or presenting research papers. The Regional Fair is affiliated with the Minnesota Academy of Science and the International Science and Engineering Fair.

2. Who participates in the N.E. Mn Regional Science Fair?

The fair is open to 7th through 12th grade students from any school in the five county area of Carlton, Cook, Lake, Pine and St. Louis. Any student can participate, however, it usually also takes a dedicated teacher and supportive parents to help along the way.

3. When and where is the N.E. Mn Regional Science Fair held?

In 2006, the 53rd annual Fair will be held for the first time at the University of Minnesota at Duluth.

4. Who makes the N.E. Mn Regional Science Fair "happen"?

Again this year, the Fair will be held for the first time at the University of Minnesota at Duluth for the N.E. Region. There are ten regions in Minnesota. The Northeastern Region includes Carlton, Cook, Lake, Pine and St. Louis counties. Each year at the regional level, a volunteer committee is formed which includes people from the community also with an interest in promoting science. This year, the committee members from the Duluth area are:
Cynthia Welsh, Fair Director
Robin Churchill, Chair of the Judge and Special Awards Committees
(Vacant), Chair of Paper Presentations

In addition, many people are needed as project and paper judges and as volunteers on the days of the Fair. Volunteers participate by helping with the registration process, fair setup, project protocol/security, human traffic control, as well as many other tasks. Of course, the students actually make the Science Fair "happen".

5. What areas do the science projects presented by the students cover?

Students select a particular area of science, math or technology they are interested. From there, they develop a project and usually, a research paper on a chosen topic. At the regional fair, the projects are judged within a category and the top projects are given first places which allows the students to exhibit their projects at the Minnesota Academy of Science State Fair in April each year. Categories for the projects are:

* Behavior and Social Science
* Botany
* Biochemistry
* Chemistry
* Computer Science
* Earth and Space Science
* Engineering
* Environmental Science
* Mathematics
* Medicine and Health
* Microbiology
* Physics
* Zoology

6. Who are the judges at the N.E. Mn Regional Science Fair?

Many people are needed to judge the projects at the Regional Fair each. These people come from academia, government, industry and consulting businesses. Some judges even travel from across Minnesota to judge at the Regional Fair. Some people are also judges at local school fairs. Every year, some judges are brand new, but project judging is performed by a team made up of new and experienced judges. If you are interested in judging, you can contact Cynthia Welsh at (218) 879-3393 X 1002.

7. Can the public come to the state science fair and look at the projects?

There are time periods set aside for public viewing of the projects. At other times, the projects are closed due to judging of the presentations.

8. How do the students get chosen for the state science fair?

Early in the year, schools in Minnesota usually have a local school science fair. From there, the students move on to compete in a regional fair. There are ten regions in Minnesota. If a student receives a first place at the regional fair, they are invited to compete at the MAS State Fair. At both the regional fairs and the state fair, several students are selected to go on the International Science and Engineering Fair, which is the premier science fair event for students, 9th through 12th grade.

9. How does a student choose a science project?

Students choose their projects with guidance from teachers and parents. Many students continue with the same project for 3-6 years and improve on it each year. Projects are started in September, although some students do field work in the summer or background library research all year. To some students, participation in the science fairs is the highlight of their academic year.

10. Who supports the N.E. Mn Regional Science Fair?

In 2005, there were three corporate sponsors for the N.E. Mn Regional Science Fair, the College of St. Scholastica, the Blandin Foundation and the Duluth Rotary Club #25. In addition, many individuals, businesses and organizations from across Northern Minnesota provide monetary support for project and special awards as well as items for door prizes and goody bags. Many organizations have also donated money for operation of the fair, in order to keep the entry fees for the students at a minimum

11. How can someone become involved or support the N.E. Mn Regional Science Fair?

Anyone interested in the N.E. Mn Regional Science Fair can contact the Fair Director, Cynthia Welsh at (218) 879-3393 X 1002 or Robin Churchill (Judging Coordinator) at (218) 724-8565 for more information on volunteer, award support and judging opportunities.

12. What do the students get for participating in the regional science fair?

Besides the personal satisfaction of achievement that they get by participating in the state fair, every student receives a participation ribbon, certificate and a bag of "goodies", such as coupons, special offers and fun little items from area businesses. After the judging has taken place, there are place awards in every category. In addition, many organizations and institutions sponsor special awards, that focus on particular areas. For example, a photography company may have a special award for outstanding use of photography. Prizes usually consist of a monetary awards, savings bonds, graphing calculators, books, briefcases or portfolios.

13. Where can I learn more about Science Fair judging on the web?

Last Modified: January 18, 2006