February 07, 2020

Judges needed for Region 8 Science Fair March 3 at SIU

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale next month will host students from around the region for the annual Illinois Junior Academy of Science Region 8 Science Fair, and organizers are looking for judges from among the SIU and local communities.

Hundreds to compete

This year, officials expect about 350 projects from junior high and high school students from the state’s 21 southernmost counties to enter the event, which is set for March 3, in the Student Center ballrooms. Judging is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with all projects open to public viewing from 1 to 4 p.m. 

Officials will present awards beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Neckers Building, Room 240. 

Judges’ duties

Usually, each judging team consists of two people, one faculty member and one undergraduate or graduate student. Each judging team typically will judge up to five projects. Judges will select about 60 projects total to advance to the state competition in early May. 

Multiple, diverse categories

There are 18 project categories, ranging from aerospace to behavioral science, health and zoology. More than 150 SIU faculty and graduate students typically volunteer their time at the event. Many academic departments and campus units also sponsor student and school awards totaling several thousand dollars.

Only those registered with IJAS are allowed to compete. There is a $75 to $100 registration fee to become a member of the state organization.

Judges play a key role

On the day of the event, the first judging session will meet promptly at 8:45 a.m. in the Student Center Auditorium for a brief orientation covering the judging criteria and distribution of assignments. The second session will meet at 10:45 a.m. in the same location,

Volunteers are free to sign up for both sessions. Juice, coffee, and donuts will be available throughout the morning and early afternoon.

Those interested in judging are asked to sign up as soon as possible.

For more information, contact Vina Castelli, mathematics lecturer, at 618/453-6570 or at vina@siu.edu.