Address: 835 West Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY 13204

E-mail:     Phone: (315) 422-2902

E-mail the Fair Director



Mon-Fri 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Weekends by appointment only!


What’s here?VolunteerTeam WEB



Volunteers: Fair Committee and Teams 

Volunteers: Event Helpers


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College and graduate students, internships give you real-world experience and make a difference in the lives of so many people! Whether you are looking for a one-credit opp to complete in the 10 days preceding the fair and the two days following, or a four-credit semester challenge immersed in the entire fair management process, you will have a rich experience. Contact the Fair Director today! LINK

>> TNRSEF fair flyer PDF


You may judge in a group that does not include your family or students. Just click to our Judges link in the nav bar and register! We need many judges on Fair Day, so you could make a huge difference.



Chaperones, parents and teachers, siblings, people interested in launching a local fair back home ... YOU are welcome to VOLUNTEER with the TNRSEF!

  1. Fair Committee and Teams
    We need at least 15 team chairs and 20-30 additional members to get everything ready for Fair Day, let students in nine counties know about the opportunities, and recruit judges to interview them! Great people are drawn to our work - come meet them and join in the fun!
    Chairs attend the monthly Committee meetings. Team members work directly with their team chair on whatever schedule you work out together.
    1. Site arrangements: Meetings with SUNY Potsdam staff for rules of use, logistics, room layouts, signage, tables/chairs, AV, parking guidelines, refreshments/meals
    2. IT and STEM Wizard: Software management of fair operations and registration
    3. Outreach/PR: Media list? Warm calls? Connections to school districts?
    4. Sponsor Event: Luncheon featuring keynote as a draw with potential sponsors, event hosts so they can meet the kids and see our operation … and come on board with $ for 2019
    5. Judge recruitment
    6. Judging: Judge assignment/training/deliberation (Senior, Junior, Topic/Special Awards)
    7. Volunteers: Recruitment/assignment/management
    8. Awards - securing/processing/presenting/reporting
    9. Awards Ceremony: Keynote, Presentations, Program


  1. Event Helpers
    1. Fair Week Saints (verify registration, prep awards for presentation finalize/mount signage)
    2. Friday Helpers (setting up every part of the fair)
    3. Saturday Helpers:
    1. One videographer + aide: Capture footage all day for our fair videos
    2. Still Photographers (2-4): Take candids and formals all day
    3. Data entry and processing (2-4): Train that week, 10a-5p on Saturday
    4. Student Registration (6-8): Morning
    5. Judge Registration (3-4): Morning
    6. Security (12-14): Late morning and most of afternoon
    7. Awards processing (6-8): Training at noon, the process results and prep awards until Awards Ceremony
    8. Calligraphy for certificates (4-6): Afternoon
    9. Host Awards Ceremony (4-6): Afternoon for final set and tech check, blocking student seating, ushering students to stage and photo station and back to seats during ceremony
    10. Host Volunteer Station/Information Table (4): Field questions, direct students, judges, media and guests 


Email the Fair Director with questions ... or to find out when the next committee meeting is!


Thank you for participating in your student's science and engineering fair!
Please select what best represents your role on the navigation bar above.


Remember, Parents, Teachers, and Mentors are able to register as the adult paired with their student's project.


What’s here?

The Core
Additional Competitions
Virtual Resources



Science fairs, schools and other organizations in the TRFSEF region support young people as they explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Those fairs whose dates fall after our deadline simply complete a school/fair registration and let us know how many students they will advance to the TRFSEF. That lets us recruit sufficient judges. As soon as the local fair has taken place, the fair completes online registration with us.

  1. Intel International Science & Engineering Fair
    The top of the science fair pyramid, IISEF sets the standards for its affiliate fairs.
  2. Science Buddies
    The most complete resource for science fair projects, from choosing your topic to handling safety issues to making the poster, on ScienceBuddies you can even watch videos by scientists and engineers about their careers, or submit questions to “Ask the Expert” forums!
  3. Your community
    Youth programs such as 4-H, GSA, BSA and Boys and Girls Clubs offer STEM activities that can inspire science fair projects … and often link students to mentors. Your town’s library is a goldmine.
  4. Homeschooling and Science Fairs: How to incorporate a science fair project into the IHIP and quarterly reports required by NYS PDF
  5. How the PTA can launch a science fair! PDF


Additional Fair Competitions for Your Research


Schools/programs that Support Precollegiate Research


Virtual Resources

Citizen Science Treasure Chests: How exciting it is to be part of a “big science project” operating across your state or around the world! Do a search on “citizen science” - especially what’s available through NASAScientific American, Cornell Ornithology Labs, or New York’s own Department of Environmental Conservation.

A Piece of the Puzzle is a video helps explain science fairs to students thinking about a project, administrators needing to understand why staff time should go to this effort, PTO/PTA groups so they can get excited about sponsoring a school fair, the local IEEE chapter so they can come on board as judges, and the CEO of a local company so s/he can write a check and fund your fair or provide some awards. Created by New York City producer Patrick Finlon, A Piece of the Puzzle is available to every teacher and fair committee member inspiring our young people to become scientists and engineers. LINK

Design-Make-Play’s report from the 2012 “Design-Make-Play: Growing the Next Generation of Science Innovators” conference at New York Hall of Science encourages those of us advocating for precollegiate STEM to keep slogging. What a great approach to gathering inspiring partners in the effort! LINK

ipl2 For Kids “Science Fair Project Resource Guide” is no longer supporter, but its active links are still valuable. LINK

Mad Science Network has a lot of fun web “nooks and crannies” from the Washington University School of Medicine. LINK provides a reasonably well-maintained battery of links to science project ideas in many categories, not just polymer research. LINK

Science Fair Central - an intriguing co-project of Home Depot and Discovery Education - has both science and engineering project ideas! LINK

Society of Automotive Engineers “A World in Motion” is always a joy! LINK

YouTube is a remarkable resource, with people showing off their crazy science and engineering feats. Note: Adults should be part of this process, since some of the things on YouTube are just plain dangerous.


What’s here?Student Poster WEB

What is a parent’s job for science fairs?
What vocabulary do I need?
What else do I need?     


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  1. Please let a child choose a project with little or no parent input. Students put more time and energy into projects inspired by their own interests.
  2. While you may help your child locate resources; you do NOT prepare reference lists or fact sheets!
  3. Think of yourself as Chief Listener, Cab Driver, Paperwork Signer, and Number One Fan.
  4. If in your family you are the “Clock Hawk” tracking everyone’s schedule, please add the registration deadline to your Master Calendar.
  5. If Fate decreed that you are the mentor for the project - making sure that the fair’s safety protocols are being followed, the procedures have been reviewed by appropriate experts BEFORE experimentation begins, and such - click the SRC link above for details NOW!
  6. Homeschoolers, you or your child's mentor will register as the Teacher. ID as homeschoolers; later in the registration process, we will need the school district to which you submit your IHIP and quarterly reports for the district count we submit to the international fair.
  7. Most importantly, lock in Fair Day as a day to get your child to the Fair on time. Then come back later with your camera for public viewing, and be ready to applaud away at the Awards Ceremony.



Topic Presentation: Your child will simply prepare a poster and report on something s/he has learned in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering or Math..

Research / Engineering Design: Your child’s RED project will involve collecting data. Your child will run an experiment and record the results in a lab notebook, or make continuous improvements on something s/he is building record all the changes being made in a lab notebook. 

Safety Paperwork: There is paperwork required for every project submitted to the science fair. For Topic Presenters and middle school students, it is a two-page form. High school RED students can complete their paperwork for e-signature, or download it for hard-copy signature.

This is REALLY important: All RED students should review the required safety paperwork before they start experimenting or building. Their work must be approved by the required adults with the necessary signatures, or they will not be allowed into the Fair!

If you have questions, email the Science Fair Director.



You need to relax. The point is for your children to explore his or her own talents and interests in a really productive way. Think of it as “trying on careers” each year.

Guides to online registration:  Student PDF    
Note: "Teacher" can mean parent or mentor, especially for homeschoolers and students participating through 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, and such.
Your student can simply put organization in via "Other" and go on from there.

If you’d like to learn more about science fairs, check out these sites:
Science Buddies
Our current TerraFairs video

Learn more about what it means to partcipate in a science fair! Watch Science Fairs: A Piece of the Puzzle or click here!

Interested in the awards available this year? Check out this list >>> PDF



What’s here?

Why do I need an SRC review?

What does the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) do?

Tools you can use!


What else do I need to do about safety? 



The Scientific Review Committee (SRC) members review your research plan to make sure you have adult supervision that will keep you and your subjects safe throughout your research, that you have the proper permissions for all you plan to do, and that you got all that help before you started your experimentation or designing.



The work of the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) is crucial both to student and subject safety during the research process, and to the credibility of the students’ research when they go on to present it.



  1. We want every researcher and subject to be safe throughout the process.
  2. We need to see that you have permission to interview fellow students, that your survey was reviewed to make sure it was appropriate and approved by the school, or that you have you received the necessary training to do your work (e.g., learning how to weld, operating a kiln, running a DNA analysis, caring for the mice in your test).
  3. Your parent’s permission to do a project is a no-brainer, of course, but we need to know about other people who advise you as well, in case we have questions.
  4. And you and the TNRSEF have to do this because IISEF, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, said so.

The TNRSEF can review your SRC paperwork before you actually start the registration process, BUT IT IS BETTER TO HAVE A LOCAL COMMITTEE DO THE INITIAL REVIEW. Feel free to contact the TNRSEF‘s SRC if you’d like help in setting up your local SRC or IRB (Institutional Review Board).

Submit completed forms to your school’s Scientific Review Committee (SRC), the sponsoring company’s or college’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). If those are not available, so you must use the TNRSEF’s SRC, you will scan your completed paperwork to create a single PDF and email the file to the TNRSEF’s SRC.



  1. TNRSEF Senior Research / Engineering How-to Guide PDF
  2. Use the ISEF Wizard to identify the paperwork that is required AND REVIEW IT WITH YOUR MENTOR, TEACHER OR PARENT!
  3. Interactive ISEF SRC Forms LINK
  4. Overview of SRC forms (the what and why of each) LINK
  5. 2017-18 Rules and Guidelines LINK

After a project has received SRC or IRB approval, the student submits any changes to the research plan for approval as well. This must be done immediately.

No experimentation begins until an SRC or IRB notifies the student of project approval. This is particularly true with living subjects, or certain chemicals, for example. Contact the TNRSEF’s SRC immediately concerning already-completed projects. The Committee can walk you through the process of documenting what you and your mentor did about safety issues.




Feel free to email our SRC Chair if you have questions concerning this process.

If you have other questions, email the Science Fair Director.

If you’d like to learn more about science fairs, check out these sites:
Science Buddies

Our current TerraFairs video LINK


FYI: The rules your TNRSEF has to follow to maintain its affiliation with IISEF … and to be able to send students to the international fair!

From the Standards for Programs and Services of Intel ISEF

Review Bodies – SRC and IRB

4.11 The science fair requires high school students who participate in the Intel ISEF-affiliated fair to follow the International Rules for Precollege Science Research: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs (Intel ISEF Rules) and to use Intel ISEF forms. A science fair is encouraged to have all grade levels adhere to the International Rules and forms, but appropriately modified rules and forms for the younger grades are acceptable given that they adhere to the spirit of the International Rules.

4.12 The science fair governance and/or leadership will appoint a Scientific Review Committee (SRC) that consists of a minimum of three members. The SRC must include at least one each of: a) biomedical scientist (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M., D.D.S., D.O.), b) science educator, and c) another member (which may, but is not required to be, a biomedical scientist or a science educator). The SRC will be registered with SSP during the annual affiliation process.

4.13 The SRC will be operational and functioning throughout the year to support student research. There should be clear communication with stakeholders about how to have a project pre-reviewed and the timeline and deadlines for such a review.

4.14 The science fair should support the creation of school Institutional Review Boards to allow human participant research to be pre-reviewed by the appropriate authority.