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Participants & Educators


We are excited to announce a new online platform for paperwork. Please visit HERE!

Rules and Guidelines

SSTFI SRC uses the forms from the International Rules and Guidelines. These include the forms necessary to document adherence to the rules to exhibit at SSTFI. These forms constitute written documentation of what will occur, or in some cases, has already occurred, in a research project.


December 1, 2023

Registration Opens.

February 23, 2024

Registration entry deadline.

March 2024

Eastern Iowa Science & Engineering Fair. Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids

March 2024

Western Iowa Science & Engineering Fair.    Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge

April 4 & 5, 2024

Senior High & Junior High Fair.

May 2024

Los Angeles, California

Frequently Asked Questions


Please download our Entry Checklist to make sure you have everything covered for your official registration

In order to remain in good standing with the Intel I nternational Science and Engineering (ISEF) this paperwork is r equired both at the Senior and Junior High level. Also, the SSTFI Board of Directors and many of its sponsors maintains that in the real world of research and scientific investigation this paperwork and permission process i s simply part of the process and should be learned at a young age. Please note this paperwork is also a vital process in ensuring that the students, their research subjects, and the environment they worked in were not in danger. As a teacher the paperwork also works to protect you legally by having both a written record and a support s ystem of administrators and other academic professionals sign off on the research being done in case t here would be any problems.

Regarding On-line Registration

Follow the information in our Registration Prep Form to be prepared for on-line entry.

General practices

The fair is considered a professional science competition; business professional attire is suggested.

NO! You will not be allowed to remove a project early.

Outside food and beverages are NOT allowed in either Hilton or Scheman. With the following exceptions: you may bring in your own water or have your own water bottle to fill at the water fountains. If you have a dietary condition that would necessitate needing some food with you at all time this is acceptable. Food is available for purchase in Hilton Coliseum.

Award Ceremonies

Yes, all students are expected to attend both award ceremonies. Awards not picked up will not be mailed at a later date — you are responsible for picking them up on stage or under certain approved circumstances sending another student across stage in your place.

Most certainly it is worth competing! Don’t let the Special Award Ceremony bring you down if you didn’t receive a special award. These awards are VERY specific. Sponsors and judges place many qualifiers on the type of project that can receive these awards. Just because you did not receive an award at this ceremony does not mean you will not place in the General Awards and be recognized on Saturday evening. So put a smile on your face and go wow those judges!

Students are asked to sit as close to the stage as possible! The SSTFI stage staff does everything possible to keep the awards running smoothly. If you decided to sit in the upper regions of the coliseum and win an award you may be asked to sit in the front row of seats in order to keep the ceremony running smoothly. When the award staff is forced to wait on students the ceremony is only dragged out that much longer for everybody. Please be respectful of this!

Similar reasoning to the above question. Keeping the students closest to the stage expedites the entire process and helps shorten the award ceremony.

Through the years the awards and stage staff have developed a method that allows for the most efficient use of space and time to keep the award ceremonies moving smoothly and as quickly as possible. Behind stage our photographer awaits to take photographs and our award crew may have bulky items to hand out behind stage. By following the flow students leaving back stage will also not disrupt the flow of those students coming down to receive awards.

Through the years the awards and stage staff have developed a method that allows for the mo st efficient use of space and time to keep the award ceremonies moving smoothly and as quickly as possible. Behind stage our photographer awaits to take photographs and our award crew may have bulky items to hand out behind stage. By following the flow students leaving back stage will also not disrupt the flow of those students coming down to receive awards.

Every teacher will receive a packet with a list of sponsors to thank. We ask that students write thank you’s to these sponsors and mail them to the address listed on the sheet of paper the teacher received. The SSTFI will mail these out in a large mailing to our sponsors along with other materials such as a program and sponsor certificate. This ensures our sponsors receive one large package of materials to show how grateful we are! Special Award sponsors may be thanked directly by the student/team. Each Special Award ceremony packet that a project receives will have thank you information provided.

FFA Agriscience Fair

Yes! You have actually registered to enter the SSTFI and designated that you are an FFA member who would also like to be judged in the Iowa FFA Agriscience Fair.

Students are NOT required to wear Official Dress during the Iowa FFA Agriscience Fair judging; however it is encouraged–this will make it easier for the Iowa FFA Agriscience Fair judges to quickly find your project. Saturday’s judging is considered professional business attire (you may wear Official Dress but may be more comfortable in professional business attire).

YES! You are registering to attend the SSTFI. The Iowa FFA Agriscience Fair is only one small component of this event. All students are required to attend both days of the fair.

Probably — Special Award judges will be reviewing projects at the same time. It is customary at the SSTFI that judges will take turns speaking to you and will wait until a set of judges is finished, come back later, or join in the current discussion.

The majority of these awards will be given at the Saturday morning Special Award Ceremony. The top winners/those winning trips to the National FFA Agriscience Fair will be announced during the Grand Award Ceremony on Saturday evening.

This is up to the Agricultural Education Instructor and the Science Instructor at each school. Typically the Science Instructor (if they were the main person monitoring the project) would sign your paperwork as Adult Sponsor. However, if the Agricultural Education Instructor was the sole adult supervisor they should be the one to sign the paperwork. The SSTFI Officials will not care — in the event that a student would earn a trip to the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair the Adult Sponsor that has signed the paperwork will be the person named to attend with the student (however this can be changed).

NO. The National FFA Agriscience Rules only allow teams of 2. Since we will be advancing projects to this level team projects wanting to participate in the Iowa FFA Agriscience Fair will only be allowed 2 team members.

Research Paper Examples

Always make it easy for the judges to find information (they don’t have time to read volumes of information).

Helpful Links

Science Buddies

This Web site is designed primarily for science fair projects, but these activities also make great projects for 4-H science displays or science learning activities that relate to 4-H projects. Projects are by grade-levels so they’re age-appropriate. There are discussions about topics like scientific method, doing research and constructing a hypothesis. It also has an “Ask an Expert” feature.

Science Heroes

This website has lots of great short stories about scientists, still living among us (but are essentially unknown) that have made medical or scientific discoveries that have saved millions of lives.’s Science Fair Central

Numerous ideas and helpful information.

2023 Participating Schools

ACGC High School

Algona High School

Algona Middle School

All Saints Catholic School

Ames High School

Ames Middle School

Beckman Catholic High School

Beckman Catholic Middle School

Des Moines Central Campus 

Central Lee High School

Central Lee Middle School

Clarion – Goldfield – Dows Middle School

Danville High School

Des Moines North High School

Fort Madison Middle School

George Washington High School 

Hartley Melvin Sanborn Middle School

Holy Trinity Middle School

Iowa City West High School

Keokuk High School

Keokuk Middle School

Keota High School

Linn-Mar High School

Madrid High School

Madrid Middle School

Maharishi High School

Maharishi Middle School

Marshalltown High School

Miller Middle School

MMCRU High School

North-Scott High School

North-Scott Middle School

North Tama  High School


PCM High School

Scared Heart Middle School

Sheldon High School

Sheldon Middle School

Sioux Center High School 

Sioux Central High School

Sioux City East Middle School

South Hamilton Middle School

Stanton High School

Stanton Middle School

St Francis Xavier Elementary School

St Paul the Apostle Catholic School

West Des Moines Valley High School

Van Buren High School

Van Buren Middle School

Waterloo West High School

West Central Valley High School

West Hancock Middle School

West Marshall Middle School