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Andrea Spencer, ISSTF Director, (712) 359-2437
Howard Shapiro, Provost Office, (515) 294-6365
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State Science and Technology Fair (ISSTF) will be held March 30-31 at Iowa State University. It is the only statewide general science fair for middle and high school students in Iowa.

Information booklets on the fair and instructions on how to apply are now available, according to Andrea Spencer, director of the science fair.

Spencer said the entry submittals must postmarked by March 9 to be eligible for the 2001 science fair.

Howard Shapiro, chair of the science fair board of directors and vice provost for undergraduate programs at Iowa State, said students interested in participating in the fair must submit project proposals. All projects need to adhere to regulations set by the fair's committee, and proposals must be developed under the guidance of a teacher or other professional. Science areas covered are divided into physical and biological sciences.

Many Iowa students work during the preceding summer, fall and winter developing their projects. They also attend local and regional fairs before showing their exhibits at the state fair each spring. Entry in other fairs is not required for the ISSTF, Shapiro said.

Prizes are awarded at the seventh- and eighth-grade levels. High school winners receive scholarships as well as other prizes. Also, many topical awards are given by state, federal, university and industrial groups.

Last year, more than 400 students from across Iowa participated in the fair. Greg Shepherd of Stuart (West Central High School), won a $5,000 scholarship for his project, "The Pressure is on the Pasture," which proved the vital role soil compaction plays in inhibiting natural biological activity and growing of plants. The scholarship, provided by the Iowa Space Grant Consortium, can be used at Iowa State, Iowa, Northern Iowa or Drake universities.

"Getting students involved in science and having them do these interesting projects help entice them into careers in science and technology," Shapiro said.

For more information on the Iowa State Science and Technology Fair and an entry booklet write to Andrea Spencer, ISSTF, 61375 270th Ave., Palmer, IA 50571, call 712/359-2437, or email spencer2@netins.net.


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