News Service


Sande McNabb, Plant Pathology, (515) 294-3120
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- The Iowa State Science and Technology Fair (ISSTF) will be held March 26-27, 1999, 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 Sande McNabb, university professor of plant pathology and forestry at ISU and chair of the ISSTF Board of Directors.

Science fair organizers again are asking for two applications for each project to the fair, McNabb said. The initial entry form deadline is Feb. 19 and the final entry form is due March 12.

McNabb 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. The science areas covered are broadly 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, McNabb 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, some 435 students from across Iowa participated in the fair. Stacy Anthony of Farmington, Iowa, (Harmony Community High School) won a $10,000 scholarship for his project "The Green Clean, Using Hyperaccumulator Plants for Phytoremediation of Lead." The scholarship, provided by the Iowa Space Grant Consortium, can be used at Iowa State, Iowa, Northern Iowa or Drake universities.

In all, 88 fair awards and approximately 200 special awards given to students who participated in last year's fair.

McNabb said that the Iowa Space Grant Consortium will again sponsor a $10,000 four-year tuition grant. In addition, there will be Iowa Energy Center Youth and Energy Scholarships and Iowa State Science and Technology Scholarships, as well as other awards. To date, the value of the awards available for the 1999 fair total approximately $30,000.

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

For more information on the Iowa State Science and Technology Fair and an entry booklet write to Sande McNabb, 221 Bessey Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1021, or call (515) 294-3120.

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