Rules and Guidelines
The DC Elementary STEM Fair is open to all students in grades 3 through 5 in the District of Columbia who attend public, public charter, private, parochial, and home schools.
Students can compete as individuals or as a team of no more than 3 students across 16 categories:
- Animal Sciences
Study of animal behavior, classification, development, pathology, taxonomy; animal ecology, animal genetics, animal husbandry, circadian rhythms, cytology, entomology, herpetology, histology, ichthyology, ornithology, paleontology, physiology, studies of invertebrates, etc.
- Behavioral and Social Sciences
Human behavior, social and community relationships; anthropology, archaeology, circadian rhythms, educational testing, ethnology, learning, linguistics, perception, psychology, sociology, urban issues, etc.
Chemistry of life processes; enzymes, food chemistry, hormones, metabolism, molecular biology, molecular genetics, photosynthesis, protein chemistry, etc.
- Cellular and Molecular Biology
Study of the molecular basis of cellular function and processes, including replication, transcription, and translation.
Study of nature and composition of matter and laws governing it; fuels; inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry (other than biochemistry), physical chemistry; materials, metallurgy, pesticides, plastics, soil chemistry, etc.
- Computer Science
Study and development of computer hardware; programming languages; networking and communications; robotics control systems; simulations/virtual reality or computations science (including data structures, encryption, coding and information theory);
algorithms, artificial intelligence, data bases, graphics, software engineering, etc.
- Earth and Planetary Science
Climatology, geography, geology, geophysics, meteorology, mineralogy, oceanography, paleontology, physiography, seismology, speleology, tectonics, etc.
- Energy and Transportation
The study of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, clean transport, and alternative fuels.
Electrical & Mechanical: Computer engineering, controls, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, robot mechanics, solar electric generation, thermodynamics, etc.; Energy & Transport: Aerodynamics, aerospace and aeronautical engineering, alternative fuels, automotive & marine vehicle development, fossil fuel energy, heating & refrigeration, renewable energies, solar heating, wind energy, etc.; Materials & Bioengineering: Acoustics, bioengineering, civil & construction engineering, chemical engineering, environmental engineering, ergonomics, industrial engineering & processing, material science, etc.
- Environmental Sciences and Management
Air pollution and air quality, bioremediation (i.e., oil spill cleanup, etc.), ecology, ecosystems management, environmental engineering, land resource management, forestry, recycling, waste management, soil contamination and soil quality, water pollution and water quality, etc.
- Mathematical Sciences
Science of numbers and their operations; algorithms, development of formal logical systems or various numerical and algebraic computations and the application of these principles; algebra, calculus, complex analysis, geometry, number theory, probability, statistics, etc.
- Medicine and Health Sciences
Study of diseases and health of humans; allergies, cellular & molecular biology, dermatology, dentistry, epidemiology, genetics, immunology, nutrition, ophthalmology, pathology, pediatrics, pharmacology, physiology, sanitation, speech and hearing, etc
Biology of microorganisms; antibiotics/microbials, bacterial genetics, bacteriology, fungi, molds, protozoology, virology, yeast, etc.
- Physics and Astronomy
Theories, principles and laws governing energy and the effect of energy on matter; acoustics; atoms, molecules, nuclear, plasma, solids; biophysics; fluid and gas dynamics; instrumentation and electronics; magnetism; optics, lasers, masers; particle, quantum mechanics; semiconductors, solid state, superconductivity, thermodynamics; theoretical or computational astronomy, planetary science, etc.
- Plant Sciences
Study of plant life; agriculture/agronomy, algae, circadian rhythms, ecology, forestry, horticulture, hydroponics, plant evolution, plant genetics, plant pathology, plant physiology, plant taxonomy, etc.
- Team Category
Participants in this category may complete a project in any of the above disciplines. Team projects should reflect a level of complexity and quantity of work that is indicative of a group effort. A maximum of three students per team is allowed.
Download the Elementary STEM Fair Judges Rubrix
Judging at the DC STEM Fair
Every project in each category will be judged by a minimum of three judges whose average score will determine the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner of each category. The DC STEM Fair will also recognize the top three projects overall for the Fair, regardless of category.
The deadline for teachers to submit their students’ projects is Friday, May 3, 2013. Each school may send up to eight (8) projects. Visit the Student Registration and Information section for details.