Changes from 1998 - 1999
The California State Science Fair strives continually to improve the
quality of the event for its participants throughout the State of
California. As part of these ongoing efforts we will be implementing
certain policy changes this year. Some of these changes were discussed
at the last County Coordinators' Conference which was held during the
1998 California State Science Fair.
- Policy Changes
Sixth Grade Students Now Eligible
ISEF Fair Qualification
Science Fair Teacher of the Year Applications
Revised Project Allocations for 1999
The 1999 California State Science Fair will be open to students
in all grades 6-12. Previously, only students in grades 7-12
were eligible to participate in CSSF. In recognition of the growing
number of middle schools in the State of California, however, sixth
grade students will be admitted to the 1999 Fair into the Junior
Division along with students in grades 7 and 8.
This change in policy will not affect any affiliated fair's allocation
of projects, nor will it affect how any student may qualify for CSSF.
Affiliated fairs are responsible for choosing the best projects
representing their geographical region, and are the sole authority
for determining the distribution of those selected over all eligible
grade levels. All affiliates have been informed of this change in
policy in the announcement
letter from the Chair of the Fair.
No decision regarding the admissibility of sixth grade students in
future years will be made until after the 1999 Fair.
Students qualified for ISEF participation no longer
automatically qualify for the California State Science Fair.
Students qualify to participate in the Fair almost exclusively through
throughout the State. In addition,
Rule #1 allows a small number of students to be admitted through
alternative routes. For many years, one of these alternatives was
to qualify to participate in the International Science and Engineering
Fair (ISEF) through an ISEF-affiliated fair, on the grounds that
participation in one of these fairs has on occasion precluded highly
qualified students from participating in a direct CSSF-affiliate.
Beginning in 1999, students will no longer qualify through ISEF
affiliates, except for those fairs which are also CSSF affiliates.
Since time conflicts between ISEF affiliates and CSSF affiliates in the
same geographical region are rare, the impact of this change should be
However, CSSF has always maintained the right to admit qualified
projects on an emergency basis where no defined route to the Fair
has been available to the student. This rule may be invoked if
conflicts between fairs cause problems as described above. Admission
through this process is subject to serious review, and has never
accounted for more than 2% of the total number of projects admitted
to the Fair in any year.
Teachers nominated for the California State Science Fair
Teacher of the Year Award no longer need to submit a personal
statement as part of the nomination process. Students
who are participants in the California State Science Fair may
nominate a teacher or advisor for this award. In an effort to
broaden the information base provided to the Award Committee charged
with selecting the most qualified teachers as finalists, in 1998 the
nominated teachers were asked to provide a supplemental personal
statement. However, given the concerns expressed by some
participants in the process, the California State Science Fair has
decided to solicit this additional information not from the nominee,
but rather from a supervisor, either a department chair or school
principal. Details of this process are provided in the Application
Packet where the nomination forms are located.
The allocations to affiliated fairs of the number of projects
which may be sent to CSSF has been revised from 1998 levels.
in 1998, the number of projects each affiliated fair is allowed to
send to CSSF has been defined as an explicit limit by CSSF, rather than
by loose limits determined by each fair individually. Generally
speaking, this new allocation process was a success. Based upon
discussions with our affiliates, most notably all of those
participating in the County Coordinators Conference at the 1998
Fair, these allocations have been revised for 1999.
Here are these allocations, along with their
determining factors. All affiliates have been informed of their
allocations in the announcement
letter from the Chair of the Fair.
See also: Changes
in the previous year.
Tue Sep 22 13:30:33 PDT 1998
California State Science Fair
Changes for 1999