Want to be a Judge or Volunteer?

Support innovation and problem-solving of Minnesota youth by volunteering at the State Science and Engineering Fair March 25-27, 2017, at the Minneapolis Marriott Downtown.


A total of 450 volunteers (almost there! your participation will help tremendously):

  • 350 judges with credentials in STEM fields who can offer student projects and papers insights based on experienced perspectives grounded in their industry, including 50 who can judge middle school papers and 50 who can judge high school papers;
  • 100 volunteers passionate about STEM education and creative problem-solving who can offer skills ranging from organization, data entry, registration, photography, chaperoning, time-keeping and other administrative and general tasks.

The projects and explorations of our participants will inspire you.


Judging shifts are:

  • Saturday, March 25, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (high school papers)
  • Saturday, March 25, 4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. (middle school papers)
  • Saturday, March 25, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. (high school paper callbacks)
  • Sunday, March 26, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (middle school and high school projects)

There are additional non-judging general volunteer opportunities throughout the weekend. 

General volunteers are needed in shifts ranging from three to eight hours throughout the weekend.


We value your time as a volunteer! We know paying for parking at the event is a hardship for some. We wish we could reimburse everyone for parking, but our non-profit budget is limited. Here's what we are suggesting:

1) Before the events, please check with your human resources department to see if your company will reimburse you for your parking, mileage or out-of-pocket expenses for your participation as a volunteer. (Seagate, for example, will reimburse all employees.) And/or consult with your tax advisor about the deductibility of expenses you incur as a volunteer at this program. Your itemized expenses such as mileage, parking, and out-of-pocket expenses are deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

2) If you or your company cannot cover the cost of your parking, the Academy will reimburse parking for up to $20 for judge shifts and $10 for volunteer shifts. To receive reimbursement, please see Kris Zierman, MAS Administrative Manager, at the help desk at the end of your shift. We are unable to provide reimbursements after the program is concluded.



Judges typically represent university faculty and researchers, industrial engineers and scientists, representatives of private and federal research centers, and medical practitioners or researchers. 

To judge high school projects, judges must have a minimum of 6+ years of experience or a doctoral degree (this includes graduate students in their final year of their program). To judge middle school projects, judges must have 2+ years of experience or a Bachelor's degree (this includes upper division undergraduate students). 

Parents, relatives, teachers of students competing, and K-12 students are not allowed to be volunteers in certain areas based on conflicts of interest.


Upon arrival, orientation and instructions will be provided. Your volunteer shift is part of a culminating event in a three-day weekend. If interested in participating beyond your scheduled shift, please talk to Lisa Day, lisaday@mnmas.org or Jenny Worden, volunteers@mnmas.org. To learn how MAS can support your extended involvement. This might include observing award ceremonies, additional activities and participation in meal plans.


In the registration process, you will be asked to select your top volunteer and judging slots. Your Volunteer Coordinator will try to get you your top choice, but based on how many people volunteer you might end up working in your second or third choice area.

Content of student projects determine a lot of our variable needs. We try to utilize your experience and credentials to the best of our ability while supporting the needs of our youth.

Some volunteer shifts involve standing and walking, but none involve heavy lifting. No experience is necessary for any of the shifts unless indicated.


If you would like more information about the Minnesota Academy of Science or the State Science & Engineering Fair (MSSEF), please visit this page.

For roles and responsibilities of being a general volunteer, click here.

To register for a judging or volunteer opportunity, please click on this link. 

If you are a new user, create an account by using your email address, and create a password and continue. If you are an existing user, simply put in your email address and your name should pop up.

If you have any questions please contact me at lisaday@mnmas.org regarding judging, or Jenny Worden at volunteers@mnmas.org with other volunteer questions.

Lisa Day
Fundraising and Outreach Coordinator
Minnesota Academy of Science


 When you click the Register Now button you will be taken to the MN Academy of Science Portal Login page.  

Follow the directions on the page to LOGIN to your account or CREATE an account if this is your first time on the page. 
Once you login, you will be taken to your User Profile page.
Look on the lower right for the Event Registration section and click the Click Here to Register link.
Choose Science Fair/JSHS on the next page and continue with registration

Register Now