Award Planning

Your new Sponsored Awards, Step 1/2: Planning

So you'd like to sponsor an award for students whose projects apply to your organization. Great! This is the first step: planning your awards. Here is what you need to do.

Your organization assigns a specific individual to coordinate your awards. This person is the primary contact between the organization and the science fair, in case we have questions about your awards. If you like, you can include the address of your web site.

You and your organization decide the following:

A one-sentence description for the criteria for your awards. In other words, what will your judges be looking for when they review students’ exhibits? What would merit a student’s winning your organization’s award? Examples:

  • “The American Chemical Society Awards are awarded to the students displaying the best knowledge and use of chemistry.”
  • “The Society for In Vitro Biology award is given to the most outstanding 11th grade exhibit using the techniques of plant or animal in vitro biology or tissue culture.”

The categories of awards to present. Examples: Outstanding Achievement, First Place, Second Place, Honorable Mention, etc. Note: you may have 1, 2, or 3 categories of awards.

The quantity of each award category. Examples: one First Place, two Second Places, or one Outstanding Achievement. You may have as many awards in each category as you wish.

The recipients of each award category. Who can win this award? seniors? juniors? teachers?

The cash prizes for each award category. Examples: $50 for each Outstanding Achievement, $30 for each First Place, or $10 for each Honorable Mention. You are not required to give a cash prize at all.

How the student will receive the cash prize. You have two choices here.

  • You may write a check for the EISEF for the total amount of all your prizes, and we will take care of writing individual checks to the winners on fair day.
  • You may write your own checks on fair day.

Other prizes for each award category. Examples: a certificate, calculator, gift certificate, day planner, plaque, medallion, trophy, t-shirt, pin, pencil and pen set, one-year membership etc. Nearly all organizations present a certificate to their winners, and they nearly always have places for the student’s name.

How the student’s name gets on their winner’s certificate. You have three choices here.

  • You will send EISEF the correct quantity of certificates, plus two, at least two weeks before the fair (by March 5, 2017). They will already be signed by your organization’s officers, if there are places on the form to do so. On fair day, EISEF will print the winners' names on their certificates.
  • You will take care of printing the winners’ names on their certificates on fair day. This is more work for you, trust me.
  • You will not be giving the winners a certificate.

You need to decide how many judges you will need. The number of judges you’ll need on fair day depends on the recipients of your awards. In 2008 we had 171 exhibits in total. You’ll judge from 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM; the Awards team NEEDS YOUR WINNERS' NAMES BY 2:00 PM in order to be ready for the Awards Ceremony. To be fair to your organization and to the students, you should count on each judge evaluating at most 8 exhibits per hour (that’s 7½ minutes per exhibit).

So we strongly recommend you recruit five or more judges. On fair day, you’ll divide up the exhibits among the judges, all go off and evaluate the ones you have, rank them in your own list, and see each other’s top exhibits. Then you can assign the categories to each of your winners.

The Exhibit List for Sponsored Awards page lists all the projects that will be at the Fair, with their titles and descriptions. Just before the Fair you can check that page and select the projects best suited for your awards.

And last, who will present your awards to your winners. The Awards Ceremony begins at 7:00 PM. You have two choices.

  • Someone from your organization will present your awards to the winners.
  • The Master of Ceremonies will present your awards to your winners.

So by the time you’ve finished making these decisions, you will come up with a list that is something like this:

  • Point of contact:
  • Our awards go to the best projects relating to reindeer husbandry, arctic construction, or remote observation.
  • Our awards and prizes are as follows:
    • 1–Senior Division Award, presented to a Senior project, consisting of $50, a medallion, and a certificate
    • 2–Junior Division Awards, presented to a Junior project, consisting of $25 and a certificate
    • 2–Honorable Mention Awards, presented to Any project, consisting of a certificate
  • Total cash prizes: $100. We will send EISEF a check before the fair, and they will write three checks on fair day for us.
  • We will send EISEF seven certificates and $100 by March 5, 2017, two weeks before the fair, and they will write the winner’s names on the certificates on fair day for us.
  • We will have 3 wise men present at the fair on March 18, 2017 to judge exhibits.
  • We will present our awards to our winners.

Still with us? Great! Now that you have the important decisions made, you’ll need to register your organization with the Eastern Iowa Science and Engineering Fair. (AwardSponsors)

Page last modified on June 22, 2010, at 11:13 AM


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