Mercer Science and Engineering Fair

The Mercer Science and Engineering Fair (MSEF) has been held for more than 50 years in  Mercer County, NJ. It is open to students of Mercer County in grades 4 through 12. It is run by the Mercer Science and Engineering Club is held at Rider University, one of the fair's major sponsors. 

The sections listed below provide more information about MSEF.

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About our fair

The Mercer Science and Engineering Fair (MSEF) has been held for more than 50 years in  Mercer County, NJ. It is open to all students who attend school in Mercer County in grades 4 through 12. Students in grades 9 through 12 in near by New Jersey counties may also participate if their county is not covered by another ISEF affiliated fair. The grand prize winner for the Senior Division receives an all expense paid trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). There is no charge to participate in the fair.

Why should a student participate in MSEF? First of all, it is fun. Students can also win awards and scholarships. Scholarships to leading colleges and universities are awarded at ISEF.

Students get a chance to explore topics in all areas of science, engineering, and mathematics. They get hands-on experience in topics that interest them and students develop expertise in the scientific method. Presentation skills are also developed increasing a students confidence and poise.

Intel ISEF

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) is run by the Society for Science & the Public. The Mercer Science and Engineering Fair (MSEF) is affiliated with ISEF. The MSEF grand prize winner receives an all expense paid trip to compete at the annual Intel ISEF competition in May.

Other Science Fairs

ISEF Affiliated Fairs in New Jersey

Senior and Junior division students may participate in one ISEF affiliated fair per year. Fairs cover a geographical area. Our fair covers Mercer county, NJ. Students that attend school outside of Mercer County should check out nearby fairs.

Below are nearby fairs in New Jersey as well as a link to ISEF's full list.Some of these fairs also include the Broadcom Masters program for the Junior division. Students may not participate in more than one of these fairs

Check out the ISEF Affiliated Fair Page for a complete list regional and state science fairs. New Jersey does not have a state fair.
 

Non-ISEF Affiliated Fairs in New Jersey

Students can present their same project at any number of other non-affiliated ISEF fairs. Check them out for details as their registration process, project presentation, etc. will be different.

Why check out other fairs?

  1. Going to school outside of Mercer County?: MSEF covers students that attend school only in Mercer County, NJ. You can check links above for other nearby fairs if you attend school outside of Mercer County. 
  2. My school has its own science fair. Can I still participate: Check with your school first. Many send winners directly to MSEF each year. If your school is in Mercer County and does not send winners of a school fair to MSEF then you can enter MSEF yourself. You will still need a signature from a teacher or sponsor at your school but schools do not need make any special effort for their students to be considered for MSEF. 
  3. Can I participate in more than one fair: You can participate in only one ISEF affiliated fair per year. You can participate in any number of other fairs and science competitions even with the same project as long as they are not affiliated with ISEF.
  4. What if I have more questions: You can always drop us an email note if you have questions regarding participation.

Society for Science & the Public

The Society for Science & the Public runs a number of difference science competitions for students. This includes the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). The Mercer Science and Engineering Fair (MSEF) is affiliated with ISEF. The MSEF grand prize winner receives an all expense paid trip to compete at the annual Intel ISEF competition in May.

MSEF Volunteers

The Mercer Science and Engineering Fair is run by volunteers. This include Mercer Science and Engineering Club members as well as other volunteers that act as judges as well as helping set up and take down the fair. This section highlights some of the jobs associated with the fair. The normal sequence for the fair includes:

Day Volunteer Description
Saturday Yes Table set up starting at 8:00am
Sunday Yes Student check in, project set up and safety review, Senior and Junior divsion juding occurs in the evening
Monday Judges Senior and Elementary division judging
Tuesday   Award ceremony starting at 7:00pm
Wednesday   Open house
Thursday Yes Project pick up starting at 3:00pm. Table tear down from 5:00pm to 7:00pm

We need volunteers for Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday.

Table Set Up

Table set up occurs Saturday before the fair starts. Saturday morning we set up the tables, banners, table clothes and signs for the fair. It takes about an hour if we have a large enough group of people.

Student Check In

Sunday morning is the busiest time for volunteers. We start checking in students at 11:00am. Initial set up for volunteers starts about 10:00am.
We need inviduals to check in each division including Elementary, Junior and Senior. It is easy to learn the check in procedures.
We also need people to handle safety review of projects. This is normally done by people who have handled safety review before and we train new volunteers by partnering them with experienced safety review people. This group essentialy checks projects after they are set up to make sure everything is in order and that no materials are left for judging that should not be there such as glassware or liquids.

Project Tear Down

Teardown occurs Thursday evening. Students are expected to pick up their projects by 7:00pm or they are discarded. We start taking down tables about 5:00pm. We try to remove tables as they are vacated but near the end of the session we will place the projects on the floor so we can remove the tables.
As with table set up, ths session require manual labor although we do need people to take down banners and remove table cloths.