Science and Engineering Fair

The North Museum Science and Engineering Fair’s Board of Directors Prize 2021

This year’s Board of Director’s prize goes to Mr. James Hovan.

As a member of the science fair community, Mr. Hovan has coordinated and directed the “CV Science Expo” (Conestoga Valley’s local fair) for nearly 20 years. In the 2016-17 school year, CV implemented the Honors Scientific Research class to which Mr. Hovan immediately was recommended to the post of teacher. In this class (and in the Honors Class Science Fair program before it), Mr. Hovan successfully mentored hundreds of science fair students as their adult sponsor. While Mr. Hovan has distinguished himself at CV for his tireless efforts on behalf of his students and the Science Fair, he has also risen to the challenge of supporting the North Museum Science and Engineering fair as a key member of the Governing Scientific Review Committee (SRC). Mr. Hovan is a dependable member of the SRC as he faithfully attends SRC meetings, project review nights, new teacher presentations, and he supports the actual science fair at the ‘hub’ by setting up tables, conducting Safety and Display inspections, moderating the judge’s deliberation rooms and even distributing the Auxilary and Category Awards on stage. Mr. Hovan has further supported science fair students (not just CV) by attending ISEF in 2015 in Pittsburg, PA.

Congratulations Mr. Jim Hovan!

The Board of Directors Prize was established by the North Museum of Nature and Science board in 2009. Each year educators are nominated by their peers for this prestigious award and one lucky teacher is selected. The Prize includes $1000 donated from the Board of Directors from the North Museum to the school district of the selected educator to support science education.

North Museum Science and Engineering Fair Awards Ceremony

Join us for the “live’ announcement of the 2021 Virtual North Museum Science and Engineering Fair on Thursday, March 25, at 1pm.

Watch Awards Ceremony

The North Museum Science and Engineering Fair is the only regional Fair in Lancaster affiliated to the International Science and Engineering Fair that offers national and international opportunities for students.

Winners of the North Museum Science & Engineering Fair advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition.

The Fair represents a focal point of our mission to be an essential informal science education resource in the region. The North Museum Science and Engineering Fair is provided at no cost to students, educators, parents or schools.


Important Dates to Remember for the 2020-2021 NMSEF
This is our official schedule of events for the 2021 NMSEF.

Safety and Display Guidelines
Curious about what is and what is not allowed in your project display for the fair? Use this handy checklist, or find even more details on the ISEF site:

2021 ISEF Rule Book
Need details on rules and guidelines? Look at the rule book, and if you have any questions, please feel free to email Dave Musser, LEAD STEM Education Facilitator (

Rules Wizard
This tool will helps students determine which forms their project will require. Remember, in addition to a research plan with 5 sources, every project requires (at least) these forms: Entry Form (Cover Sheet), Form 1, Form 1a, Form 1b, Form 3.

ISEF Category Descriptions
Not sure which category your student’s project falls under? Consider the descriptions on this page, and please don’t hesitate to email/call with questions and our SRC will find an answer for you. The NMSEF combined a few of the categories (listed below) but the core content of all categories from ISEF are represented at NMSEF.

Sample Projects
We have assembled three sample projects for you to use as examples:

How You Can Help!

Sponsor and support student scientists who are innovators changing the world for the better.

Volunteer There are a many volunteer opportunities to pull off this massive event. Join in the fun and change the world.

Need inspiration for your science fair project?

Be a Judge For the Fair

The North Museum invites the community to be a part of this impressive competition by being a judge.  Interested professionals from science-related fields (retiree’s welcome!) should register to receive information about becoming a judge. We need all the help we can get to evaluate projects from over 22 science categories.  Use the link below and support this countywide, internationally affiliated competition! Training is provided and we promise you will be inspired by these impressive students!  NMSEF Judges Registration

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North Museum Science & Engineering Fair

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