Calendar:               Calendar varies, scheduled to meet program needs

Stipend:                  $4,000 – paid in two installments – in December and May
                               One upon completion of SRC/IRB fall season (approx. December 15); and, One upon annual completion of STEM Fair duties, approx. May 15)

Reports to:             Community Education – Youth Programs Coordinator (Secondary)
 
Core Tasks:            Approval of Participant Work per International Science and Engineering Fair Rules
 
Core Abilities:         Knowledge of Best Practices in Scientific Research
                               Understanding of State and International Fair Rules and Procedures
                               Ability to Recruit Subject Matter Expert Reviewers from Scientific/Medical Community
                               Communication with Fair Director, Coordinator, participants, parents, volunteers

Description
The Rochester Regional STEM Fair (STEM Fair) is affiliated with the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), as is the Minnesota State Science Fair.  As such, our local STEM Fair must adhere to the rules and guidelines for student projects established by ISEF, which safeguard student researchers, the greater community and, when involved, human participants or vertebrate animal subjects, and which allow participants to compete in State and International competitions.

The Scientific Review Committee (SRC)/Institutional Review Board (IRB) Chairperson is responsible for upholding these ISEF guidelines by leading a committee of dedicated STEM professionals, who meet to give pre-approval to projects that utilize human participants, vertebrate animals, or hazardous materials or processes each fall. Throughout the year, the SRC/IRB Chairperson offers guidance to SRC/IRB committee members, building coordinators, and science teachers on ISEF rules, and provides an orientation to new SRC volunteers and school staff.

The SRC Chairperson is also responsible for the final review of all student project paperwork and permissions for the STEM Fair (typically between 100-150 projects), following ISEF guidelines, with support from the Fair Director, Youth Programs Coordinator, and Community Education clerical staff.
Most of the work of the SRC/IRB chairperson takes place during the fall and winter months, particularly between late January and mid-February, but some commitment is necessary year-round.

Duties

  1. Become familiar with the role of the local SRC/IRB and with ISEF rules and guidelines, including annual rule and guideline updates. (Complete information available on the ISEF web site.)
  2. As needed, recruit new members of the SRC/IRB committee from members of the scientific and technical community, following the ISEF guidelines for membership to help with two evening SRC session in the fall.
  3. Respond to questions on projects and paperwork from participants, parents, building coordinators.
  4. Host two SRC sessions (evenings) for projects requiring pre-approval, one in early November and one in early December.
  5. Review all student paperwork in late January and compile a list of paperwork corrections and additions necessary for students to comply with ISEF rules and guidelines. If any serious issues potentially warrant a student’s being disqualified from the STEM Fair, discuss and make this determination with the Fair Director.
  6. At the mid-February Fair, be available to trouble-shoot potential issues with the Fair Director prior to award judging and help host the award ceremony.
  7. Work with the State Science & Engineering Fair SRC/IRB to identify any additional needs and help participants to address those by deadline.
  8. Assist students bound for the ISEF competition with any compliance issues potentially identified by the ISEF SRC/IRB.
  9. File required online ISEF regional fair report.
  10. Send thank you notes to committee members and encourage continued involvement.

Must be able to work effectively in partnership with several individuals and groups to be successful, including but not limited to the Community Education staff members, STEM Fair volunteers, teacher leaders, students, parents, representatives from Curriculum & Instruction, building principals, and a variety of community partners.

Commitment to Equity:
Rochester Public Schools is committed to diversifying its workforce to better reflect the community we serve.  We believe the practices used in recruiting, interviewing, hiring, supporting, and promoting staff must include and honor, at every level, those who represent the diverse identities of our schools and community.
https://www.rochesterschools.org/equity-statement

Common and Shared Accountabilities for All Positions 
Employees of the Rochester Public School District #535 are expected to support the goals, model and promote an environment that is respectful for all, and work collaboratively with other staff to focus on the needs of the learner. A quality, customer focus that conveys a welcome attitude, an adaptability to change, and a desire for continuous improvement is also expected of all employees. In addition, staff are to respect confidential matters, encourage a safe and secure environment throughout the schools, and be dependable and accountable employees.
 
Please visit www.rochesterschools.org to learn more about Rochester Public Schools.