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State Science Expo


More than 1,400 seventh- through 12th-grade students from across Illinois – some of the state’s best and brightest aspiring scientists, engineers, designers and problem-solvers – will exhibit research and design investigations. They will compete for scholarships, best in category awards and other special awards.


“So many members of the NIU Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math departments had formative experiences with science fairs when they were younger,” says Tracy Rogers-Tryba, who is coordinating the judging and volunteer efforts. “This is a wonderful chance to give back and help create similar experiences for the next generation.”

Students begin their research and design projects supported locally by their schools, teachers and parents. Students advance to their regional expositions, which select the top students to advance to the state exposition. Students can compete in an oral presentation exposition of their investigation or with a project display competition.

Investigations range from consumer and behavioral science to engineering, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, astronomy and astrophysics and more.

The Science Fair is an educational opportunity for students to share their research with each other and the community. The Science Fair is an excellent teaching tool to meet Illinois Learning Standards.

Project displays, located at the Northern Illinois University Convocation Center, will be open to the public from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6, 2017. Admission and parking for the IJAS Expo is free.

Volunteer Opportunities

Event Volunteers

This event also relies on the participation of NIU undergraduate and graduate student volunteering. Four-hour shifts are available on May 5th and May 6th to help with check-in and other logistics, and when final prizes are presented

Student and Sponsor Information for Friday, May 5th

The Student 2017 State IJAS Paper Session is on Friday, May 5th at 1:00 PM at Northern Illinois University. Parking is available in the Paid Public lot located on Carroll Avenue with a $5.00 daily fee. A parking map of campus may be found here. If you want free parking, you can park at the Convo Center and walk over. It will take about 15 minutes, or you can look for parking on the side streets north of Lucinda.

NEW THIS YEAR. Students will go directly to their presentation building/room. They should arrive at 1:00 and wait until it is their time to present. There will NOT be a student meeting this year. A list of student room assignments can be found here

Each Paper Session presentation room is equipped with a computer with a USB port, a projector, and screen. Students need to bring their presentation on a flash drive. Individual laptop computers are NOT needed. Internet access cannot be guaranteed, Internet-based presentations are not permitted. Again, students should have their presentations saved to a flash drive for Paper Session. We suggest that sponsors save ALL of their students' presentations to a flash drive as a back-up. Since formatting can change, it is suggested that you save the presentation in its original format as well as a pdf.

Please have each student bring 2 complete printed copies of the papers including Abstract, and SIGNED Safety and Endorsement Sheets (if needed) with them on the day of the paper session. If the Safety/Endorsement Sheets are missing or not signed, the student could be disqualified.

Paper Session Judge Information for Friday, May 5th.

Judges should plan to be at Cole Hall no later than 12:15 p.m. for a 12:30 Mandatory Meeting covering room assignments, computer log-in instructions, and paper session judging rules.  Judging is scheduled to begin immediately following the end of the training session at 1:00 p.m. or slightly after that. A list of judges and room assignments are provided here.

Campus Tour

Campus Tours

Campus walking tours will be available as follows during the IJAS Expo. Pre-registration is requested in order to ensure we have enough guides available.

Tours will be offered Friday, May 4th at 10:00 AM and at 11:00 AM, and again on Saturday, May 5th at 9:00 AM. Each tour is approximately an hour and covers the NIU campus. Walking is required. 

Register for a Campus Tour

Holmes Student Center


Hotel Rooms are available at the Holmes Student Center during the IJAS Expo. Located in the center of campus, the Hotel at Holmes offers the convenience of meeting spaces, restaurants, recreation, and more—all under one roof. Please call 815-753-1444 and ask for the IJAS Room Block for the discounted rate.

We are also within walking distance of downtown DeKalb and a 5-minute drive to the NIU Convocation Center.

NIU's Interactive Map


NIU Convocation Center

NIU’s Convocation Center is located at 1525 W. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb, IL  60115. 

Please use Entrance 2.

May 5-6, 2017

Event Schedule

Please check the IJAS website for information and updates:


The Convocation Center has 3,000 parking spaces immediately surrounding it. Parking for the IJAS Expo is free. Visit Directions to view the campus map.