The 2020 Ozarks Science & Engineering Fair has been changed to a virtual Fair; please see the Updated Important Notice for more information.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of science competitions like the Ozarks Science and Engineering Fair. Without our volunteers, we would not be able to make the Fair the exciting opportunity it is for so many southwest Missouri students. Volunteering at the Fair is rewarding - Come join in the fun and find out!

Signing up to volunteer is easy:

  1. Go to our signup form at SignUp Genius. As the physical Fair has been cancelled for 2020, and we are making the shift to a virtual Fair, I have CLOSED the SignUp for volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering as a "virtual judge", please contact me at SueMcCrory@missouristate.edu. 
  2. Pick as many time slots as you want - make sure you only pick the slots you can ACTUALLY work, as participation each slot is limited. 
  3. If your volunteer time doesn't fit the exact slots listed, pick the ones that most closely fit the time you CAN work - we're flexible! You can manage your volunteer time entirely from the SignUp Genius webpage - if you need to make changes later, you can do so by logging back in and making your changes. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you sign up to volunteer, and then fail to show up, your professor and/or organization will be notified. 
  4. Once you have signed up, you should get a confirmation email from SignUp Genius. They will also send you a reminder email two days before your volunteer time.
  5. Don't forget to share your sign-up on Facebook or other social media, and encourage/challenge your friends to sign up!

That's it - you're a volunteer!

Typical Volunteer Job Descriptions

The following is a brief list of typical jobs and their duties - but you are not limited to these suggestions! We have lots of opportunities, both before and during the Fair, for individuals and groups. These descriptions are not intended to be comprehensive, but are merely suggestive of the typical experiences a volunteer might have.

Volunteer Job Descriptions
Set Up Typically involves setting up tables, placing sign, etc. May require some heavy lifting.
Registration Checking in students, parents, and teachers. Providing information packets to students, and directing them where to go.
Greeter Escorting students to their display tables; directing students, judges, teachers, and parents to desired locations.
Monitor Monitor projects and display areas to ensure only judges and students are present during judging.
Display/Safety Inspecting projects for compliance with rules and guidelines designed for safety and to promote competition
General Runner Miscellaneous duties as needed.
Judge Chair Collecting judges' paperwork; is typically someone with a science, math, or engineering background. Can be a college student, faculty member, or a professional from the community.
Press Room Press room duties as assigned; typically includes printing certificates, answering phones, copying, faxing documents. Attention to detail is CRITICAL.
Security Monitors the project areas while the Fair is open to the public.
Awards Ceremony Setting up the awards ceremony; directing students, teachers, family members, and other attendees to the awards area; passing out programs and award books; assisting with removal of projects after conclusion of ceremony.
Take Down The opposite of setting up; taking down tables, signs; trash removal. May require some heavy lifting.
Haul Back Packing up equipment used by the Fair such as printers, computers, decorations, etc.

Other Important Information about Volunteering at the Fair

  • The Fair is held at the Hammons Student Center on the campus of Missouri State University - all volunteer activities during the actual Fair take place at Hammons Student Center.
  • Once Scheduled, volunteers should report to Hammons Student Center at least five (5) minutes prior to their scheduled report time for check-in and instructions.
  • Volunteers report to the OSEF Office, which is located in the Hammons Student Center Press Room - it's located immediately under the East bleachers.  There will be a sign-in sheet where volunteers SIGN their name, the time of arrival, and any organization or class for whom they are volunteering (if any).
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes - volunteers may have to do some physical labor such as moving tables, climbing stairs, etc.  Weather conditions the first week of April are often quite variable - you may wish to wear layers so you can add/remove clothing as needed.  Flip-flops and other loose footwear are generally not recommended - they can be hazardous and cause injury.

  • Bring bottled water! There are vending machines in Hammons Student Center, but it's easier, cheaper, and more convenient to bring your own.

  • We try to schedule the work as evenly as possible, but the nature of the Fair generally means that it's "feast or famine" - we either have too much to do, or we have nothing to do while we are preparing for the next step. If this happens, take advantage of the break and have a seat - but STAY CLOSE BY! When something comes up we need you to do, we need to be able to put you to work immediately.

  • Keep in mind that everyone at the Fair - including non-students and those "in charge") are also volunteers. Tempers and patience sometimes run short.  If everyone tries to be polite, considerate of others, and patient, everyone has a much better experience at the Fair.

  • Make sure you check out before you leave!

Volunteer Registration

Did You Know...

You can donate to the Fair? The Fair survives on donations - everyone connected to the Fair is a volunteer, and all awards and expenses are provided through the generous donations of educational institutions, community organizations, local employers, and members of the public like you.  Contributions are given through the auspices of the Missouri State University Foundation, making them tax deductible.