Otero Junior College
Arkansas Valley Regional Science Fair

Important Links for Adult Sponsors

Appreciating the Sciences

19th Arkansas Valley Regional Science Fair, 2015

For Rules and Guidelines visit:

How to set up an Internal Review Board (IRB) at the local level:

Every School should have an IRB. The IRB can determine if a particular project offers a risk to the student, vertebrate animals, human subjects or the environment. PROJECTS INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS MUST HAVE IRB APPROVAL PRIOR TO EXPERIMENTATION. Your schools IRB must include at least three members:

a. An educator (teacher)

b. A school administrator (preferably principal or vice principal) 

c. A person knowledgeable and capable of evaluating physical and/or psychological risks. Such person may be: 1) a medical doctor; 2) a registered nurse; 3) a physician's assistant; 4) a psychiatrist; 5) a licensed social worker; 6) licensed clinical professional counselor; 7) a psychologist. 

Your school IRB may produce documentation when necessary from an external expert if such expert is not available locally or able to be a member of the IRB in order to approve a particular project . 

Also, it is important to note that an ADULT SPONSOR, QUALIFIED SCIENTIST, AND DESIGNATED SUPERVISOR  MAY NOT PARTICIPATE AS IRB MEMBER TO APPROVE PROJECTS THEY ARE SPONSORING.

If your school is unable to organize an Internal Review Board then the adult sponsor must contact the Arkansas Valley Regional Scientific Review Committee (SRC) by calling Dr. Aaron O. Reyes AVRSF consultant (719) 384-6845 or Dr. Joel Gray SRC chair (719)-384- 6892 or by email at: aoreyes@wsc.ma.edu and/or joel.gray@ojc.edu .

General Comment:

  • The most common mistake is not having the proper signatures taken prior to experimentation date.
  • The most frustrating mistake is getting the roles of the adults confused, this is frustrating because it usually is a mistake on the adults not the students.  Remember, a Parent and/or Teacher may be the Student Sponsor, the Designated Supervisor and at the same time if qualified he/she may be the Qualified Scientist for any given project.  What cannot be allowed is for that person to also be one of the IRB or SRC approval signatures.  So it is best to keep IRB and SRC members from sponsoring projects.
  • Please contact us for any approval issues prior to the beginning of your student's experimentation date.
  • I always recommend the first few months of the semester (September, October, and maybe even November) to be preparatory months.  Have your students prepare a research plan with five reference of what they want to do.  Then determine if you will need to obtain special SRC or IRB approval signatures.  First, obtain those signatures/ approvals, then, give the paperwork (Form 1B) to both parents and students to sign, finally, have the adult sponsor sign Form 1. Once this is done the student may begin with actual experimentation/data gathering.

  

  

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