The long-running Sisters Science Fair scheduled for March has been cancelled as the Sisters Science Club and the Sisters School District work on a plan to carry the event into the next decade.

The Sisters Science Club has taken the lead on the event over the past eight years. As Sisters Science Fair Director Carol Packard noted last year, “Usually science fairs depend on teachers and invite the public. In Sisters, the public is inviting the teachers!”

Cal Allen, one of the pioneering members of the Sisters Science Club, told The Nugget that he and others needed to take a step back, and they made a proposal to the Sisters School District to take the lead on the event, while the Science Club coordinates volunteers. Allen said that placing the District in the lead would be good for the event long-term.

“You get a stronger sense of ownership in the schools if the school district takes the leadership of it,” Allen said.

The District was unable to put together the event coordination in time for this year’s event, so Superintendent Curt Scholl and the Club leadership decided to postpone the event and take a year off, Allen reported.

Scholl confirmed that the District supports the event and is interested in stepping up its role — but staff didn’t have the capacity this year to take on the coordination of an event of this scale.

“We’ll meet again in the spring and decide what’s going to happen for 2021,” Allen said. “It’s a problem of transition… I’m very hopeful that we can work out an arrangement where the District picks up 50 percent of the event.”

The Club will continue to support student field trips and educational programs.

The fair, which draws about 800 people from across the region, features exhibits from a planetarium to a flight simulator, 3D printing, a variety of scientific displays and experiments and a Design, Construct, Compete event.