I am currently a junior (rising senior) and I really want to participate in this year's Siemens science fair. I don't have any significant experience participating in science fairs, but I do have some lab experience (I'm participating in a six-week internship at a biomedical research facility until mid-July). I know I want to do something in biology, but I have yet to narrow down a topic and find a mentor. I have looked up some professors at a nearby university and some of them have research I am interested in. I would greatly appreciate it if you could answer my questions
1. Is it too late for me to try to complete a project before the Siemens deadline, which is this September 30? I would unfortunately not be able to actually meet with my mentor and conduct experiments until July 20 since I am working, but I can definitely do background research, etc before that.
2. Approximately how long can it take to find a mentor who is willing to help a high school student?
3. When emailing or otherwise contacting my mentor, should I mention that I want to do research for the purpose of a science fair, so that they know that I am aiming to complete a project by a certain deadline? Or is that considered impolite?
4. I have read the article on Science Buddies on how to find a mentor, but I am still unclear on how exactly I should phrase my request. Should I say something like "I'm interested in your research, and I would like to work in your lab to learn more about this topic and have the opportunity to conduct research to submit to the Siemens science fair?" That sounds a bit awkward so I would appreciate it if someone could help me phrase my request
5. If it is too late for me to participate in Siemens, what other advanced science fair opportunities (such as Intel, etc.) do you think I would be able to participate in?
Thank you so much! I really appreciate it.