Project Rules and Guidelines

Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in the MN Academy of Science State Science & Engineering Fair (MSSEF), students must first participate in one of the eight affliliated Regional Science Fairs in Minnesota and be selected to advance.

Homeschooled students are welcome to participate and should contact the Regional Science Fair closest to their home.

Official ISEF Rules

Students must be in compliance with all rules stipulated in the 2015-2016 Guide and modifications to Intel ISEF Science & Engineering Fair and Affiliated Fairs.

https://student.societyforscience.org/international-rules-pre-college-science-research 

Scientific Review Committee (SRC) Forms

A Scientific Review Committee (SRC) is a group of qualified individuals that is responsible for evaluation of student research, certifications, research plans and exhibits for compliance with the rules applicable laws and regulations at each level of science fair competition. Local SRCs may be formed to assist MAS State Science & Engineering Fair SRC in reviewing projects. The operation and composition of the local and Affiliated Fair SRCs must fully comply with the International Rules. 

The purpose of SRC is to:

protect the rights and welfare of the student researcher
protect the rights and welfare of the human participant
protect the health and welfare of the vertebrate animal subject
ensure adherence to federal regulations
ensure use of safe laboratory practices
protect the environment
determine eligibility for competition in the MN Academy of Science State Science & Engineering Fair 2016
determine eligibility for competition in the Intel ISEF 2016

Scientific Review Committee (SRC) examines projects for the following:

evidence of literature search and appropriate attribution
evidence of proper supervision
use of accepted and appropriate research techniques
completed forms, signatures and dates showing maximum of one year duration of research and appropriate preapproval dates (where required)

SRC Forms are required of all student presenters. SRC forms are used to verify that students' research is done following appropriate scientific methods. Each student fills out different forms depending on their research. Blank SRC forms come directly from the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) website

Required SRC Forms

While every student will have different SRC forms to submit, everyone must have at least these SRC Forms"

      • Checklist for Adult Sponsor (1)
      • Student Checklist (1A)
      • Approval Form (1B)
      • Research Plan (Must include: Problem, Hypothesis, Procedure, Bibliography with 5 references - website references must include date viewed)
      • Abstract

Additional forms are required based on your specific project. Common additional forms include:

      • Work Done at an Institutional or Industrial Setting (1C)
      • Human Subjects (4)
      • Vertebrate Animals (51)
      • Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents (6A)
      • Continuation of an Earlier Project (7)
 
Read the FORMS OVERVIEW to know which ones you need and the deadline for when you need them. You can also download the FORMS OVERVIEW. Follow this link to download the forms.
 
 

Abstracts

Abstracts for both high school and middle school projects must NOT exceed 250 words. If we receive an abstract in violation of the length limit, we will send it back to the student for correction. 

Team Projects

Teams must consist of no more than three individuals. A project cannot be switched from a team project to an individual project in the same year, nor can a project with three team members be reduced to a project with only two partners.

In order to participate in MSSEF, all members of a team must be registered even if all members are not able to attend.

All team members must be in the same division (i.e. Junior or Senior) to be eligible. Teams that contain a combination of both middle school and high school students are not eligible to participate in MSSEF.

Display and Safety

Students must pass Display and Safety Inspections to ensure that their display boards are in compliance with the rules before they may present. To ensure your project will pass D&S at State Science Fair you can download and review the Display and Safety Checklist below:

Display and Safety Checklist

Student Code of Ethics and Conduct

Scientific fraud and misconduct are not condoned at any level of research or competition. Plagiarism, use or presentation of other researcher’s work as one’s own, forgery of approval signatures and fabrication or falsification of data or approval dates will not be tolerated. Fraudulent projects will fail to qualify for competition in affiliated fairs.

Student Code of Ethics and Conduct:

  • I will be positive about my science experience and accept responsibility for my participation.
  • I will encourage sportsmanship from fellow scientists, coaches, officials, and parents at every event by demonstrating good sportsmanship.
  • I will do my very best to listen and learn from the judges and scientists.
  • I will treat my advisor, other participants, officials, and visitors with respect regardless of race, sex, creed, or ability. I will expect to be treated accordingly.
  • I deserve to enjoy the event and will alert parents or advisors accordingly.
  • I deserve to compete in an environment that is free of drugs, tobacco, alcohol, and expect adults to refrain from their use at all science events.
  • I will expect to receive a fair treatment.
  • I will abide by all decisions made by judges and understand that all decisions made by judges are final.
  • I will observe the student curfew indicated in the program booklet.
  • In the event that I wish to file a formal complaint about something which has happened at the competition, I will follow official MAS complaint procedures.

Parent and Advisor Code of Ethics and Conduct

Scientific fraud and misconduct are not condoned at any level of research or competition. Plagiarism, use or presentation of other researcher’s work as one’s own, forgery of approval signatures and fabrication or falsification of data or approval dates will not be tolerated. Fraudulent projects will fail to qualify for competition in affiliated fairs.

Parent and Advisor Code of Ethics and Conduct:

  • I will provide positive support, care, and encouragement for my student(s) participating in the competition.
  • I will encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for all competitors, judges, teachers, mentors, and officials at the event.
  • I will place the emotional and physical well-being of my student(s) ahead of a personal desire to win.
  • I will do my best to provide a safe environment for my student(s).
  • I will lead by example in demonstrating a healthy attitude about the event’s competition level.
  • I will remember that I am a parent or advisor and that the competition is for the students.
  • I will ask my student(s) to treat competitors, advisors, and staff with respect regardless of race, sex, creed, or ability.
  • I promise to help my student(s) enjoy the science experience by doing whatever I can, such as being a respectful visitor.
  • I will be knowledgeable about the MAS and ISEF rules and will convey these rules to my students.
  • I will abide by all decisions made by judges and understand that all decisions made by judges are final.
  • I will ensure that my student(s) observe the curfew indicated in the program booklet.
  • In the event that I wish to file a formal complaint about something which has happened at the competition, I will follow official MAS complaint procedures.

Judging Criteria


 

Judges evaluate students’ projects on their contribution to their field of study, their design and methods, their study execution, their creativity and problem solving, and their presentation skills. Detailed scoresheets for the Middle School Papers Competition and for the Middle School and High School Science Fair Projects are below in PDF format.

 


Science Fair Projects Scoresheet
Science Fair Projects Comment Sheet