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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Rules & Regulations

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The Southern Minnesota Regional Science and Engineering Fair Program is affiliated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) Program. Intel ISEF rules are followed exactly as listed on the Intel ISEF website for students in grades 6-12 competing at the Middle School/Senior High School Division. At the elementary level, grades 3-6, the rules are modified and simplified. If in doubt about any aspect of the rules, check with the Regional Science and Engineering Fair Office. The changes are designed to reduce paperwork while ensuring student safety.

Before you begin your experiment you will need to make sure that you plan your experiment or research. Sometimes, you will need assistance from a qualified scientist or a review board. Make sure you plan your project accordingly.

All students at the local level must have the "Elementary Project Approval Form" completed before the project is started. For most projects this form signed by the student(s), a parent, and/or classroom teacher is sufficient. The purpose of this form is to ensure that the student has a project that is safe and that he/she will have a positive learning experience.

Items you will need the day of the fair:

  • regular square card table
  • elementary project approval form
  • your project
  • research journal including
    • data
    • sources
    • hypothesis or engineering goal
  • helpful, but not required items:
    • tape
    • marker
    • pen
    • quiet activity for between judges
    • snack and drink or cash for concession stand

Display and Safety Rules:

  • maximum size of project
    • depth (front to back): 30 inches or 76 centimeters
    • width (side to side): 48 inches or 122 centimeters
    • height (floor to top): 108 inches or 274 centimeters
  • credit for all images must be displayed on board
  • all photos containing humans (other than the participant) must have written consent to use the photo
  • only extension cords provided by the fair are allowed
  • common items not allowed to be displayed at your project include, but are not limited to:
    • plants
    • soil, sand, waste samples
    • animals (including taxidermy specimens)
    • chemicals/drugs
    • sharp items
    • explosives/fuels/ammunition
    • weapons
    • liquids (including water)
    • human or animal food
    • internet connection
    • glass
    • promotional/sales materials

Team Projects

Teams may consist of no more than 3 individuals. Once a project has started, members cannot be added or removed.


If a project involves human participants or vertebrate animals, Intel ISEF "Human Participants Form (4) or the "Vertebrate Animal Form (5A) must be completed and signed by your local SRC/IRB Committee PRIOR to the onset of the project's beginning date. Other forms may also be needed. It is best for students working with Human Participants or Vertebrate Animals to utilize the Intel ISEF Rules Wizard. The wizard will help you figure out which forms are needed. These certificate forms do not need to be forwarded to the regional office, but should accompany the Elementary Project Approval Form on the day of the regional fair. (Never send us the originals of the certification forms - student/educator should keep originals and send copies.) The "Vertebrate Animal Form (5A, 5B)" is not needed for invertebrate animals, or observation of nonhuman vertebrates. The "Human Participants Form (4)" is needed for observation of humans.

If you do not have a SRC/IRB Committee, set one up locally or contact the Regional Science Fair Office at for assistance.