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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Rules & Regulations

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The Southern Minnesota Regional Science & Engineering Fair Program is affiliated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) Program. Rules are set-forth by Intel ISEF that we must follow.

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. Some of these forms are required for all projects, while others are only if you are using human subjects, vetebrate animals, potentially hazardous biological agents, human tissues or vertebrate animal tissues. If you're unsure which forms you will need for your experiment, please check out the ISEF Rules Wizard.

Scientific Review Committee (SRC)

Minnesota State University, Mankato has a Scientific Review Committee/Institutional Review Board (SRC/IRB). The purpose of this committee is to check student projects for compliance with the Intel ISEF and regional fair rules. If your school does not have a local SRC/IRB Committee, you need to forward the forms to Minnesota State University, Mankato prior to beginning your research.

A copy of the SRC forms must be submitted to the Science Fair Office (135 Trafton Science Center South, Mankato MN 56001) by the deadline date listed under Registration and Important Dates.. You must also bring a copy of your SRC forms with you on fair day. You should always keep the originals. We will not print forms for you the day of the fair.

SRC Forms required for all projects:

  • Checklist for Adult Sponsor (1)
  • Student Checklist (1A)
  • Approval Form (1B)
  • Research Plan (must include: problem, hypothesis, procedure, bibliography with 5 references- website reference must include date viewed)
  • Post Project Summary (new in 2016)
  • Abstract (for projects 250 words or less, for papers 200 words or less)

* Be careful about all dates on Form 1A, Form 1B, and Form 1C. Some dates must be before or after the start/end dates of your project. Read the directions carefully by each date field.

The ISEF Wizard will help determine which additional forms are required for your specific project. Common reasons for needing additional forms are projects involving:

  • biological tissues
  • microorganisms (do NOT grow any microorganisms at home)
  • hazardous chemicals/activites
  • human participants
  • vertebrate animals
  • conducted in a research institute
  • continuation of previous year's project

In order to eliminate conflict of interest, the Adult Sponsor, parents, the Qualified Scientist, and the Designated Supervisor must not serve on the SRC reviewing that project. Additional members are recommended to help avoid this conflict of interest and to increase the expertise of the committee.

Display and Safety

On the day of the fair, your project will be reviewed to ensure that it meets all display and safety guidelines set by ISEF. Some basic rules from the checklist include:

  • 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
  • have a copy of your SRC forms
  • 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, rocks, cement, and/or waste samples
    • animals (including taxidermy specimens)
    • chemicals/drugs
    • sharp items
    • explosives/fuels/ammunition
    • weapons
    • liquids (including water)
    • human or animal food
    • internet connection
    • glass
    • awards or medals
    • 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 the project advances to the the Minnesota State Science and Engineering Fair, all members must register and pay the registration fee, even if a member will not be attending the fair.


*The Middle School/Senior High School Division is required to follow all Intel International Science & Engineering Fair rules. Go to the Society for Science and the Public link below. (As a regional Intel ISEF affiliated fair, we have agreed upon not providing the rules & regulations online, rather, we have agreed to provide the link to the information.)