PROJECT GUIDELINES

Display & Safety

Maximum Size of Project Display

Depth (front to back): 30 inches (76 centimeters)
Width (side to side): 48 inches (122 centimeters)
Height (floor to top): 108 inches (274 centimeters)

– All projects materials and support mechanisms must fit within the project dimensions.
– Fair provided tables will not exceed a height of 36 inches (91 centimeters).
– If a table is used it becomes part of the project and must not exceed the allowed dimensions.
– All demonstrations must be done within the confines of the finalists display area.

DisplayBoard

Displayed Items

Your abstract and notebook should be displayed with your project.

If needed, Forms 1C and 7 must be displayed.

Signed copies of Form 4 should be present but not displayed.

Project Display Helpful Hints
  1. Inexpensive display boards and other display aids are available at most office and art supply stores.
  2. Use type families and colored backgrounds to associate groups of information throughout your display. Remember that black or dark type is easiest to read and that judges do notice spelling and grammar.
  3. Your title should be big, easy to read, and capture the spirit of your research. You can use two titles if you wish, a scientific one on top and one for the lay audience below it.
  4. Possible sections for your board might include: Introduction, Background/Research, Hypothesis, Experimental Design, Data, Data Interpretation, Conclusion/Discussion, Further Research.
  5. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Photographs and drawings are good display tools: they help your audience understand your research and are eye-catching aids for your display. Remember you need written consent (Form 4) if you use a photograph of anyone other than yourself.
  6. Use the largest possible visuals and type. Important text should be legible from at least three feet away. Use font sizes of at least 24 points on your display board.
  7. Use brief statements. Aim to have three to five bulleted statements, each 10 to 20 words per section.
  8. Tables of numerical data have a place—but maybe it’s in the notebook rather than on the display board. Use graphs or charts instead of tables wherever possible.
  9. Label the units of measurement used on each chart axis (e.g., “Centimeters of Rain,” “Years,” “Number of Ladybugs”). Use metric (SI) measurements and scientific names if possible.
  10. Caption your graphs and charts and indicate trends, conclusions drawn, etc.
Unacceptable for Display

– Brand names, logos (including school logos), or acknowledgements
– Formal Project Summaries are NOT allowed for distribution (only the Abstract may be distributed)
– All liquids, including water
– Human or animal food (eg., popcorn, M&Ms, etc.)
– Living organisms (including plants, fungi, and bacteria)
– Soil or waste samples, toxic waste samples
– Dried plant materials
– Taxidermy specimens or parts
– Preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals or their parts
– Human/animal parts or body fluids (blood, urine)
– Laboratory/household chemicals
– Batteries with open-top cells
– Poisons, drugs, controlled substances, hazardous substances or devices (for example: firearms, weapons,
ammunition, reloading devices, model rockets)
– Dry ice or other sublimating solids (solids which vaporize to a gas without passing through a liquid phase)
– Sharp items (for example: syringes, needles, pipettes, knives)
– Any flames, open or concealed, or highly flammable materials
– Gases or empty tanks that previously contained combustible liquids or gases, including butane and
propane
– Awards, medals, business cards, flags, endorsements or acknowledgements from previous fairs.
– Photographs or other visual presentations depicting vertebrate animals in surgical techniques, dissections,
necropsies, other lab techniques, improper handling methods, improper housing conditions, procedures,
etc.
– Photographs of people other than student presenter(s) unless signed Form 4 is available.

Display Safety Requirements

♦ Proper attention to safety is expected of all participants, including compliance with the following
requirements:
♦ No hand-held laser pointers of any power. No operation of Class III or Class IV lasers.
♦ No operation of unshielded belts, pulleys, chains, or moving parts with tension or pinch points.
♦ Any exhibit producing temperatures that could cause physical burns must be adequately insulated.
♦ Properly fasten all wiring. Nails, tacks, or unshielded staples are not acceptable.
♦ Electrical power: Only supplied to projects which cannot be displayed any other way. NOT FOR LAPTOPS
alone.
♦ Electrical power supplied to approved projects and, therefore, the maximums allowed for projects is 120 or
220 Volt, A.C., single phase, 60 cycles. Maximum circuit amperage/wattage available is determined by the
electrical circuit capacities of the exhibit hall and may be adjusted on-site by the Display and Safety
Committee. For all electrical regulations “120 Volt A.C.” or “220 Volt A.C.” is intended to encompass the
corresponding range of voltage as supplied by the San Jose Convention Center.
♦ All electrical connectors, wiring, switches, extension cords, fuses, etc. must be UL-listed and must be
appropriate for the load and equipment. Connections must be soldered or made with UL-listed connectors.
Wiring, switches, and metal parts must have adequate insulation and over-current safety devices (such as
fuses) and must be inaccessible to anyone other than the Championship participant. Exposed electrical
equipment or metal that may possibly be energized must be shielded with a non-conducting material or
with a grounded metal box to prevent accidental contact.
♦ Wiring that is not a part of a commercially available UL-listed appliance or piece of equipment must have a
clearly visible fuse or circuit breaker on the supply side of the power source and prior to any project
equipment.
♦ There must be an accessible, clearly visible on/off switch or other means of disconnect from the 120 or 220
Volt power source.
♦ Computerized PowerPoint® presentations or equivalents can be made from battery powered laptops only,
and are allowed only to provide data unavailable in any other format.
♦ At its discretion, the compliance committee may restrict the operation of the project, or exhibition of
specified items, to the time of judging only. Failure to follow these restrictions can result in project
disqualification after judging is completed.
♦ If applicable, Forms 1C and/or Form 7 should be displayed on the project board. Each signed Form 4
should be available, but not displayed.

TAERSIF Display & Safety Inspectors will disqualify any exhibit which, in its opinion, does not comply with all preceding Project Display Rules.

Loss or Damage

TAERSIF and FGCU’s Alico Arena assumes no responsibility for loss or damage to any project or project part. Valuable items should be simulated or removed when the student is not present at his/her project.

Project Categories & Fields of Study

The Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis RSEF utilizes 13 Categories and 22 Fields of Study. Categories and Fields of Study within each category are listed below. These Categories and Fields of Study were introduced in 2016  and represent a reorganization of categories featured during prior years.

Students must choose a Category and Field of Study for their project. An accurate choice of Category and Field of Study ensures alignment with affiliate fairs (SSEF of Florida, Intel ISEF), and increases the likelihood that your project will be assigned to judges who understand and appreciate your project. A science project involves a study, hypothesis and experiment.  An engineering project involves an application, design or device and an engineering goal. A unique project number is assigned for each project.

It will also be required that the OFFICIAL RSEF ABSTRACT FORM be used for entry into the Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis RSEF.

Click HERE to review Judging Category Flow Chart (OLD to NEW)

Category Selection Advisement:

Many projects could easily fit into more than one of these categories. We highly recommend that you review the entire listing of the new categories before choosing the category that most accurately describes your project.

Ask yourself the following questions to help in the selection of a category:

1. Who will be the most qualified to judge my project? What area of expertise is most important for the judge to have?
(For example, a medical background or an engineering background?)

2. What is the emphasis of my project? What characteristic of my project is the most innovative, unique or important?
(For example, is it the application in medicine or the engineering of the machine? Is it inserting the proper gene or the method of computer mapping to demonstrate the results?)

Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis RSEF Project Categories & Fields of Study

1. Animal Sciences (ANIM) – Biological Science

This category includes all aspects of animals and animal life, animal life cycles, and animal interactions with one another or with their environment. Examples of investigations included in this category would involve the study of the structure, physiology, development, and classification of animals, animal ecology, animal husbandry, entomology, ichthyology, ornithology, and herpetology, as well as the study of animals at the cellular and molecular level which would include cytology, histology, and cellular physiology.

Research Areas: Animal Behaviors, Cellular Studies, Development, Ecology, Genetics, Nutrition and Growth, Physiology, Systematics and Evolution

2. Behavioral & Social Sciences (BEHA) – Biological Science

The science or study of the thought processes and behavior of humans and other animals in their interactions with the environment studied through observational and experimental methods.

Research Areas: Clinical & Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Physiological, Psychology, Sociology and Social Psychology

3. Biomedical & Health Sciences (BMED) – Biological Science

This category focuses on studies specifically designed to address issues of human health and disease. It includes studies on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention or epidemiology of disease and other damage to the human body or mental systems. Includes studies of normal functioning and may investigate internal as well as external factors such as feedback mechanisms, stress or environmental impact on human health and disease.

Biomedical & Health Sciences Fields of Study [CHOOSE ONE of the following]
⇒ Biomedical and Health Sciences (BMED)

This category focuses on studies specifically designed to address issues of human health and disease. It includes studies on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention or epidemiology of disease and other damage to the human body or mental systems. Includes studies of normal functioning and may investigate internal as well as external factors such as feedback mechanisms, stress or environmental impact on human health and disease.

⇒ Translational Medical Sciences (TMED)

Projects that aim to improve human health and longevity by translating novel discoveries in the biomedical sciences into effective activities and tools for clinical and public health use. Bi-directional in concept, projects can be those developed through basic research moving toward clinical testing (bench-to-bedside) or projects that provide feedback about the applications of new treatments and how they can be improved (beside-to-bench).

Research Areas: Disease Diagnosis, Disease Treatment, Drug Development and Testing, Epidemiology, Nutrition, Physiology and Pathology

4. Cellular/Molecular Biology & Biochemistry (CMBI) – Biological Science

The Cellular / Molecular portion of this category studies the structure, function, intracellular pathways, and formation of cells. Studies involve understanding life and cellular processes specifically at the molecular level.

The Biochemical portion of this category studies the chemical basis of processes occurring in living organisms, including the processes by which these substances enter into, or are formed in, the organisms and react with each other and the environment.

Cellular/Molecular Biology & Biochemistry Fields of Study [CHOOSE ONE of the following]
Biochemistry (BCHM)

The study of the chemical basis of processes occurring in living organisms, including the processes by which these substances enter into, or are formed in, the organisms and react with each other and the environment.

Cell and Molecular Biology (CELL)

This is an interdisciplinary field that studies the structure, function, intracellular pathways, and formation of cells. Studies involve understanding life and cellular processes specifically at the molecular level.

Research Areas: Cell Physiology, Genetics, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, Analytical, Biochemistry, General Biochemistry, Medicinal Biochemistry, Structural Biochemistry

5. Chemistry (CHEM) – Physical Science

Studies exploring the science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter not involving biochemical systems.

Studies involving biological and chemical processes of renewable energy sources, clean transport, and alternative fuels.

Chemistry Fields of Study [CHOOSE ONE of the following]
Chemistry (CHEM)

Studies exploring the science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter not involving biochemical systems.

Energy: Chemical (EGCH)

Studies involving biological and chemical processes of renewable energy sources, clean transport, and alternative fuels.

Research Areas: Analytical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Materials Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Alternative Fuels, Computational Energy Science, Fossil Fuel Energy, Fuel Cells and Battery Development, Microbial Fuel Cells, Solar Power

6. Earth & Environmental Sciences (EAEV) – Biological Science

Any studies involving the environment and its effect on organisms/systems.  This includes investigations of biological processes such as growth and life span, as well as studies of Earth systems and their evolution.

Research Areas: Atmospheric Science, Climate Science, Environmental Effects on Ecosystems, Geosciences, Water Science

7. Engineering (ENMS) – Physical Science

Studies that focus on the science and engineering that involve movement or structure.  The movement can be by the apparatus or the movement can affect the apparatus.

The study of the characteristics and uses of various materials with improvements to their design which may add to their advanced engineering performance.

Studies involving electrical systems in which information is conveyed via signals and waveforms for purposes of enhancing communications, control and/or sensing.

Engineering Fields of Study [CHOOSE ONE of the following]

Embedded Systems (EBED)

Studies involving electrical systems in which information is conveyed via signals and waveforms for purposes of enhancing communications, control and/or sensing.

Engineering Mechanics (ENMC)

Studies that focus on the science and engineering that involve movement or structure.  The movement can be by the apparatus or the movement can affect the apparatus.

Materials Science (MATS)

The study of the characteristics and uses of various materials with improvements to their design which may add to their advanced engineering performance.

Research Areas: Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering, Biomaterials, Ceramic and Glasses, Circuits, Civil Engineering, Composite Materials, Computation and Theory, Computational Mechanics, Control Theory, Electronic, Optical, and Magnetic Materials, Ground Vehicle Systems, Industrial Engineering-Processing, Internet of Things, Mechanical Engineering, Microcontrollers, Nanomaterials, Naval Systems, Networking and Data Communication, Optics, Polymers, Sensors, Signal Processing

8. Environmental Engineering (ENEV) – Physical Science

Studies that engineer or develop processes and infrastructure to solve environmental problems in the supply of water, the disposal of waste, or the control of pollution.

Research Areas: Bioremediation, Land Reclamation, Pollution Control, Recycling and Waste Management, Water Resources Management

9. Intelligent Machines, Robotics & Systems Software (IMRS) – Physical Science

Studies in which the use of machine intelligence is paramount to reducing the reliance on human intervention.

The study or development of software, information processes or methodologies to demonstrate, analyze, or control a process/solution.

Intelligent Machines, Robotics & Systems Software Fields of Study [CHOOSE ONE of the following]

Robotics and Intelligent Machines (ROBO)

Studies in which the use of machine intelligence is paramount to reducing the reliance on human intervention.

Systems Software (SOFT)

The study or development of software, information processes or methodologies to demonstrate, analyze, or control a process/solution.

Research Areas: Biomechanics, Cognitive Systems, Control Theory, Robot Kinematics, Machine Learning, Algorithms, Cybersecurity, Databases, Programming Languages, Operating Systems

10. Mathematics & Computational Sciences (MACO) – Physical Science

Mathematics, Computational Biology, and Bioinformatics

The study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols. The deductive study of numbers, geometry, and various abstract constructs, or structures.

Studies that primarily focus on the discipline and techniques of computer science and mathematics as they relate to biological systems. This includes the development and application of data-analytical and theoretical methods, mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques to the study of biological, behavior, and social systems.

Mathematics & Computational Sciences Fields of Study [CHOOSE ONE of the following]

Biomedical Engineering (ENBM)

Projects that involve the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology for healthcare purposes including diagnosis, monitoring and therapy.  Prominent biomedical engineering applications include the development of biocompatible prostheses, various diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices ranging from clinical equipment to micro-implants, common imaging equipment such as MRIs and EEGs, regenerative tissue growth, pharmaceutical drugs and therapeutic biologicals.

Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBIO)

Studies that primarily focus on the discipline and techniques of computer science and mathematics as they relate to biological systems. This includes the development and application of data-analytical and theoretical methods, mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques to the study of biological, behavior, and social systems.

Mathematics (MATH)

The study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols. The deductive study of numbers, geometry, and various abstract constructs, or structures.

Research Areas: Algebra, Analysis, Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Game Theory, Geometry and Topology, Number Theory, Probability and Statistics, Biomedical Engineering, Computational Bio Modeling, Computational Evolutionary Biology, Computational Neuroscience, Computational Pharmacology, Genomic

11. Microbiology (MICR) – Biological Science

The study of micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, prokaryotes, and simple eukaryotes as well as antimicrobial and antibiotic substances.

Research Areas: Antimicrobial and Antibiotics, Applied Microbiology, Bacteriology, Environmental Microbiology, Microbial Genetics, Virology

12. Physics & Astronomy (PHYS) – Physical Science

Physics is the science of matter and energy and of interactions between the two.

Astronomy is the study of anything in the universe beyond the Earth.

Studies of renewable energy structures/processes including energy production and efficiency.

Research Areas: Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, Astronomy and Cosmology, Biological Physics, Computational Physics and Astrophysics, Condensed Matter and Materials, Instrumentation, Magnetics, Electromagnetics and Plasmas, Mechanics, Nuclear and Particle Physics, Optics, Lasers, Masers, Quantum Computation, Theoretical Physics, Hydro Power, Nuclear Power, Solar, Sustainable Design, Thermal Power, Wind

13. Plant Sciences (PLNT) – Biological Science

Studies of plants and how they live, including structure, physiology, development, and classification. Includes plant cultivation, development, ecology, genetics and plant breeding, pathology, physiology, systematics and evolution.

Research Areas: Agronomy, Growth and Development, Ecology, Genetics/Breeding, Pathology, Physiology, Systematics and Evolution

Project Numbers

Project numbers are coded first by Division (J-Junior, S-Senior), then alphabetically by Category, then numerically by Field of Study within each category, and then numerically by Project ID within each Category.

In general, project numbers are assigned as:

Division-Category(Field Of Study-If Applicable)-Project ID

EXAMPLE #1
J-ANIM-09
(Division: Junior; Category: Animal Science; Project: 9)

EXAMPLE #2
S-ENMS(3)-05
(Division: Senior; Category: Engineering (Field of Study: Materials Science); Project: 5)

Regeneron ISEF FAQ

The ISEF SRC has attempted to provide answers to questions that they commonly receive on their e-mail account, src@societyforscience.org, about the International Rules and Guidelines. If there is a question that you would like to see added to this FAQ list, please e-mail the SRC the question and suggest that it would be good to post.

How do I find the fair in my region?

All fairs and fair directors are listed here.

Can my regional fair rules be stricter than the International Rules?

Yes, a local or regional fair may develop rules that reflect the laws, regulations and or local concerns of the geographic region or school district that it serves. It is important to consult the information provided by your regional fair to ensure that you are aware of any of these differences with the International Rules.

Where do I send my research plan and other paperwork to get pre-approval for my project?

Each affiliated fair must have a Scientific Review Committee (SRC) and an established Institutional Review Board(s) (IRB). If your teacher or adult sponsor does not have this information, contact the affiliated fair director who can be found by searching the Society for Science & The Public fair network.

Can I continue working on my project between my regional competition and the Intel ISEF?

Yes, as long as the active research period is no longer than 12 months in an 18-month period. And remember, that if you plan any significant changes or expansions of your research plan, be certain that you have received the proper approvals prior to starting the new phase of research.

How do I determine the “start date” of my project?

The start date of your project is when you begin to collect data for your experiment. The literature review and the design of your study will occur prior to your start date.

If I conduct my study in a location other than a school or home, do I need a Form 1C?

A Form 1C is required for experiments or equipment use on projects in research institutions, commercial or college laboratories, government or industrial settings (i.e. machine shop, manufacturing facility), and medical facilities. The form needs to be completed by the supervising scientist AFTER you have completed your work.

How do I determine if a chemical is hazardous?

Ask your supervising adult and consult the Material Safety and Data Sheet (MSDS) for the chemical(s) you plan to use. Some MSDS sheets (e.g. Flinn), rank the degree of hazard associated with a chemical. Generally a rating more than 1 should be considered hazardous. It is possible that two or more chemicals ranked 0 or 1 when mixed can react and form a hazardous chemical.

Can I use last year’s forms?

It is strongly recommended that a student use the current year’s International Rules as they are modified annually. However, for projects that will begin prior to the publication and posting of the current year’s rules on the Society for Science & the Public website (posted by June 1), it is permissible to use the previous year’s forms. Please consult with your regional fair to ensure that this is an acceptable practice or whether they would prefer that you update the forms that have changed significantly from a previous year.

How do I find out the Biosafety level of an organism?

Visit the website for the American Biological Safety Association at www.absa.org or the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) at www.atcc.org

Should all studies using water or soil collected from the environment be categorized as one involving potentially hazardous biological agents?

No. Even though water and soil could contain potentially pathogenic organisms, studies involving these samples are considered potentially hazardous only when the sample is cultured. The use of a coliform test kit to determine the presence of coliform bacteria does not categorize the project as one involving potentially hazardous biological agents.

How can I determine if my laboratory is a BSL-1 or BSL-2 laboratory?

There are no outside agencies which certify BSL 1 or 2 laboratory facilities.  There are criteria published by the World Health Organization and CDC-NIH which list the guidelines and practices required to attain BSL-1 and BSL-2  compliance.  These criteria are described in the World Health Organizations “Laboratory Biosafety Manual”   and in Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories published by CDC-NIH.

The criteria are available for ISEF affiliated fairs as self-assessment checklists for laboratories serving as sites for BSL-1 and BSL-2 studies.  These checklists are available on the ISEF website.  High school biology laboratories normally meet the BSL-1 criteria.  If BSL-2 studies are being conducted in a high school lab, it is recommended that the BSL-2 checklist be completed to document that all of the criteria are met.

Can I order organisms from a biological supply house and be assured that they will be a BSL1?

No, both BSL-1 and BSL-2 organisms are available from these supply houses.

What is a blood by-product?

Blood by-products result from the separation of blood and can include red blood cells, plasma, Factor 8, etc. These products must follow the rules of Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents (PHBA), as their handling and use can require special safety precautions.

When do I need to get written consent?

Your local IRB, after reviewing your research plan, will decide if you need to get documentation of informed consent (for adults), assent (for minors) and parental permission or if only verbal consent is required. If written consent/assent/parental permission is required, it is documented on the sample in  Forms. If written consent is not required, the subjects must still give verbal assent/consent before participating in the study.

How do I get written informed consent if I do a survey on the internet?

If the IRB determines if written informed consent or parental permission is required, then:

a) If the participant is 18 years of age or older, the survey must contain a statement of informed consent that those taking the survey can read and check a consent given prior to continuing with the survey. This “check” can be considered documentation of informed consent.

b) If the participant is under 18 years of age, the parent/legal guardian must give permission by signing and returning a informed consent form to you. A sample of an informed consent form is available in the Rulebook.

Additional information can be found in the ISEF Human Participants Risk Assessment Guide

Could I use my farm animal in my science project?

Yes, farm animals may be used at a “non-regulated [research] site”, i.e., farm or ranch using only standard agricultural practices.

What is meant by “invasive” procedures?

This includes all procedures involving entry into a living body by an incision, and/or by insertion of instruments, tubes, probes, etc. Injections for the health of an animal, as directed by a veterinarian, as prescribed by a veterinarian are not considered invasive (e.g., insulin, vitamins).

I’d like to do a study using extracted teeth from a dentist’s office. What forms do I need?

If the teeth have been sterilized and there are no identifiers (patient’s name, etc.), the teeth do not need to be treated as potentially hazardous biological agents.  However, if the teeth have not been sterilized the project requires prior SRC review and approval and treated as a BSL-2 study.  You will need forms 2, 6A and 6B.  If the teeth can be identified with a specific person, the research must also be reviewed and approved by an IRB and you will need forms 4 and documentation of informed consent.

I did a team project last year, but my teammates all graduated. Can I do a follow up study without them or with a new partner? Would it be a continuation study?

Yes, you can either switch to an individual project this year or add new team members. You are not permitted to make changes during the research year. It would still be a continuation of the previous work requiring Form 7.

I don’t believe my project is a continuation study. I want the judges to know that I’m doing all new things this year with my project even though it’s in the same field. Why do I need to call it a continuation and to complete Form 7?

Although many student researchers are worried that calling their project a continuation will present them negatively in a judge’s eyes, this is not the case. Most professional scientific research is a continuation of some kind, either of the researcher’s own work or based on the work of other scientists.

Judges like to see exactly what you have done this year, what you learned from your previous work, how last year’s study led to this one, and how your study is related to previous findings. Additionally, the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) must review your project before you are allowed to compete to ensure that this year’s study is not just a repeat of your previous work. Completing Form 7 gives the SRC and the judges all this information to effectively evaluate your project.

To decide if your project is a continuation or a stand alone, totally different project, it sometimes helps to ask yourself if there is anything you learned in your last study that is helping you in this study, if a question arose that led you to this study or if you will be referring to anything from the previous study. If yes, it is considered a continuation.

Scientific Review Committee

What is the SRC? What is the IRB?

The term SRC is actually used in two manners. The acronym SRC stands for Scientific Review Committee. One meaning refers to the group of people who form a committee that reviews each project application to ensure that all safety and legal requirements will be met and that the appropriate forms have been completed. The committee also reviews the completed project displays during check-in at Regional Science and Engineering Fair. A Scientific Review Committee is composed of at least three people: a biomedical scientist, a physical scientist, and a science teacher.

SRC also refers to the process of a project being reviewed. You may ask if a project “requires SRC approval” or if it has “met SRC requirements.” Projects involving humans are reviewed by a subcommittee of the SRC called the Institutional Review Board (IRB). This ensures the project will not present an excessive amount of risk to the human subjects involved in the study. An IRB is composed of at least three people: a science teacher, a school administrator and a psychologist, doctor (M.D.) or nurse (R.N.).

PLEASE NOTE: ALL LEVELS OF COMPETITION (School, Regional, State, International) are REQUIRED TO CONVENE an SRC and IRB (for projects that involve human subjects). For more information, please consult the Operational Guidelines for Scientific Review Committee (SRC) and Institutional Review Boards (IRB). Additional Committee Training resources are available from Society for Science & The Public website.

The TAERSIF SRC/IRB consists of >15 people with expertise/credentials in various subjects who work together to review each of the project applications for Regional Science and Engineering Fair. SSP (The Society for Science and the Public) requires that those signing off on application paperwork do not have a conflict of interest.

Do I need SRC approval BEFORE I can begin my project? What are the SRC guidelines and rules?

TAERSIF follows the rules of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) and abides by the State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida Rules Supplement to the Intel ISEF Rules with one change: TAERSIF would like to pre-approve all projects with potentially Hazardous Chemicals, Activities or Devices. These projects require that you submit a Form 3 with your application. See page 4 of the RSEF Handbook to see if you need preapproval, and determine the required additional forms required from the Documentation Checklist on page 5 of the Handbook. Forms may be downloaded from links on this website’s Forms page.

Are there special rules for Model Rockets?

Yes. Rockets are hazardous devices. You will need to follow the Model Rocket Safety Code (Source: www.nar.org) and submit the Model Rocket Launch Certificate that it contains. Contact your local NAR Chapter in Florida before you launch your rocket for your research project. DO NOT launch a rocket yourself.

Which additional forms are required for projects?

See the Forms page of this website.

Where can I get the additional forms required for SRC/IRB projects?

Please download additional forms from the Forms page of this website.

What if I need to make a significant change in my project after I have received SRC approval to begin?

STOP!!! Contact your school’s Scientific Review Committee and explain what you need to change. Do not proceed with your project until you have received further approval from the SRC. Approval is usually given in less than 48 hours.

How will I know when my project has been approved for competition at Regional Science and Engineering Fair?

Check the SRC Project Status link on this website. Select your school and teacher and then look up your name. [+PFTQ Disclaimer]

Why are we so strict about the forms and SRC approval?

1. Student safety
2. Compliance with federal and state laws
3. Compliance with the Intel ISEF rules

Adherence to the Intel ISEF Rules allows selected winners from the Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis RSEF to compete in:
– State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida (Grades 6-12);
– Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Grades 9–12); and
– Broadcom MASTERS (Grades 6–8)
– Regeneron Science Talent Search (Grade 12 students ONLY)

4. Avoidance of legal/litigation issues

src@edisonfairs.org

The Art Contest winner has been announced!

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