WELCOME TO DETROIT
|New for the 2012 Fair|
|Major Events Calendar for 2006 Science Fair|
|The Past, The Future, and Now (Fair Directors article)|
|Read the previous SEFMD president's article about Career flexibility starts with science competition|
|A Science Affair (by Maggie Sheeran)|
|Science Fair Rewards|
|Do You Need Additional Forms?|
|Team Projects Information|
|Find out more About the SEFMD|
|Accurate Entry Form is Essential|
|Project Classification Descriptions|
|How to Write an Abstract|
|Project Classification Descriptions|
|Display & Safety Rules|
|Procedures for Projects Involving the Use of Vertebrate Animals, Human Subjects, Tissues, Recombinant DNA, Pathogenic Agents or Controlled Substances|
|Differences in the Detroit and International Rules|
|Rules for Electricity Usage|
|State and Federal Regulations|
|Safety & Display|
|Science Fair Judging Has 3 Phases|
|The Three R's of Animal Experimentation:|
|Results of ISEF2000 (Awards)|
|Professional Awards in Recognition for Excellence|
One of the steps necessary to be considered as a contestant in the Science Fair is the successful completion for the entry form.
The new entry form has been reproduced on the Internet. (This form is for individual AND team projects.) If possible, please photocopy the application in this section in case you make a mistake. Each year, many students who submit entry forms are rejected or disqualified for careless mistakes.
Some of the more common disqualification reasons include: no indication of scientific or engineering techniques (refer to article title "How to Write an Abstract"), missing signature(s), entry form illegible, no category indicated and late arrival of entry. Completing the entry form is the student's responsibility - not the parent's or teacher's. Be sure to read the rules CAREFULLY and follow the directions EXACTLY. An incomplete or incorrect entry form will disqualify your exhibit from the fair.
All entry forms from a given school must be submitted together with a single transmittal form. The school will be billed for the entry fees.
The following descriptions are presented to assist in your selection of a project classification.
Behavioral and Social Sciences - Human and animal behavior, social and community relationships - psychology, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, ethology, ethnology, linguistics, learning, perception, urban problems, reading problems, public opinion surveys, educational testing, etc.
Biochemistry - Chemistry of life processes - molecular biology, molecular genetics, enzymes, photosynthesis, blood chemistry, protein chemistry, food chemistry, hormones, etc.
Botany - Study of plant life - agriculture, agronomy, horticulture, forestry, plant taxonomy, plant physiology, plant pathology, plant genetics, hydroponics, algae, etc.
Chemistry - Study of nature and composition of matter and laws governing it - physical chemistry, organic chemistry (other than biochemistry), inorganic chemistry, materials, plastics, fuels, pesticides, metallurgy, soil chemistry, etc.
Computer Science - Study and development of computer hardware, software, engineering, internet networking and communications, graphics (including human interface), simulation/virtual reality or computational science (including data structures, encryption, coding and information theory).
Earth and Space Sciences - Geology, mineralogy, physiography, oceanography, meteorology, climatology, astronomy, geology, speleology, seismology, geography, etc.
Engineering - Technology; projects that directly apply scientific principles to manufacturing and practical uses - civil, mechanical, aeronautical, chemical, electrical, photographic, sound, automotive, marine, heating and regrigerating, transportation, environmental engineering, etc.
Environmental Science - Study of pollution (air, water, and land) sources and the control; ecology.
Gerontology - Study of the aging process in living organisms. Note: This category is offered at the International Science Fair but is NOT available at the Metro Fair.
Mathematics - Development of formal logical systems or various numerical and algebraic computations, and the application of these principles - calculus, geometry, abstract algebra, number theory, statistics, complex analysis, and probability.
Medicine and Health - Study of diseases and health of humans and animals - dentistry, pharmacology, pathology, ophthalmology, nutrition, sanitation, pediatrics, dermatology, allergies, speech and hearing, etc.
Microbiology - Biology of microorganisms - bacteriology, virology, protozoology, fungal and bacterial genetics, yeast, etc.
Physics - Theories, principles, and laws governing energy and the effect of energy on matter - solid state, optics, acoustics, particle, nuclear, atomic, plasma, superconductivity, fluid and gas dynamics, thermodynamics, semiconductors, magnetism, quantum mechanics, biophysics, etc.
Zoology - Study of animals - animal genetics, ornithology, ichthyology, herpetology, entomology, animal ecology, paleontology, cellular physiology, circadian rhythms, animal husbandry, cytology, histology, animal physiology, invertebrate neurophysiology, studies of invertebrates, etc.
Team Projects - Study conducted by two or three students in any discipline.
This year, team projects will be allowed again, with the following guidelines:
Each team should appoint a team leader to coordinate the work and act as a spokesperson. However, each member of the team should be able to serve as spokesperson, be fully involved with the project, and be familiar with all aspects of the project. The final work should reflect the coordinated efforts of all team members.
In addition to sending the individual Grand Award winners to the International Science and Engineering Fair, we have the option of sending a Team Project. A final decision regarding sending a team to the ISEF will be made following the judging at the Detroit Fair.
How to Write an Abstract
Whether or not you actually write a paper about your project, you must write an abstract that gives the essence of the information describing your project in a very brief, but complete form.
It must be detailed and clear enough so that a person unfamiliar with your project will have a general idea of what you are trying to prove or demonstrate.
The abstract should include a statement of the PURPOSE of your investigation- what you attempted to prove or disprove. A good investigation should be set up to test a very definite question. The question should be simple and well defined- something that an investigation could actually test. Fr example- "Does the stimulation of lima bean plants by electricity make them grow faster?"
Describe HOW the investigation was done- the basic details, but give the key points and the general plan of what you did.
Identify the RESULTS of the investigation/experiment- do not give tables of all your results, but briefly state what you found out.
Lastly, describe your CONCLUSIONS from this investigation: what has been proved, supported, or disproved? What do your results mean? Scientific papers are usually written in the third person singular, in the past tense. Your complete abstract should be brief- about 250 words, more or less depending upon what you must describe. It must be long enough to say what you want to say as concisely as possible. It must fit on the allotted space on the entry form
Remember, last year more 3,500 entry forms were submitted to the Science Fair office. Every form was read by a Phase 1 judging team. Each judge must be able to assess the viability of your project on the strengths of your abstracts. The majority of last years disqualifications were due to poorly written abstracts.
Sample Senior Division Abstract:
A. A letter will be sent to the contact person at each school regarding acceptance or rejection of student entries.
B. Bring the exhibit location number and your project to the exhibit hall on registration day at the time listed in the Major Events Calendar.
C. If your name or address is incorrect on the card by your project, have the mistake corrected at the changes table before proceeding to set up your project. No information other than name and address may be changed
D. Set up your project.
E. Wait for a Rules Committee member to inspect your exhibit.
F. If the Rules Committee member finds your project acceptable for display at the fair, you will receive a stamp and initial on the card which stays with your exhibit. Unless your card is stamped and initialed, your project will not be judged. If your project is not accepted, then it cannot be displayed at the fair, and must be removed.
G. After your project has been inspected by the Rules Committee member, you may leave. If you are a Senior Division student, and your project has been accepted for display, you must return to the exhibit hall for interviews with the judges on the day specified in the Major Events Calendar.
H. Exhibit removal will not be permitted prior to the checkout times noted in the Major Events Calendar.
A student may enter only one project, as an individual or as part of a team. The identical repetition of a previous year's work is not permitted. However, a student can exhibit a continuing project which shows significant progress compared with the previous years; such a project must include the abstracts and reports from previous year(s), separate from the current years papers.
Your project MUST be able to stand on its own. Projects over 6' tall, but less than 9 feet, will be placed on the floor for display. The following project measurements MUST be followed: Oversized projects will be disqualified
|Junior Division||Sr. Division|
|Deep (Front to Rear)||24" (61 cm)||30" (76 cm)|
|Wide (Side to Side)||36" (91 cm)||48" (122 cm)|
|High (Floor to Top)**||108" (274 cm)||108" (274 cm)|
|** Table tops are 36" (91cm) high from ground|
A project abstract, including the purpose, procedure, results (data), reflections, applications, and conclusions are required. No more than 250 words, the abstract must fit within the space allotted on the back of the entry form.
Papers, notebooks, computer printouts, and other written materials may be displayed and are encouraged in the final exhibit. They should not accompany the entry form. Please make copies of all materials left with the display.
A. Students or Teachers must request a current rules book from the Science Fair office at (313) 832-2066
B. The Rules for the Junior and Senior Divisions are the same. Projects must comply with the rules stated in the rule book.
C. A "plan of work" and all required forms must be submitted to the Scientific Review Committee not later than the SRC deadline date. NO EXCEPTIONS.
D. Students will be notified in writing if their project has been approved. If the SRC finds problems with the project, they will notify the student as to how the project needs to be changed to comply with the rules.
Vertebrate or Invertebrate
Do's and Don't's regarding animals
No live animals may be exhibited.
No preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals may be exhibited.
No preserved embryo's may be exhibited.
No preserved parts of animals may be preserved.
Bones must be dried and sealed.
No pictures of animals in other than normal conditions may be displayed on the project (but may be contained in an accompanying notebook.). No dissections, surgical techniques, or autopsies. No diseased humans or animals. No photographs or pictures of nude humans, either adult or child.
Photographs of human subjects involved as part of the experiment require signed consent from the subject, as per federal regulations.
No human/animal parts may be exhibited except hair, teeth, nails, dried animal bones, histological sections, and liquid tissue sides properly acquired.
No taxidermy specimens or parts.
There is an age limit of 21 years for participation in the International Science and Engineering Fair, to which the Senior Division Grand Award winners in the Detroit Fair may be sent.
No lasers may be operated at the Detroit Fair, but Class I and Class II lasers can be operated at the International Fair under conditions specified in the International rules booklet. For more information, call the Science Fair office.
No electrical power is provided at the Detroit Fair, but students are allowed to use batteries with closed top cells. At the International Fair, 110-volt AC single phase service with 500 watts per exhibits, will be available. For projects using battery power at the Detroit Fair or AC power at the International Fair, see the rules below governing the use of electricity.
The following rules apply to battery usage at the Detroit Fair and either battery or AC power usage at the International Fair.
Batteries with open top cells are not permitted. Other types of batteries may be used for electrical power.
High voltage equipment must be shielded with a grounded metal box or cage to prevent accidental contact.
Large vacuum tubes or dangerous ray generating devices must be properly shielded.
High voltage wiring, switches and metal parts must be located out of reach of observers and designed with an adequate overload safety factor.
Electric circuits for 110-volt AC must have an Underwriters- Approved cord of proper load carrying capacity, which is at least nine feet long and equipped with a standard grounding plug.
All wiring must be properly insulated. Nails, tacks, or non-insulated staples may not be used to fasten wiring.
Bare wire and exposed knife switches may be used only on circuits of m12 volts or less, otherwise standard enclosed switches are required. Electrical connections in 110-volt circuits must be soldered or fixed under approved connectors and connecting wires must be properly insulated.
Controlled substances: Controlled substances (drugs, chemicals, anesthetics, etc.) must be used according to existing local, state, and federal laws. See complete rules book for forms which must be submitted by the SRC deadline.
Tissue Samples: When tissue samples of human or vertebrate animals are obtained by the student from an institutional or biomedical scientist, Tissue Form 6 (see complete rules book) must be submitted by the SRC deadline.
Gasohol: Production of gasohol must conform to regulations of the Department of Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
Federal and/or State Permits: All projects requiring such permits should not be started until the permits are obtained.
Human Subjects: Information on Federal Regulations governing human subjects is available from the Office for Protection from Research Risks, National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethsda, MD 20892 (301/4967005). Also, see complete rules book for additional forms to be completed by December 4, 1998.
Recombinant DNA Studies: All research containing recombinant DNA techniques must meet the requirements of the "NIH Guidelines for Research Involving DNA Molecules." See complete rules book for additional forms to be completed by the SRC deadline.
Anything potentially hazardous to the public is PROHIBITED for display and/or operation at the fair. Prohibitions include:
All live materials including plants and microbes. All dried plant materials.
Microbial cultures and fungi (bread, molds, etc.), live or dead, including unknown specimens.
Any food, for either humans or animals, including fruits vegetables, popcorn, etc., regardless of its state of use.
Any other substance, either solid or liquid, which can be ingested.
Any drugs (pills, capsules, liquids, etc.), including those listed under the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970.
All chemicals including containers filled with water for display, empty chemical containers and non-functional apparatus are also discouraged.
Any flames, open or concealed, or any highly flammable solids, liquids, gasses, oils, alcohols, display materials, etc. Inert substitutes can be used for display purposes.
Dry ice or other sublimating solids.
All soil and waste samples and materials.
Tanks which have contained combustible gasses, including butane and propane, unless they have been purged with carbon dioxide.
Operation of any type of laser.
Batteries with open top cells.
Any sharp items- syringes, needles, pipettes, etc.
Projects with produce temperatures exceeding 100 degrees C (212 degrees F).
Operation of any type of electrical equipment which does not comply with the "Rules for Electricity Usage" listed elsewhere in this form.
NOTE: Students are encouraged to use photographs, drawings, and diagrams to illustrate the research.
The Science Fair does not consider itself liable for any items of value that are left on or with the project. Senior division students may remove items on the registration day after they are checked for rules compliance, and bring the items back on judging day. Please make copies of all written materials left with the display.
In the Junior Division, the student's name and photographs of the students' face should not appear anywhere on the project, front or back, or in the project report booklet. In both the Senior and the Junior Divisions, school names and references to past awards received should not be displayed anywhere on the project, or in the project report booklet.
Projects not approved by the Rules committee on the day of registration will not be judged. Approval is indicated by the stamp and initials of a Rules Committee member.
Phase 1 judges are responsible for the selection of qualified exhibits for Cobo Center. This is necessary since space limitations will not permit the display of all entrants' exhibits.
In order for a project to qualify, the entry form must:
Be received by the entry deadline date (see Major Events Calendar), along with transmittal form and entry fee.
Be completely filled out on both sides.
Be signed by both the students' teacher/advisor and parent or guardian (original signatures).
Show that the project is not merely a report, but that some engineering, experimental, or scientific techniques were used; and
If the project requires pre-approval by the Scientific Review Committee, the appropriate certification forms must be completed and returned to the Science Fair office by the SRC deadline
Phase 2 judges are responsible for the selection of first, second, and several other levels of awards. The judges, recruited from industry, business and educational institutions, include some 400 professional scientists, engineers, medical personnel and educators who donate their time and talent to perform this function. The exhibits are judged on the quality of work displayed in science, engineering, and mathematics and on how well students understand their projects and the areas in which they have been working. Only Senior Division students are interviewed by the judges. Junior Division projects are judged on the display only.
Once the place awards are decided, the first place exhibits are re-examined to determine the overall Fair Grand Award winners in the Senior and Junior Divisions. A panel of judges from area industries and universities, experts in the 13 areas of Science Fair competition, will select the Grand Award winners in the Senior Division
Judging Criteria for Individual projects and Team Projects
Scientific Thought/Engineering Goals
What was the source of the idea or problem? Does the investigation indicate originality of concept or approach, or is it a copy of known experiments? This does not mean the entire project must be original, but ingenious approach or adaptation of materials should be noted.
Collections can be considered as creative only when used to support an investigation of the solution or a problem. No credit can be given to purchased or borrowed equipment (including models) which are not part of the work of the student and serve only as tools of investigation.
To what extent is quality and depth evident? Has the student handled data properly, avoiding firm conclusions supported by inadequate proof? Does the investigation show verification of laws or theories which can help to clarify an understanding of scientific facts or principles? Does the research show the background of a problem, its orderly analysis, its experimental approach, the collection and analysis of data and the formation of logical conclusions?
Considering the student's age and level of experience, has the problem been completely covered in the project? Does the project carry out its purpose to completion within the scope of the original aims? Has the student made use of relevant literature in his or her field?
Will a person with an average knowledge of science be able to comprehend the purpose of goals or the general conclusions of the project? How clearly does the project display itself? Are guide marks, labels and descriptions clearly presented and correctly spelled? Are all important phases of the investigation presented in a brief and orderly fashion for Fair visitors?
A teacher, parent, university professor, or scientist in whose lab a student is working. The adult sponsor is responsible for making the students' research eligible for entry in the SEFMD.
Any live, non-human vertebrate animals, mammalian embryos and fetuses, bird eggs within three days of hatching and all other vertebrate animals at hatching or birth.
Animal Care Supervisor
An individual who is knowledgeable in the proper care and handling of animals.
Any substance controlled by the drug enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; or Food and Drug Administration by issuance of a certificate to user or not permitted by law to minors.
An adult individual who has been properly trained in the techniques and procedures to be used in the investigation and approved by the Qualified Scientist.
A person about whom an investigator conducting scientific research obtains (1) data through active or passive intervention or interaction with the person, or (2) identifiable private information.
A signed agreement by the human subject, parent or guardian that the proposed research an any possible risk have been defined and understood prior to participation.
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Science Fair Committee which reviews all Research plans involving human subjects to determine potential physical or psychological risk.
Mean lethal dose; a dose that is lethal for 50% of the test subjects or death loss of 50% of animals due to the experimental procedure. LD (lethal dose or lethal rate) will be calculated in each subgroup designated by the experimental design and for the total experiment.
An individual who possesses an earned doctoral degree in science or medicine and who has a working knowledge of the techniques to be used by the student in the Research Plan (a master's degree with equivalent experience is acceptable when approved by the Scientific Review Committee.)
molecules which are constructed outside living cells by joining natural or synthetic DNA segments to DNA molecules that can replicate in a living cell, or molecules that result from the replication of those described in (1).
An orderly written presentation of the hypothesis(es) and experimental rational, proposed procedures which will be used during the research, description of the methods, techniques and materials to be used.
A final written presentation illustrating the results of the library search, hypothesis(es) and rational, procedures used data collection, analysis and conclusion.
Exercise; emotional stress to questioning or activity; ingestion and/or physical contact of any substance; any member of a risk group (i.e. anyone with a disease, diabetes, cardiac disorder, pregnant women); any member of special groups covered by federal regulations (i.e. Native Americans, special needs persons, including handicapped and gifted); any student 21 or under doing experimentation with toxic chemicals, radiation, or known pathogens, carcinogens; and emotional stress resulting from an invasion of privacy.
Scientific Review Committee (SRC)
A group of qualified individuals who are responsible for evaluation of student research, Certifications, Research Plans and exhibits for compliance with the ISEF rules.
Substances considered as a tissue include blood, blood products, teeth, cell cultures, blood fluids, any animal or human tissue obtained from an institution, biomedical scientist and/or from any experimental procedure.
Do You Need Additional Forms?
Projects that use vertebrate animals, human subjects, human or animal tissue, recombinant DNA, pathogenic agents, or controlled substances require additional forms. These forms may be obtained by request from the Science Fair office or from our web site at www.sefmd.org (general info --> forms). All of these forms must be completed before beginning your project.
Senior Division students (grades 9-12) must submit these forms to the Science Fair office by 5:00 p.m. on the SRC deadline date in order to receive approval from the Science Fairís Scientific Review Committee. If the project involves human subjects, it must first be approved by the schoolís Institutional Review Board. Forms are welcomed any time prior to the due date.
Junior Division students (grades 6, 7 & 8) should keep these completed forms in their project notebooks; SRC pre-approval is not needed. School IRB approval is required for work with human subjects. When you bring your project to the fair, you will be asked to show the completed paperwork. If the forms have not been completed or they are incomplete, this mayl result in disqualification from the Fair.A student who did research at a summer institute or in a scientistís lab needs to submit the Research Plan/Approval Form (1A/1B) and the Registered Research Institutional/Industrial Setting Form (1C) with his or her entry form. These do not need to be submitted by the SRC deadline unless one of the following situations also applies
If your project involves:
You need to complete the following forms:
-- even "behavioral studies"
-- including "surveys" , questionnaires, professional tests and studies in which the researcher is the subject of his/her own research.
RECOMBINANT DNA RESEARCH
-- applies to all recombinant studies regardless of host
HUMAN & ANIMAL TISSUE
-- projects using tissues, organs, human parts, animal parts, including blood, blood products, teeth, cell cultures, and body fluids
PATHOGENIC AGENTS OR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
-- potentially disease-causing agents such as bacteria, viruses, rickettsia, fungi, and parasites; all bacteria, fungi, etc. isolated from the environment should be considered potentially pathogenic
-- Controlled substances include DEA classed substances, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, alcohol and tobacco
YOU DO NOT NEED PRE-APPROVAL FOR THE FOLLOWING, BUT THESE FORMS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED WITH YOUR ENTRY FORM
HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES OR DEVICES
-- includes hazardous chemicals, firearms, radioactive substances, and radiation.
Scientific Review Committee/Institutional Review Board
Arlene Rama, Chairperson; Robert Clark, M.D., Jules DePorre, D.V.M., Darlene Swiderski, PhD., Kathleen Kitzmann.