Home | Contact Us | Updated  December 28, 2021
TCRSF Student Tips

Students: You can maximize the return on your effort by entering both the project fair and the research paper competition with the same work! Also, check our Links page for additional competitions that you might be able to enter all with the same project! See the Links page also for tips on writing your research paper.

All students: you need a full set of your forms at your project during regional, state, and international competitions. This does not include the signed informed human consent forms. The electronic registration system will help you through this process. Send TCRSF a clear, clean copy of any of the additional paper forms and keep your originals!

You may want to consider holding the dates of the state science fair open in your schedule in case you are able to advance. Some students forget about the state science fair when they book spring break trips or major family vacations. See Calendar Deadlines for the dates of the state science fair.

Check out: Student Resources - A catalog of tips, sites and insights to help in your quest to learn and do science.

Notice About Shoes: You must wear rubber-soled, flat shoes at the University Field House. The building has an athletic floor surface that can be damaged by high heels or non-rubber soles. If your shoes don't comply with this requirement, you will be asked to remove your shoes.


TIPS for an in-person fair:

  1. Take photos as you do your experiments. A good photo may help illustrate clearly what you did for the judges. (Consider having a meter stick next to what you are photographing - or other means to show size scale of the objects in your photo.) You can print the photos to build a photo log to show the judges your “story” – from procedure to results. Video clips may also help show your work.
  2. Students have a copy of your research paper at your exhibit during the fair. Be sure it has an excellent Bibliography to indicate the depth of your background research. You can create a paper using much of the information that you have on your display boards if you didn't write one earlier.
  3. Students have a full set of your ISEF project forms available at your project for judges to see during the fair. This does not include the signed informed human consent forms.
  4. Make sure that you have your original lab notebook available for judges to see at your display. Do not re-copy or type your notebook. It is expected that this is your original notes and if it is "decorated" with coffee stains or a smear of dirt from field work, then that is totally acceptable. (Read up on how to keep an excellent lab notebook – see our Links page) Make sure you include all data collected, copies of any emails or other correspondence regarding your project, material safety data sheets, etc.
  5. It is optional, but many students like to print their abstracts with their project title and name as handouts for the judges. Some write their project number on each so the judges can find them even by project number.
  6. Consider having a capped bottle of drinking water at your exhibit in case you get a dry throat from talking to the judges.
  7. If you have to go to the bathroom during judging, leave a note that you will be back in 5 minutes and STICK TO IT! Get right back to your project! All students must stay at their own projects during judging – Friday from 4:00 p.m. until their grade is excused over the intercom by TCRSF. Talk to your friends before 4:00 on Friday, and on Saturday morning.
  8. Try to meet other students, look around at the other projects (but do not leave your project during judging!), and most importantly – HAVE FUN!!!


What Happens to Forms After the Fair?

Save and file your electronic and additional original forms (if required) after the fair because they may be required for future competitions or if you do a project in a similar field of science the following year (even if you do not intend the project to be a continuation, and even if it is not a continuation, but it is in a similar field of study/science or if you used information that you learned in doing a previous project)! For team members, each team member should keep their own copy of the paperwork. Some students who have done a team project have needed their team paperwork even when doing an individual project in a similar field of study in a subsequent year. ISEF wants to see evidence of continuing work, even if your work is totally new and different than in the previous year(s).

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