Help for Teachers

Entering Your Projects

How do I assure my students of entry into the South Central Regional Fair?

Registration should be completed by either of the two deadlines, October 1st or November 1st through SDEPSCoR’s portal.

You should also download the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) Rulebook and then the 13 pages of ISEF forms.  You may elect to use the ISEF Form Wizard with your students. When given the necessary information it will assign the appropriate forms needed for entry.

Our last deadline for submission is November 1st, 2020. Once the project has been approved, it is time for your students to begin their science projects.

Click on Scheduling Local Fairs for more. Register your winners for the Regional Fair by March 1, 2021, and bring them to the South Central Regional Fair no later than 8 a.m. on March 23, 2021.   A complete list of all Deadlines is available on this site.

What Purpose is Served by the Forms?

The ISEF treats all student scientists, from grade 6 on up, as if they were doing research as adults. Working scientists can have their labs closed down if they abuse people or animals and the same is true of science fairs. To avoid that fate we must insist upon:

Checklist for Adult Sponsor (1): Any ethical or safety concerns are to be indicated here. In doubtful cases, call or e-mail us for help. After the student has completed the top lines, the sponsor needs to sign and date the bottom of this form as well as check all applicable boxes.

Student Checklist (1A): The student/team leader completes this form outlining specifics.

The Approval Form (1B): We must have the signatures of the student and of a parent or guardian.

The Research Plan:  The project should be described in a lucidly written paragraph, preferably typed in Microsoft Word. Vaguely worded lines will result in the plan being flagged for clarification. Engineering projects do not need statements of hypotheses. Research-oriented projects do. The bibliography is essential.  Since winning projects require months of work, the best plans will be completed before the end of the first school term but whatever the time frame, the plan must be filled out in detail for it may be scrutinized by the Regional Fair’s Science Review Committee (SRC).


Additional Common Forms that may be required:

  • Human Participant (Form 4) & Human Informed Consent Form are required when using people. These plans will be examined by the fair’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  • Backboned animal projects must have their research plans accompanied by the Vertebrate Animal Form (5A).
  • Human or animal tissue must have their research plans accompanied by the Human and Animal Tissue Form (6B).
  • Blood or microorganisms must have their research plans accompanied by the Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents Risk Assessment Form (6A).
  • Hazardous substances, devices or activities must have their research plans accompanied by a Risk Assessment Form (3).


Are There Additional Forms?

For projects coming to the South Central South Dakota Science and Engineering Fair, the answer is “yes”. We must have an entry form and abstract. The entry form, either an Individual or Group form, must include a 250 word one-page abstract listing the purpose of the research hypothesis, the procedures used, the data, and the conclusions. In the case of engineering projects the abstract need only convey what the student is attempting to build, no hypothesis is needed. The only requirement for entry is that the engineering project work after its completion. The projects should be described in a lucidly written paragraph, preferably typed. Vaguely worded lines in pencil will result in the plan being returned for clarification. Projects going on to regional competition must not include: any plant, animal, or microbe whether living or dead, soil or waste samples, chemicals including water, sharp items, flames, poisons and other controlled substances. There is no exception to this rule. Thus, it is vital that your students fully document their research using log- books, time lapse photography, etc., as their means of display at the regional fair.