CSEF in LSC Ballroom
Colorado Science & Engineering Fair
Judging at CSEF

Colorado Science & Engineering Fair

The CSEF has created a Middle School Rules & Guidelines book for teachers and students in grades 6 - 8. These forms are OPTIONAL, but if you choose to use them, you MUST follow all of the middle school guidelines (main difference is a Risk Assessment Form 3 is required for all middle school projects) and use all of the middle school forms. DO NOT mix and match ISEF forms with the CSEF middle school forms or you will be asked to redo them. Below are the different sections of the rules for easy access.

The Colorado Science & Engineering Fair is affiliated with the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). For this reason, we must adhere to the international rules and guidelines set forth by the Society for Science's Scientific Review Committee. These rules outline the forms and supervision that are needed for all projects as well as those that involve human subjects, vertebrate animals, potentially hazardous biological agents and hazardous chemicals, devices and activities.

Please remember that these rules are in place to ensure the safety of the student researcher as well as the subject (human or animal) that they may be working with in their study. They are NOT trivial and are based on what working scientists must adhere to as well as federal laws and regulations.

***COVID-19 Pandemic Public Health Requirements***

Due to the special circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2019, the Colorado State Science Fair is asking that ALL students include in their risk assessment how they will mitigate the spread of the disease while conducting their experiment. Examples of such mitigations include (but are not limited to):

  • Wearing a face covering while conducting experiments outside of the home environment.
  • Maintaining a 6-foot distance from people no in the researcher's immediate social bubble. This is especially important when conducting human participant projects.
  • Washing hands frequently.
  • Keeping work space clean and disinfected. This is especially important if the student is working in a shared space.
  • When working with human participants, consider virtual or online options and avoid in-person projects.

Student researchers and supervising adults should be aware of guidance or regulations from the state, county and local officials as well as their school districts or research facilities. The safety of the entire community should be a priority.

Note: Just because your school may be teaching students remotely at various times during the school year, does not mean that the rules regarding what can and cannot be done in a home environment have changed. Student researchers must still follow all of the guidelines regarding where PHBA, Vertebrate Animal and Human Participant projects must take place. If there is any doubt, contact the regional or CSEF SRC before starting experimentation. Society for Science has put together some resources for doing research at home.

The Scientific Review Committee (SRC) exists at the local level to evaluate those projects that involve vertebrate animals and potentially hazardous biological agents prior to the student's experimentation. At the regional and state level, this group reviews all students' projects paperwork to determine if it is eligible to compete, based on the rules set forth by the ISEF.

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) exists at the local level to evaluate those projects that involve human subjects prior to the student's experimentation prior to the student's experimentation.

Learn more about the SRC & IRB and some frequently asked questions regarding the review process.

You can also find the following help at the Society for Science web site.

As a service to students and teachers and parents involved in science fair research around Colorado, the CSEF has created the following informational pages to help guide you through the process. Each page includes a flow chart of forms that are required along with tips on how to complete them successfully.

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Last modified 11/8/21