Colorado State Science Fair, Inc.


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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start a science fair at my school?
How do I get to the CSEF?
Who is my Regional Fair Director?
Why do we have to follow all of the Intel ISEF rules for grades 6-8?
Who do I contact about questions regarding Display & Safety and/or experimental rules and guidelines?
Why is the CSEF held over 3 days instead of 2?
Why is the Awards Ceremony so long?
Why are the display & safety rules so strict (i.e.: liquids, glass, etc)?
Why do some students win more awards than others?


How do I start a science fair at my school?

For teachers interested in starting a science fair at their school, it is suggested that you review the information on the Classroom Teacher Resources page and to contact the CSEF Director if you would like to speak with a current teacher who has had success with their science fair program.


How do I get to the CSEF?

A student who wishes to participate in CSEF must:

  • Be a Colorado resident 6th through 12th grade student in a public, private, parochial, home or on-line school;
  • Participate in the designated Regional Science Fair;
  • Be chosen by their Regional Science Fair to represent that region at the CSEF; and
  • Agree to abide by all International Science and Engineering Fair, CSEF, and Regional Science Fair rules, regulations and policies that may currently exist regarding pre-college science research.

Who is my Regional Fair Director?

The entire state of Colorado is divided into 13 regions. To find your local Regional Fair Director and what Regional Science Fair you should participate in, visit the current listing of science fairs. Please note, that students enrolled in on-line schools are eligible to participate, but must attend the regional fair designated for where he/she lives rather than where the school is physically located.


Why do we have to follow all of the Intel ISEF rules for grades 6 - 8?

The Colorado Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF) is affiliated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and part of this affiliation agreement requires CSEF to follow the International Rules & Guidelines that have been established for this competition. And while CSEF is not technically required to make the Junior Division follow these rules, the Board of Directors and Advisory Council feel that by having these students use the same rules and forms, they will have the background for when they reach the Senior Division level and are eligible to advance to the Intel ISEF. On the same note, CSEF is working on creating a rule book for the Junior Division level that is more to that level.


Who do I contact about questions regarding display & safety and/or the experimental rules and guidelines?

A list of current CSEF Scientific Review Committee Members can be found on the SRC Information page or you can email the CSEF Director and the question or inquiry will be forwarded to the appropriate person.


Why is the CSEF held over 3 days instead of 2?

The key to the answer of this question is the number of awards that are given to CSEF participants at the Awards Ceremony on Friday evening. While we are constantly working to streamline the processes that go into conducting such a complex event, it literally takes CSEF volunteers the majority of the day on Friday to organize the awards ceremony, making sure there are as few (if not any) mistakes as possible. Between the Grand Awards and the Special Awards, CSEF hands out over 300 individual awards each year. We have to make sure certificates are printed correctly, that everything is in the proper order for the ceremony, count ballots from Finalists, and organize the power point presentation of winners that is shown during the ceremony. While it seems that not much is going on Friday and some people think we should be able to have the awards ceremony and pizza party/celebration all in one day, it isn't logistically possible.


Why is the Awards Ceremony so long?

As explained in the above question, we have over 300 individual awards to hand out and we are constantly striving to add more special awards organizations each year. This is a good thing, but comes with the price of needing more time to hand out all of the awards. The Board of Directors made the conscience decision not to simply clump all of the awards for each student into one trip across the stage for two reasons. One is that the Special Awards Organizations have taken the time and effort to attend the CSEF on Thursday to interview students and provided the resources for the awards and we want to acknowledge that by giving each organization a small amount of time to recognize those students who have done research in areas that the organization values. The other reason is that it leaves something to be desired in terms of suspense. We also don't intend to split the ceremonies by division either because all it would do would create twice the work and take twice the time.


Why are the display & safety rules so strict (i.e.: liquids, glass, etc.)?

Because the CSEF is open to the public on Friday and Saturday, we have to make sure that the average person visiting the projects can't accidentally hurt themselves on anything a student might have on display.


Why do some students win more awards than others?

The Special Awards Organizations are allowed to decide the criteria for the awards that they present. For this reason, the distribution of awards for a particular area of study is not even, allowing for some students to win multiple awards from different organizations. For information on what awards are possible for a given category, visit the list of Special Awards by Category page.

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Last modified 8/2/12