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Frequently Asked Questions - Preparing for an NWSES Fair
Formulating the ideas for a project can happen at anytime, however for High School students EXPERIMENTATION CANNOT begin until the appropriate forms are filled out. Also, research must be completed in a one year period. For any projects hoping to compete at the International fair we recommend using the second week in May as your end date. For Middle School students using the NWSES Middle School Rules, experimentation can begin at anytime.
For more: NWSES Rulebook
Yes, but students will be judged only on the most recent year's research. Additional rules apply to projects continued from a previous year.
For more: Mulit-year Projects
At a minimum, a parent of a high school student must sign a form (1B) giving their approval of the project BEFORE experimentation/data collection starts. Any further role for the parent depends on the student, the parent and the project. Parents can also be adult sponsors or mentors depending on their area of expertise. There is always a concern that the project is the parent's, not the student's. The most important thing is that the student is learning science and engineering problem solving. Judges will look for the total creative input of the student. In all cases, the student should understand and be able to discuss all aspects of the project. Projects that are so technical that creative input and understanding aren't possible for the particular student really aren't appropriate.
You must submit your abstract by the due date. At the end of your abstract, make note that you are not done collecting data and therefore have no results at this time. As your abstract is the first thing that the judges see this might be a disadvantage, but it is better than not having an abstract for judges to preview.
For more: Look for Abstracts under Parts of the Exhibit
The Intel International Science and Engineering website has a Student Handbook that has help with all aspects of doing a project. More helpful advice from former science fair participants is available on ISEF's Tips and Advice page. More information for students, like the High School Student Checklist, which will lead you through the process of getting ready for the fair, is available in the "For Students" section of this website.
Look carefully at the list of subcategories under each category.
Use a title that clearly fits within a category or subcategory.
Write an abstract that clearly states what the scientific question or engineering goals are and what methods are used to answer them.
When an organism is used, give both a scientific name and a common name.
Think of five “key words” that are important to the project. These key words should relate to a category and subcategory.
If there is an unresolved question about category selection for a particular project, how can we get advice?
Please contact Dr. Linda Mantel, Executive Director of NWSES, at email@example.com or 503-725-4221.