Display and Safety Regulations

Virtual posters or slide decks have different rules for size, no font should be smaller than 12pt on a slide deck or 24pt on a virtual poster. School names, acknowledgements and photos of people not in the public realm are not allowed.

The following are for in person fairs.

Middle School Display Regulations
The poster is the first thing the judges see when they review your project. It is important to do your best and organize your information in a clear way. All exhibits need to have their MS Super EZ form and project procedures, either posted or in a lab notebook. The lab notebook can also hold additional graphs and data tables.

Size Requirement:
15 inches (38 centimeters) deep This is half the depth of a table
36 inches (91 centimeters) wide
74 inches (188 centimeters) high from top of table

Please note: a standard 4ft display board will fit nicely in this space. Also the goal of the science expo is to talk about what you have done, not recreate it.

Very Important Middle School displays can only have paper items attached to the poster board, items that do not fit on the poster may be placed in a binder to sit in front of the poster. The only exception is for computer science projects, where a laptop is allowed to display code. Do not decorate your poster with food, machine parts, glass, clay models etc. those things will be removed or covered.

Acknowledgments to specific people or organizations or School names are not allowed on the poster. Acknowledgments may be included in a research paper.

Allowed with restrictions:
Photographs- you must have permission to post a person’s picture or make the person unidentifiable. You must also list the primary source of any photographs. If you are using pictures obtained from the internet, make sure to list the actual url, not a site that gathers images.

Electricity- only computer science projects will have access to electricity for the sole purpose of charging laptops. 

High School Display Regulations
Exhibits will be inspected by NWSE staff at check-in. If part of an exhibit does not adhere to the following regulations, or is considered unsafe, the exhibitor will be asked to remove that part of the exhibit. Exhibitors not following directions or conforming to regulations will be disqualified. All original signed forms including the abstract must be displayed on the table or in the project data book. Judges want to see your log book or data book.

Maximum Size of Display
30 inches (76 centimeters) deep
48 inches (122 centimeters) wide
74 inches (188 centimeters) high from top of table

In my opinion tall posters are hard for judges to read, a notebook with additional information is better.

Allowed at Display BUT with the Restrictions Indicated

  • Postal, web and email addresses, telephone and fax numbers of exhibitor(s) only. This information may not be included for anyone else.
  • Only photographs (that is, visual depictions) of the exhibitor, the exhibitor’s family, human subjects with consent on Form 4, photographs taken by the exhibitor and/or photographs for which credit is displayed (such as from magazines) if not deemed offensive by the SRC or the Display and Safety Committee.
  • Any apparatus with unshielded belts, pulleys, chains, or moving parts with tension or pinch points may be displayed, but not operated.
  • Any apparatus producing temperatures that will cause physical burns must be adequately insulated.
  • Large vacuum tubes or dangerous ray-generating devices must be properly shielded.
  • Empty tanks that previously contained combustible liquids or gases must be certified as having been purged with carbon dioxide.
  • Pressurized tanks that contained noncombustibles may be allowed if properly secured.

Not Allowed at Display

  • Living organisms, including plants.
  • Soil, sand, rock, cement and/or or waste samples, even if permanently encased in a slab of acrylic.
  • Taxidermy specimens or parts.
  • Preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals.
  • Human or animal food.
  • Human/animal parts or body fluids (for example, blood, urine) Exceptions: teeth, hair, nails, dried animal bones, histological dry mount sections, and completely sealed wet mount tissue slides.
  • Poisons, drugs, controlled substances, hazardous substances or devices.
  • Laboratory/household chemicals including water. Water integral to an enclosed apparatus is ok.
  • Plant materials (living, dead, or preserved) which are in their raw, unprocessed, or nonmanufactured state. Dried plant materials in acrylic and building materials are ok.
  • Dry ice or other sublimating solids.
  • Sharp items.
  • Flames or highly flammable materials.
  • Batteries with open-top cells.
  • Acknowledgements, awards, medals, business cards, flags, endorsements, etc.
  • Photographs or other visual presentations depicting vertebrate animals in surgical techniques, dissections, necropsies, other lab procedures.
  • Active internet or email connections as part of displaying or operating the project.
  • Names of cooperating research institutions or school(s) may not be on poster display.
  • Class II, III, or IV lasers, see ISEF rules pg 7.

Electrical Regulations
Due to limited electrical outlets, Intel NWSE requires all students wishing electricity to apply for it through online registration. Those requesting electricity will be sent an email requiring response for electrical approval. Requests to light exhibits or display PowerPoint presentations will be denied. Be aware that many times asking for electricity means you will not be with the rest of your category. Not being with your category is a disadvantage during judging.

  • Exhibitors requiring 120 Volt A.C. electrical circuits must provide a UL-listed 3-wire extension cord (no more than 9 ft in length) which is appropriate for the load and equipment.
  • Electrical connections in 110-volt circuits must be soldered or made with UL-approved connectors. Wires must be insulated. Maximums are 500 watts @ 130VAC/60 Hz
  • High voltage (over 12 volts) equipment must be shielded with a grounded metal box or cage. High voltage wiring, switches and metal parts must have adequate insulation and overload safety factors and be inaccessible to others.
  • There must be an accessible, clearly visible on/off switch or other means of disconnect from the 120 Volt power source.
  • Wiring which is not part of a commercially available UL-listed appliance or piece of equipment must have a fuse or circuit breaker on the supply side of the power source and prior to any project equipment.
  • Bare wire and exposed knife switches may be used only in circuits of 12 volts or less; otherwise, standard enclosed switches are required.