High School Info

In order to be eligible to advance to the Badger State Science & Engineering Fair, Division 9-12 entries must conform to ISEF (Intel International Science and Engineering Fair) rules. However, eligibility to advance is OPTIONAL and not necessary to compete at the Fort Atkinson Regional Science Fair. Those entrants who wish to be eligible to advance must complete ALL of the following steps. Those who wish to only compete regionally may skip those steps marked “[ISEF].” An adult sponsor and research paper are required of all Division 9-12 entrants.

Fort Atkinson Regional Science Fair→Badger State Science & Engineering Fair→Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF)

1. Choose an adult sponsor and discuss what kind of experiment you would like to do. An adult sponsor may be a teacher, parent, university professor or scientist. This individual must have a solid background in science and should have close contact with the student during the course of the project. They are ultimately responsible not only for the health and safety of the student contucting the research, but also for the humans or animals used as subjects. ISEF requirements for the adult sponsor will be found in the ISEF Rules & Guidelines booklet. If you cannot find an adult sponsor, contact the FASF Science Advisor for assistance.

2. [ISEF] Obtain copies of ISEF booklets (Rules & Guidelines and the Student Handbook) from the ISEF website. Read everything carefully. Fill out any necessary forms, get all required signatures and keep the forms safe in a folder or binder. These forms will need to be part of your display and copies will be reviewed by a committee if you project is chosen to compete at the state level. Always keep the original forms in your possession and send only copies when required.

3. [ISEF] Write a research plan. This will be added to your forms. It should include the following:

  • Problem or Question Being Addressed
  • Hypothesis
  • Description in Detail of Method or Procedures (see ISEF form 1A for details)
  • Bibliography (at least three major references from your library research)

4. Experiments involving human subjects, nonhuman vertebrate animals, pathologic agents, controlled substances, recombinant DNA and human or animal tissue must be pre-approved before experimentation begins. Contact the FASF Science Advisor if this is the case. Students who wish to be ISEF eligible and are performing studies involving any of the above mentioned items might also need to work with a qualified scientist. See the ISEF rules and guidelines for details.

5. Perform the experiment, carefully documenting every step in your log book or project data book. You may want to take photos to include in the display.

6. [ISEF] Write an abstract. An abstract is a one page, 250-word (maximum) summary of the project, which should include the purpose of the experiment, procedures used, data and conclusion. A sample can be found in the ISEF Student Handbook.

7. Write a research paper. This is the formal report that is based on the notes in your log book and can be as long as necessary. It should include the following:

  • Title Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Experiment
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgements
  • References

8. Create the display. It should have a good title, be well organized, eye-catching and sturdy. Size requirements of display cannot exceed 30” D x 48” W x 72” H.

9. [ISEF] To be eligible to advance to the Badger State Science & Engineering Fair, we must know of your intentions to compete by January 15. Please notify the FASF president by then.

Please note the following:

There are some items allowed in displays at the Fort Atkinson Regional Science Fair that are not allowed by ISEF. Examples include plant material and soil samples. Try to avoid having these things in your display.

Photos are a good substitute.

Team projects in this division are limited to three members.

ISEF fairs, including the Badger State Science & Engineering Fair, require the entrants to be present during judging in order to discuss their work with the judges.