Skip Navigation

Summary of Rule Changes for 2015 MTSEF

1. Dates and Times 

  • Fair setup noon: 5:30 p.m. on Thurs., March 19.
  • Students at display for judging: 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. on Thurs., March 19
  • Grand Prize judging:  Fri. morning, March 20 (by invitation only)
  • Fair open to public: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Fri. March 20
  • Student project removal: 7 - 8 p.m., Fri., March 20 and 9 - 11 a.m., Sat., March 21.
  • Awards ceremony: Mon., April 6 at 6:30 p.m.

2. SRC and IRB preapprovals - Projects requiring preapproval CAN NOT be conducted until approval is received from the SRC or IRB.

Notable changes noted from the ISEF 2015

Team projects:  Membership can be changed under special circumstances

For projects involving student designed inventions, programs, concepts, etc.  may or may not require IRB approval depending on the particular circumstances of the testing.  See particulars in the link below and in the ISEF “International Rules and Guidelines 2015” linked above.

There are changes in the Human participant Form (4) to accommodate Expedited Review for projects involving student designed inventions, programs, concepts, etc.  as noted above.

Changes have been made to the Research Plan instructions.  It is now entitled “Research Plan/project Summary Instructions.”  As in the past, one is required to provide the research plan, but now they must also summarize what has been done. 

See guidelines and “Student Checklist (1A)” for details.  (

Rules about use of alcohol have been revised to comply with US federal regulation concerning consumable alcohol.

See for summary of these rule changes for 2015

3. Middle School Project Limitations

  • The goal of the fair is to allow all project entries from grades 9-12 and the best from grades 6-8.
  • Each grade 6-8 school will be allowed at least 3 entries per grade.
  • Schools submitting winning 1st, 2nd, or 3rd category awards in the previous fair will be allowed additional entries.
  • The formula, changed from previous years, is (3 x Category Awards in grade in previous fair  + 1) x 2 = allowed entries in that grade for present fair.
  • Schools receiving additional entries for 2015 are Bellevue, Cascade, Central Magnet, Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet, Meigs Magnet and the Overbrook School.
  • For these schools, the total entries allowed for these schools for 2015 fair will be:
    • Bellevue Middle School = 14 in 6th, 8 in 7th, 3 in 8th
    • Cascade Middle School = 3 in 6th, 3 in 7th, 8 in 8th
    • Central Magnet Middle School = 3 in 6th, 3 in 7th, 8 in 8th
    • M. L. King, Jr. Magnet Middle School = 3 in 6th, 8 in 7th, 8 in 8th
    • Meigs Magnet Middle School = 8 in 6th, 3 in 7th, 3 in 8th  
    • Overbrook School = 3 in 6th, 8 in 7th, 3 in 8th
  • Middle Schools will have to validate their entries with the signature of a certifying official. This can be the school science fair coordinator or an administrator. Middle Schools are encouraged to have qualifying school fairs to determine their entries. See link for Middle School form.