Display Rules

Display Rules and Safety Regulations

ESDSEF Exhibit Policies

These items are not allowed at the project or in your booth:

  • Living organisms, including plants
  • Taxidermy specimens or parts
  • Preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals
  • Human or animal food
  • Human/animal parts or body fluids (e.g., blood or urine)
  • Plant materials (living, dead, or preserved) that are in their raw, unprocessed, or non-manufactured state (Exception: manufactured construction materials used in building the project or display)
  • All chemicals including water (Exceptions: water integral to an enclosed apparatus or water supplied by the Display and Safety Committee)
  • All hazardous substances or devices (i.e., poisons, drugs, firearms, weapons, ammunition, reloading devices, and lasers)
  • Dry ice or other sublimating solids
  • Sharp items (i.e., syringes, needles, pipettes, knives)
  • Flames or highly flammable materials
  • Batteries with open-top cells Awards, medals, business cards, flags, etc.
  • Photographs or other visual presentations depicting vertebrate animals in surgical techniques, dissections, necropsies, or other lab procedures
  • Active internet or email connections as part of displaying or operating the project
  • Glass or glass objects unless deemed by Display Committee to be an integral and necessary part of the project
  • Any apparatus deemed unsafe by the SRC or Display Committee (e.g., large vacuum tubes or dangerous ray-generating devices, empty tanks that had contained combustible liquids or gases, pressurized tanks, etc.) 

These items are allowed at your project or booth with the following restrictions:

  • Soil, sand, rock, and/or waste samples if permanently encased in a slab of acrylic
  • Postal addresses, internet, and email addresses, telephone numbers, and fax numbers of Finalist only Photographs and/or visual depictions if they are not deemed offensive by the Display Committee, credit lines of their origins are attached, they are of the Finalist, they are photos of human subjects for which signed consent forms are at the project
  • Any apparatus with unshielded belts, pulleys, chains, or moving parts with tension or pinch points may not be operated
  • Class II lasers if: a) output energy is less than 1mW and operated only by the Finalist, b) operated only during Display Inspection and judging, c) posted sign reads "Laser Radiation: Do not look into beam," d) enclosed in protective housing that prevents physical and visual access to beam, and e) disconnected when not operating Class III and IV lasers if for display only and not operated
  • Any apparatus producing temperatures that will cause physical burns if adequately insulated  

ISEF Display Guidelines 

The maximum display sizes are:

  • 76 cm (30 in) deep
  • 122 cm (48 in) wide
  • 274 cm (108 in) high (including table)  

Fair-provided tables will not exceed 91 cm (36 in) in height. Keep in mind that your project must be positioned at the back of the booth and parallel to the rear of the booth and the maximum project sizes include all project materials and supports (backboards are not provided at ISEF). If a table is used, it becomes part of the project and must not itself exceed the allowed dimensions nor may the table plus any part of the project exceed the allowed dimensions.

Electrical Safety Regulations at the ISEF

  1. Finalists requiring 120 or 220 Volt A.C. electrical circuits must provide a UL-listed 3-wire extension cord which is appropriate for the load and equipment.  
  2. Electrical power is supplied to projects and, therefore, the maximums allowed for projects are 120 or 220 Volt A.C., single phase, 60 cycle. Maximum circuit amperage/wattage available is determined by the electrical circuit capacities of the exhibit hall and may be adjusted on-site by the Display and Safety Committee.  
  3. All electrical work must conform to the National Electrical Code or exhibit hall regulations. The guidelines presented here are general ones, and other rules may apply to specific configurations. The on-site electrician may be requested to review any electrical work.   
  4. All electrical connectors, wiring, switches, extension cords, fuses, etc., must be UL-listed and must be appropriate for the load and equipment. Connections must be soldered or made with UL-listed connectors. Wiring, switches, and metal parts must have adequate insulation and over current safety devices (such as fuses) and must be inaccessible to anyone but the Finalist. Exposed electrical equipment or metal that possibly may be liable to be energized must be shielded with a non-conducting material or with a grounded metal box or cage to prevent accidental contact.   
  5. Wiring which is not part of a commercially available UL-listed appliance or piece of equipment must have a clearly visible fuse or circuit breaker on the supply side of the power source and prior to any project equipment.  
  6. There must be an accessible, clearly visible on/off switch or other means of disconnect from the 120 or 220 Volt power source.  
  7. Any lighting that generates considerable and excessive amounts of heat (high-intensity lamps, halogen lights, etc.) must be turned off when the Finalist is not present.