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Rules and Regulations

The Eastern South Dakota Science and Engineering Fair uses the Intel ISEF rules as a guide to govern our fair. A complete set of rules can be found here: ISEF Rules Book. If you have any questions please contact the fair director. 

  1. All student participants must complete the following forms from the ESDSEF Forms before any research begins:
    1. checklist for adult sponsor (form 1)
    2. student checklist (form 1A)
    3. student research plan
    4. approval form (form 1B)
  2. Exhibits on any scientific subject may be entered if they are made by students enrolled in grades 6-12 in a public, private or parochial school in a 15-county area around eastern South Dakota. (These counties include: Aurora, Beadle, Bon Homme, Brookings, Brule, Buffalo, Charles Mix, Clay, Codington, Davison, Deuel, Douglas, Gregory, Hamlin, Hanson, Hughes, Hutchinson, Jerauld, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, Lyman, McCook, Mellette, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Sanborn, Sioux (Iowa), Tripp, Turner, Union, Yankton.) Students must be younger than 20 years of age on or before May 1, 2023.
  3. Contestants may submit only one exhibit, either as an individual or in a group of no more than three. Students are only allowed to compete at one ISEF affiliated fair. All work on exhibits must be done by the individual or by the group. Teachers or sponsors may advise, but must not build any part of the exhibit. An exhibit must not be an identical repetition of one shown by the same exhibitor or another group in a previous year.
  4. Exhibits must be confined to a table or floor space of 30 inches front to back by 48 inches side to side with a maximum height of 108 inches. (ISEF tables will not exceed a height of 36 inches.) Students must provide their own back supports for the exhibit.
  5. A typed abstract of the project, not exceeding 250 words, and a project notebook must be displayed (the official ISEF abstract form is not required).
  6. Judges will evaluate exhibits between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Scoring will be based upon work done by the exhibitors, not on the value of their equipment. Judges may interview some or all exhibitors. The decision of the judges will be final.
  7. Research involving vertebrate animal, microbes, human subjects and recombinant DNA must meet regulations specified in the ISEF Rules Book. ISEF forms are to be filled out and submitted to the local or ESDSEF Scientific Review Committee before the project begins. The deadline for the ESDSEF SRC review is February 17, 2023 or 2 weeks before your local school science fair. After pre-approval the student researcher will get an approval email(usually within a week of submission). If you do not get paperwork back from the director, please contact him directly to find out the status of the project.
  8. The online application confirmation, all ISEF forms and abstract must be submitted to the science fair director by March 16 for final approval. The science fair director will contact the teacher directly if their students need additional information before the competition.
  9. All projects will be reviewed by the ESDSEF SRC committee after the March 16 deadline and prior to the competition to ensure conformance with the ISEF Rules. These regulations are to help ensure that the research is conducted in a safe and humane manner. Through proper animal care, handling, and research procedures, the research results will more accurately reflect the effects being studied and will not be influenced by other factors.