Q.   What is the procedure for the Science Fair? How do I get involved?

A.    If your school is interested in participating in the Los Angeles County Science Fair, the school must complete and submit the online school and site coordinator registration. Registration can be accessed on the Science Fair Website- www.lascifair.org/registration. The Site Science Fair Coordinator is the teacher or administrator who will be the liaison between the student participants and the Science Fair Office. Once registration is complete, an information packet will be emailed to the Site Science Fair Coordinator with instructions for student participation, online registration, and important deadline dates.

 If your school participates, the Site Coordinator will select 13 projects to compete in the Fair.

If your school does not plan to send projects to the Fair, you may get a science teacher to monitor your project and fill out the registration form as well as any other paperwork that might apply to your project (i.e., Jr. Division Certification Form 601-068 for vertebrate animals, human subjects or tissue or the Intel ISEF forms for SR division.)

Home-schooled students may also participate by having a science teacher from the local school monitor their project and fill out the paperwork.  If a home-schooled student is doing their research at a local informal science facility (zoo, aquarium, science center), hospital or university, they may get the facility to sponsor, register and pay the fee for the student project under their care.

Q.    What happens on the three days of the Science Fair?

A.    The first day of the Fair is the day students, teachers or parents may set up the projects. The time is 2:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. Each student (or parent/teacher bringing the student’s project) must go through the Screening Process, then proceed to Check-In for information on their assigned area and finally enter the Exhibit Hall to set up projects. This is also a time when candid photos may be taken by the Science Fair Publicity Team.

The second day of the Fair is for Judging. All students will be interviewed by a panel of judges, from 9:00am to 5:00pm. and are expected to be present.

The third day of the Fair is open to the public, from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Project exhibits, in addition to hands-on, interactive activities are available all day. A Pre-Awards Program is offered from 6-7 pm, with the Awards Ceremony from 7-9:00 P.M. All project displays must be removed from the Convention Center by 10:00 p.m.

Q.    Do I need pre-approval on projects?

A.    Yes. If your project involves human subjects, vertebrate animals, tissue or hazardous products, you must receive pre-approval by the Science Fair Committee before beginning your project. The Science Fair Bulletin distributed to schools will have the deadlines for submission of pre-approval paperwork. There are three dates: one in the summer to accommodate students working in labs over the summer break, one in late September, and the third in mid-December. You must have pre-approval before you begin work on your project. No exceptions.

Q.    When do I need to use Certification Form 601-068 (Junior Division) or ISEF Certification Forms (Senior Division)?

A.    If your project involves human subjects, vertebrate animals, tissue or hazardous products. No exceptions.

Q.    I am getting mice from the pet store, can I take them back to the pet store when my project is finished?

A.    It depends on the policy of the pet store. Check with the store manager and get his/her answer in writing, signed and dated.

Q.    What is included in the definition of “tissue”?

A.    Tissue is an aggregate of cells, usually of a particular kind, together with their intercellular substance that form one of the structural materials of an animal cell line. Projects involving epithelial, connective (including blood), muscular and nerve tissue all require completion of Certification Form 601-068. Plant tissues (including fungi), bacteria and viruses do not require completion of Certification Form 601-068.

Q.    If my vertebrate animal project involves dead animal parts received from the supermarket, butcher shop or slaughter house, do I need to fill out Certification Form 601-068 or ISEF Certification Forms?

A.    No.

Q.    If a Human Subject project is conducted in the classroom, do I need to complete Certification Form 601-068 (Junior Division only) or ISEF Certification Forms (Senior Division only)?

A.    Yes.  All human subject projects need to be pre-approved using appropriate Certification Forms.

Q.    If I use my pet in a project, do I need to fill out Certification Form 601-068 (Junior Division only) or ISEF Certification Forms (Senior Division only) and who is the biomedical supervisor, etc? Can it be my parents?

A.    Yes. Certification Form 601-068 or ISEF Certification Forms are required when studying personal pets. Parents, in this case, can serve as the Biomedical Advisor. Check with the Science Fair Committee for any clarification: (562) 401-5486.

Q.    If I am part of a team, do all the team members have to be present for the interview?

A.    Yes.

Q.    What if I want to continue my project from last year? What are the parameters and the guidelines?

A.    The same rules and regulations apply to students continuing research on an existing project. However, the student must show evidence of two-thirds additional and substantial data collection, analyses and conclusions derived from the research time extension.