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STEM Fair Tutorial #4: The Fine Print

What in the world do we mean by, “The Fine Print?”

Basically, we mean the details or specific conditions that you have to follow by entering your experiment in a STEM Fair; and trust us there is always “fine print” and for very good reasons.

Nearly every STEM or Science Fair you participate in, you will encounter some form of documentation that reviews the rules and requirements of participation in the fair. Do not dismiss or skip this process. The last thing you want is to do self-eliminate and be disqualified due to a misunderstanding or a technicality within the rules process. The rules are established for your safety and integrity as well as the safety and integrity of other participants, test subjects, the environment and the STEM Fair organization coordinating the event. You, and those who assist you, are held to higher standard and expectation of being honest, fair, and respectful.

This post and the next three postings focus on the guidelines that are typically established for STEM Fair events. Please keep in mind, these posts are not to replace the rules and regulations of the STEM Fair event you may enter; they are simply to offer insight and awareness of what you may encounter should you choose to create an experiment for exhibition. Today’s post focuses primarily on General Rules.

1. Note, every Science Fair and STEM fair will provide you a set of rules and guidelines that are specific to the fair, adhere to them.

2. At STEM Starter we don’t like to reinvent the wheel – it is a waste of time. We prefer to share with you a link to the Regeneron International Science and Engineer Fair. Here you can download their rules and regulations for conducting experiments. At first glance the rules appear to be strictly for high school students – they are not. Keep in mind – the youngest person to win the Google Science Fair was Anushka Naiknaware; she was just 13 years old.

3. Approval Documentation. Conducting research takes time – particularly if you are conducting research with humans, animals, or the environment. You must make sure you utilize appropriate approval documentation for your experiments. Once again we go to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair. Here you will find a sample of the Approval Documentations necessary to conduct research.

4. Do not overlook or underestimate the value of this Approval step. If your experiments or research is dependent upon the participation of people – the last thing you want is for your research to become invalid because you did not take the time to acquire approval documentation.

Tonight's Homework & Materials List:


Composition Book and Pen


Research and Review the Approval Documentation used for the Regeneron International Science and Engineering

Entry #3 - In your lab notebook make notes about some of the requirements for the Regeneron Fair that you find interesting or unique and why.

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