We truly want students' projects prepared from their desire to learn and to convey what they have discovered about God's creation through their investigations and research.  We are not looking for the student who can dazzle the judges with pizzazz, or the best computer generated or "boardroom ready" exhibit.  We ARE looking for learning and knowledge gained through truly applying oneself, and for students that have done their best handiwork, and projects with the appearance that a student prepared them.  Our goal is for each student to truly gain new insight into the world God has created.

1. Each project must be related to an area of science.  
- Unacceptable example: Surveying neighbors' choices of laundry detergent.  No science is involved. 
- Acceptable experiment project: "Which laundry detergent removes grease best?"

2. Each project will be classified by grade level and then into one of the following Entry Categories:
* Collection - Examples: rocks, shells, or butterflies.  The collection must be scientifically oriented, contain a sufficient number, and show what the student has learned through the process of collecting and categorizing.
* Model - A representation of what something is realistically like, such as a model of an ear, rocket, or life cycle.
* Demonstration - A working model of things such as volcanoes, robots, or electrical devices.
* Science Experiment - A project utilizing the Scientific Method and which only has 1 variable and includes a control group.

3. A contestant may enter one exhibit only.  Teachers and parents may advise, but most not build any part of the exhibit or write ANY of the report. (Please note: K-3rd grade may require a parent to write or type captions on their display boards, but the student should dictate the wording.  PLEASE USE DISCRETION.  K-3rd grade must perform all other work on the display board themselves, as well as their exhibit.)

4. Projects must be free-standing and should measure 36 x 48 inches.  (There are tri-fold boards available at most office supply stores which are sufficient.)  Due to limited table space, please keep all Projects within specified measurements unless special permission is granted.

5. Electrical power strips and cords needed for exhibits must be approved by NIRSF. Once approved, the exhibitor will be responsible for bringing all necessary equipment.  For safety reasons, the exhibitor will be required to use duct tape to secure it.

6. The following are prohibited: dangerous chemicals, open flames, explosives, or animal experiments that involve starvation or any form of cruelty.  NIRSF reserves the right to refuse display of an exhibit that is deemed inappropriate.  PLEASE be sure to include any information regarding special materials on the registration form and/or contact us with any questions.

7. Contact us for details on approval for animal experimentation.  We will not allow animals to be brought into the Science Fair, however, you may take videos and pictures of the animals to add to your display.

8. NIRSF, its representatives and sponsors, and the Fair location, its representatives and affiliates, assume no responsibility for loss or damage to any person, exhibit, or any part thereof.

9. All exhibitors must submit a display (both a tri-fold board and exhibit of work done), a written report*, and a journal*.

10. Display titles and headings can be handwritten, stenciled, or typed.  Labeling, captions, and explanations may be either typed or handwritten.  

11. Journals* must be handwritten.  The Journal is a log or diary of a student's progress on their project that is kept up-to-date throughout the duration of the Project, and must not be written after the Project has been completed.  Use a spiral-bound notebook or composition notebook. Binders with loose-leaf paper are not allowed.  Feel free to include drawings/sketches of Project, personal thoughts or anecdotes, as well as all observations regarding the Project.  Journals are an important part of scientific research!

12. Reports* written by 7th grade and up must be typed. (All other grades may chose to either type or hand write their Report).  Typed material should use fonts that are easily read.  No clip art should be included within the body of the text.  The Report must contain:
- Title
- Table of Contents
- Introduction (including why Project was chosen, research, and hypothesis of what student hopes to learn)
- Details on Project (includes how Project was performed, what happened during Project, and the final outcome of Experiment, Model, Demonstration, or Collection)
- Discussion (vocabulary page if needed, followed by discussion of the results tying research into what occurred during the Project)
- Conclusion (what was learned)
- References  (NOTE: 9-12th grades will be required to include a 1-page **Abstract after the Table of Contents).


14. NIRSF reserves the right to amend these rules or make additional binding rulings as events warrant.

* A Report and Journal are required for 7th grade and up, but are optional for 4-6th grades.  Students in the 4-6th grade category will receive additional points for any Reports or Journals which are included with the project.  

** An Abstract is an abbreviated version of the Project final report.  This should appear on the Display as well as at the beginning of the Report after the Table of Contents.