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Things to remember when participating in Intel ISEF

What is Intel ISEF?

The Intel® International Science and Engineering Fair® (Intel ISEF), the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, annually offers a venue for more than 1,500 high school students from about 70 nations, regions, and territories to showcase their independent study.

The Intel ISEF is the world’s premier science competition for students in grades 9–12 only.
It has evolved from the National Science Fair founded in 1950 by the Society for Science and the Public (then known as the Science Service).
The fair became international for the first time in 1958 when Japan, Canada, and Germany entered the competition.

Today, millions of students worldwide compete every year at local and school-sponsored science fairs; these competitions’ winners will continue to participate in the Intel ISEF-affiliated regional and state fairs, which will offer the best opportunity to attend the Intel ISEF.

The Intel ISEF unites these top young scientific minds, highlighting their talents on the international stage, allowing them to apply their work to scientists’ doctoral level—and offering the opportunity to compete for more than $3 million in prizes and scholarships.

Every major science project involves the same necessary activities:

It is identifying an issue that can be tested. The question should be answered using inexpensive materials and safe and feasible methods—trying each variable more than once in an experiment. Repeated testing will ensure that you have enough evidence to draw clear conclusions. It was testing only one variable at a time. This method helps you to classify and quantify the impact of each variable independently.
Collection and recording of data. The data includes measurements and observations. Graphing data and then finding data patterns. That’s going to help reinforce your conclusion. The Science Fair Project Guide published by Science Buddies will help you get started. This 15-minute animated video by a young artist called Kevin Temmer is a perfect introduction to a science fair preparation.

Now that you know what to do, choose a topic, and then:

Research the topic. This means being a mini-expert on the subject.
Organize it. This includes the statement of the question you would like to answer. Create a timeline for this. Research takes planning, speeding, and generally much more time than you expect. Propose analysis. This is a road map of the questions you will have to answer as you plan, perform and interpret your experiment. Check the rules and have an adult review, and, if possible, authorize your experiment. Each science fair requires students to obey a set of guidelines. Here, for example, are the rules for the Regeneron ISEF competition for high school students. Some ventures often need an adult’s evaluation and approval. These may involve projects involving dangerous or potentially hazardous chemicals and equipment or live animals (including people). Build the hypothesis. This is an educated guess as to how something is going to work. The experiment is going to test your hypothesis. Experiment, please. You’re going to have to repeat it several times, using the same process each time. Record the outcome, and this means the collection of your measurements and findings.
Analyze the performance. Use charts and graphs to help visualize your results. Concluding, Your data will either help or contradict your original assumption. The present version, please. You may share the results of your experiment with an abstract or a short description. You may also present the findings in a research paper or on a presentation board.
Timing of Project

Each of the above steps will take time—more than you would expect at first. Making a schedule is going to help you prepare. Be positive, but be reasonable. This means making sure that the subject you chose is not only of interest to you but can also be investigated for the amount of time you have. If you have defined the testable query, create a timeline to plan how to test it. Build some extra time for your project to deal with unforeseen problems. These could involve taking a significant exam, catching the flu, or leaving town for a family event.

If you are taking part in a major science fair, you will need to fill out the entry forms and check your research plan with your sponsor. Allow time to do that. Some projects will take more time because they require prior approval from the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) or the Institutional Review Board (IRB). That’s the budget moment. And allow a lot of time to experiment and collect data. Experiments often don’t fit. Experiments often pose more questions than they answer—and require even more experimentation. It’s all taking time. You will have to write a report that gathers your conclusions. Or you might need to produce a show or poster that presents your data and findings.

Support for Project

Creating an independent research project doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for support. Parents, teachers, experts, and other students can assist with your project. It can be tricky to figure out what kind of help is fair—and what kind of support is not. Below are some stories from Science News for Kids that help guide on this topic.

Many students find a mentor to help them refine their questions and answer them. Ideally, a mentor is never supposed to tell you what to do (even if you ask). Instead, a good mentor will help you find the knowledge that will guide your decisions on what to do and how to do it. For example, this story from Science News for Students provides examples of the roles that mentors perform. This article explores the benefits of working with a mentor. In the meantime, this story features a satisfying example of a young student who had the confidence to contact an outside expert on the subject he was studying.

Parents and teachers may also play a part. Parents and teachers may provide guidance and assistance, but they may not do any actual work on a research project. For example, they can help you map out the time you have available to do your job. Parents and teachers should also decide whether the project you want to do can be completed within the time single. They can also help determine whether materials would cost more than you can afford or whether what you want to do maybe hazardous or require others’ approval. Here are two links to the SNK stories that cover this subject.


The purpose of the rules in Intel ISEF is to:
– protect the rights and welfare of the student researcher
– protect the rights and welfare of human participants
– protect the health and welfare of vertebrate animal subjects
– protect and promote good stewardship of the environment
– ensure adherence to federal regulations
– ensure use of safe laboratory practices
– determine eligibility for competition in ISEF

General Rules for INTEL ISEF
– scientific fraud and misconduct are condoned at any level of research or competition
– this includes plagiarism, forgery, use or presentation of other researcher’s work as one’s own, and fabrication of data.
– fraudulent projects will fail to qualify for competition in affiliated fairs and the Intel ISEF.
– Society for Science and the Public reserves the right to revoke recognition of a project subsequently found to be fraudulent.

People involved in Intel ISEF 2020
– student researcher, adult sponsor, qualified scientist, designated supervisor


– Gr. 9-12 students, not have reached 20 yrs. old or before May 1
– English is the official language; project boards and abstracts must be in English
– Each student is only allowed to enter ONE PROJECT. The project may include no more than TWELVE MONTHS and may not include research performed BEFORE JANUARY 2020.
– Team projects must have no more THREE MEMBERS.

Intel-ISEF Forms
– very critical especially to the Philippine representatives to the annual Intel ISEF.
– SRC during the National Science and Technology Fair will be looking for research THAT HAVE COMPLETELY AND CORRECTLY FILLED OUT INTEL ISEF FORMS.
– As early as the division science fair, these Intel ISEF forms ARE ALREADY ATTACHED AND SCRUTINIZED.

Forms Needed for All Type of Researches (BEFORE THE EXPERIMENT)
– Checklist for Adult Sponsor(1)
– Student Checklist(1A) with attached research plan
– Approval Form(1B)
– Qualified Scientist Form(2)

Needed AFTER the Experiment:
Regulated Research Institution/Industrial Setting Form(1C)
*If experimentation is at a regulated research institute

OTHER FORMS needed depending on the nature of your research:
I. Risk Assessment Form – before; hazardous chemicals, activities or devices, and microorganisms
II. Human Participants Form – before; human participants NOT in a regulated research institute.
III. Human Informed Consent Form – before; official consent of the human participants
IV. Vertebrate Animal Form (5a) – before; involving vertebrate animals conducted NOT in the regulated research institution
V. Vertebrate Animal Form (5b) – before; involving vertebrate animals conducted IN THE regulated research institution
VI. Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents Risk Assessment Form (6a) – before; microorganisms, recombinant DNA, fresh or frozen tissue, blood and blood products, and body fluids
VII. Human and Animal Tissue Form – before; an additional form to 6a if the research involves fresh or frozen tissue, blood and blood products, and body fluids
VIII. Continuation/Research Progression Projects Form – before; continuation of a previous year’s research

4 R’s in research:

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