WELCOME STUDENTS & TEACHERS
To save you and us a lot of questions - Our advice is to carefully read the Eligibility, General Rules, Student Researchers and Tips below. If you are new to science fair be sure to visit EACH of the TIPS links to learn all there is to know from getting a topic to writing an abstract etc.
The information and links below are designed to give you guidance through your project AND help insure your success at ACSEF.
All students younger than 20 years old who attend school in Alameda County in grades 6–12 are eligible to enter as an individual or team of 2 or 3 students (if they have not competed in any other Intel ISEF-affiliated fair in the same school year). A combined mixed county team of 2 or 3 students may compete at ACSEF - example one student from Contra Costa County, Santa Clara etc. + a student from Alameda County.
Homeschooled students who attend home school located in Alameda County are eligible to enter, even if they participate in online classes from other locales. Students who attend school in Alameda County, and who complete their projects at a Registered Research Institution (college or professional lab) in another locale are eligible to enter.
A student may participate in only one project. A registration and application processing fee of $30 per student is required.
- Individual entries—A student may enter one project.
- Team entries—A team of two or three students may enter one team project. ACSEF strongly recommends teams be limited to two students.
- All projects will be judged for scientific merit using the same criteria regardless of the number of individuals preparing the project.
- The Alameda County Science & Engineering is an international science fair affiliated fair. We follow the International Science Fair Rules and Guidelines and expect all students to read and abide by the following ethics statement: “Scientific fraud and misconduct are not condoned at any level of research or competition. Such practices include 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 ACSEF and subsequent affiliated fairs. ACSEF reserves the right to revoke recognition of a project subsequently found to have been fraudulent.”
Students who have their projects removed from competition for fraud or misconduct may not enter the ACSEF nor be eligible for any other Society of Science and the Public sponsored competition the following year.
- Carefully read the web page about Project Types and Minimum Quality Standards. Please adhere to these standards or your project will fail to qualify for competition.
- NEW in 2018 there are 4 Pathways to registration depending on if your school uses a selection process for projects that can enter ACSEF or your school does not have a selection process and whether your projects requires SRC/IRB pre-approval before beginning experimentation or not. Projects requiring SRC/IRB pre-approvalbefore beginning experimentation must be submitted by the appropriate deadlines and methods indicated in each pathway.
- Projects that are a continuation of a previous year’s research will require SRC pre-approval. They must involve significant new work and additional paperwork is required. Only the current year’s research may be on the project board.
- The Application Packets and the Packet instructions may be printed from the Registration and Application web site https://acsef.zfairs.com . Select the application packet (A, B1, B2, C1, C2, D or E) that pertains to the type of project you are doing. We require each student to register and pay the registrtion processing fee via credit card in order to create a Dashboard to which the application will be uploaded. We require the application be uploaded by the student or student's sponsoring teacher in its entirety as a single pdf document following the packet instructions. Each application must have a Detailed Research Plan. The sponsoring teacher will need to register at the registration and application website link in order to have access to a student's dashboard (no fee required).
- If a student feels they need an additional form not found in their selected packet for example a student is using human volunteers and growing microbes - They would need to use the ISEF Rules Wizard. ISEF Rules Wizard to learn which additional form(s) is needed. Additional forms may be found on at this link on the ISEF site .
- The Adult Sponsor Checklist (Form 1 of the Application) should be used to ensure that the Application is complete.
- Projects must comply with all local, state and federal laws as well as SCVSEFA and Intel ISEF Rules. We reserve the right to fail to qualify the project of any student who does not follow these.
- For the 2018 ACSEF the research work must be done between March 2017 and March 2018 (with no more than 12 months total time).
- Parent sponsored projects are NOT permitted UNLESS the school does not have any teacher to support the student.
The Student Researcher(s)
The student researcher is responsible for all aspects of the research project including enlisting the aid of any required supervisory adults (Adult Sponsor, Qualified Scientist, etc.), obtaining necessary approvals (SRC, IRB, etc.), following the Rules & Guidelines of the ACSEF, and performing the experimentation, engineering, data analysis, etc. High school students should list their Teacher/Adult Sponsor as their sponsoring high school teacher. Projects performed at a Regulated Research Institute (college or professional lab) the project supervisor should be listed as the mentor or qualified scientist.
Scientific fraud and misconduct are not 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. ACSEFA reserves the right to revoke recognition of a project subsequently found to have been fraudulent. Students who have their projects removed from competition for fraud or misconduct may not enter the ACSEF the following year. Fraudulent projects will fail to qualify for competition in the ACSEF and the Intel ISEF. Society for Science & the Public reserves the right to revoke recognition of a project subsequently found to have been fraudulent.
Tips for success
ALL ISEF Rules click or copy and paste the following link into into your bowser https://sspcdn.blob.core.windows.net/files/Documents/SEP/ISEF/2018/Rules/Rules-Only.pdf
Student & Teacher plus Project Resources» Here you will find everything you need to know about doing a science research or engineering project from getting an idea to displaying your project at the fair and many success hints in a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) format.
Hover over the word CHALLENGES to see a pop up menu with some of today's engineering challenges Engineering project ideas
Engineering Project research plan format » Engineering Project Research Plan Guidelines
Sciece project RESEARCH PLAN GUIDELINE » learn what goes into your science project research plan. Follow this is you are not doing an Engineering Project.
Sample Project Time Line » This gives you an idea of how to time your project week to week and month to month so you can budget your time.
Project logbook » REQUIRED all types of projects and must be present for judging.
Does my Project need pre-experimental approval? » You should check this link for the types of projects and the application mail in deadline for those that need pre-experimental approval and those that do not.
Human Risk Assessment for things you need to consider when doing a project with human volunteers. Then next go to the FULL rules link: https://student.societyforscience.org/human-participants
Writing and Submitting the Abstract. » Every project is required to submit a project abstract to their registration dashbaord a minimum of 4 days before the science fair judging date. Also each project must have 10 copies of the printed abstract on their table at their display for judges.
Project Display Rules & Guidelines » Rules for display boards, project report binder contents & some guidelines on how to make an impressive display board including a list of items that should and should not go onto the display board.
Project Display Set up » This link gives you some specifics on what you will need & expect to happen when you bring your project to set up day at the science fair.
Preparing for Judging This link gives you the judging criteria and what to expect on judging day at the science fair. Use the link to the judging criteria as a check list for practicing. This link will explain the different phases of judging at the science fair.
ACSEF Awards This link explains the type of awards that are available for projects.
Judging Category » Go to this link to see a description of each category
Teacher of the Year! » Nominate the teacher who helped you along the way to get your project to the fair for the ACSEF