Be sure to read the Middle School Rules to avoid applications being denied
Middle School Project Rules
Middle School projects MUST NOT INVOLVE THE FOLLOWING:
- 1. NO items on the Projects to be Avoided list. Check the link to avoid application being denied.
- 2. NO blood products, human fresh tissue (Hair and sterilized teeth O.K.), and bodily fluids. The student researcher may not handle blood of another person or vertebrate animal. Student researchers may handle their own blood, tissue or other bodily fluids but not of any others. EXCEPTION:Student researchers may ask a medical professional to do the taking of the blood or bodily fluids of other individuals or vertebrate animals and do the analysis to GIVE the data to the student researcher providing the student researcher in no way whatsoever in in contact with the blood or bodily fluids.
- 3. NO vertebrate animal studies beyond passive observation. The only allowable vertebrate animal studies at ACSEF by middle school students include those in which the student is passively observing the vertebrate animals without any direct interaction or intent to manipulate the animals behavior, diet or habitat. These studies must strictly be observational only. All other types of studies are strictly forbidden and will not be accepted for competition unless they are performed at a professional lab or college/university under the guidance of a lab mentor..
- 4. NO Nonhuman Vertebrate animal parts, exception is Zebra fish eggs up to the 7th day (168 hours) after fertilization. - After this time Zebra fish eggs are considered to be vertebrate animals and therefore are NOT allowed.
- 5. NO Pathogenic agents above BSL-1 (Biological Safety Level) Check this list of approved microbes for K-12 studies
- 6.. NO Recombinant DNA (rDNA) unless experiment is performed at a university or professional lab under the direction of professional personnel.
- 7. NO Ingestion (tasting or eating) or inhalation of any substance by human or vertebrate animal subjects. The EXCEPTION to this would be only if the taster or eater is the student researcher him/herself & they do the analysis themselves or have a medical professional do the analysis. This requires Form 3 in addition to the Application Packet A. You may download this form from the link provided
- 8. NO Carcinogenic, mutagenic and potentially toxic chemicals/fumes
- 9. NO Explosive chemicals
- 10. NO Radioactive materials
- 11. NO Compressed gas (including, but not limited to CO2)
- 12. NO BB guns, potato cannons, paint ball guns, bows/arrows)
- 13. NO High voltage equipment
- 14. NO Lasers (except class I with eye/skin protection) or use of ionizing radiation X-rays or nuclear energy.
- 15. Check that your proposed project meets these standards or your application will be returned to you for revisions. Minimum Project Quality Standards.
THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF PROJECT REQUIRE PRE-EXPERIMENTAL APPROVAL.
The application packet including detailed procedure and materials lists MUST be uploaded to the zfairs student dashboard by December 4th.
Students must WAIT for fair safety committee approval to start of experimentation
"Sponsoring teacher or parent/guardian supervision will be provided at all times”.
1. Human subjects (including surveys etc.) - WHY? Please refer to these details provided by the International Science Fair committee regarding Human Risk Assessment Guide before embarking upon your projects ** EXCEPTION: observation of human behavior that does not involve collecting any personal information or does not involve any manipulation of the human behavior - exempt example: observing general behaviors in the lunch line or other public setting without interacting with the people directly. Use Application Form A
2. Microbes, rDNA (bacteria, fungi, virus, prion and other potentially infectious micro organisms). Use Application C1.Check the International Biological Agents (microbes, rDNA,) studies rules at this link
ALL microbial projects that involve culturing the organisms on media are NOT exempt and will need pre-approval. See complete rules at this link
The students must have these two statements below written into their procedure & on Form 6A:
*a) All culturing will be done at school or in a professional laboratory and not at home.
b) Students will wear protective latex gloves when experimenting and all microbial containers or petri dishes will be sealed with tape or petri film after inoculation and throughout the experiment and disposal. Disposal will include depositing all closed culturing containers and petri dishes into an autoclave or a 10% bleach solution within a gallon size zip lock baggie then thrown into the school hazardous waste container. All lab work surfaces will be wiped with 10% bleach solution. Hand washing with soap and water will follow.
EXCEPTION: The following microbes are exempt from pre-approval: baker’s or brewer’s yeast, mushrooms and amoebozoa -slime mold, commercially-available media color change coliform water test kits, decomposition of vertebrate organisms (such as in forensic projects), studies with microbial fuel cells, research using manure for composting, fuel production and other non-culturing media experiments, studies involving protists or archaea. Studies of mold growth on food items if the experiment is terminated at the first evidence of mold. Lactobacillus, Bacillus thuringinensis, nitrogen-fixing, oil-eating, algae-eating bacteria) providing they are not cultured to increase their populaltion numbers in a petri dish environment. EXEMPT example: collecting water samples and determining if they contain coliform bacteria providing they are grown on special non culturing media such as Coli-scan.
3. Human or vertebrate animal fresh or frozen tissues/bodily fluids, and cell lines. Use Application C2
4. DEA controlled substances, Lab grade chemicals, use of potentially hazardous activities or devicesUse Application D
5. Vertebrate Animal subjects - WHY? Vertebrate animals have highly developed physiology and sensory systems. They cannot speak for themselves - no harm should ever come to animals. See full rules at this link Vertebrate Animal Rules https://student.societyforscience.org/vertebrate-animals.
Two application packets can be used: Application B1if the vertebrate animal project involves observation only ( meaning you do not attempt to change the animal's behavior, food or natural habitat).
Or Application B2 if the project is performed at a professional lab or university under the guidance of a professional mentor.