- Guidelines for Zfairs (Online Submission Platform)
- Guidelines for Project Displays
- Guidelines for Research Papers
- Guidelines for Videos or Narrated Slideshows
- Minnesota State Science & Engineering Fair: Tips on Team Presentations
After registering for the STEM Fair through the Community Education Office, you will need to register in Zfairs and have the following materials uploaded by the dates indicated:
- ISEF Paperwork with appropriate signatures and dates, scanned/saved as PDF files, by January 21, 2022 (or before your SRC Review, if needed).
- Middle School paperwork for the STEM Fair and Minnesota State Fair only requires ISEF Forms 1, 1A, 1B, a research plan, and an abstract.
- A Zfairs Video Tutorial is available here.
- A Video or Narrated Slideshow that outlines your research question, project design, results, conclusions, and next steps. Video URLs must be uploaded into Zfairs by February 9, 2022.
- Do not include logos (corporate, product, etc.) in any images.
- Do not include teachers, mentors, or affiliations on slides or name during the presentation.
- 1 to 3 Photos related to project (i.e. photo of full poster, photo taken during research, screen shot of important graph). Photos must be uploaded by February 9, 2022.
- All photographs, images, diagrams, Internet images, & graphs must be credited (you can include credit directly on the image or you can mention it during your presentation video. Example: “All photographs & graphs are by student.” “Internet image is found at www.samplewebsite.com”).
- If you are using images of people other than yourself (or your teammates), you must receive written subject permission before uploading images.
- Do not include logos (corporate, product, etc.) in any images.
- Do not include teachers, mentors, or affiliations in any images.
- You are not allowed to submit a research paper or science journal. All project posters, research papers, and videos must abide by the ISEF Rules and Regulations before being submitted. Failure to follow these guidelines, including Display and Safety, could result in your project being disqualified.
The following guidelines must be followed for your project display to be approved during the display and safety check prior to the start of the STEM Fair. If these guidelines are not met, your project cannot be judged. You can choose to bring copies of your official abstract to the Fair; however, this is optional.
- Size: within ISEF max. guidelines (108"Hx48"Wx30"D)
- individual or team name(s) and school only
- no co-authors, mentors, teachers, affiliations (i.e. Mayo/IBM)
- no contact information, website URLs, QR codes
- Visual Images (photographs/charts/tables/graphs):
- cited sources or credit line for all photos, images, clip art, tables, graphs, etc.
- no person except individual/team without written consent (student/parent)
- not inappropriate or offensive
- no depiction of animals in surgical, necrotizing, or dissecting procedures
- Logos/Awards: no logos (corporate, product, packaging, etc.), awards, medals, flags, business cards
- no living, dead or preserved organism or materials (plant or animal) Life
- no plants, seeds, soil, micro-organisms
- no human or animal parts (teeth, hair, nails, animal bones, bodily fluids)
- no human or animal food (including candy, popcorn, and drinks)
- no chemicals or items that have been in contact with hazardous chemicals
- no water, liquids, filters (unless not used), growth media
- Hazardous Substances or Devices:
- no poisons, drugs, firearms, weapons, ammunition, reloading devices, grease/oil, sublimating solids (i.e. dry ice), flames or highly flammable items
- no glass or sharp items (i.e. syringes, needles, pipetts, knives)
- no batteries with open top or wet cells
- no active internet connections
- Equipment Restrictions:
- no 3D printers or drones (unless power source removed)
- no moving parts with tension/pinch points (unless shielded)
- no apparatus that can produce dangerous temperatures (unless insulated)
- no highly distracting items (sounds, lights, odors)
STEM Fair Research Papers follow the rules set by the Minnesota Academy of Science Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Full guidelines can be found on their website.
Papers should be a minimum of 5-6 pages and a maximum of 20 pages, including appendices. Length assumes a 12-point, Times New Roman font. There is no set outline for papers, but National JSHS recommends using the following:
A title page or cover page stating the student’s name, school address, and title of the research
Acknowledgement of major assistance received
Table of contents
Any applicable disclaimers and statements (e.g. “research involving non-human vertebrates or human subjects was conducted under the supervision of an experience teacher or researcher and followed all state and federal regulatory guidance applicable to the human and ethical conduct of such research”).
Materials and methods
Discussion and conclusions
Appendices (if needed)
Judging Presentation Guidelines
- PLEASE have your slideshow presentation on a USB drive.
- Photography may be used in oral presentations. Graphs, tables, diagrams, charts, or other graphic representations of data should be kept as simple as possible.
- Students will have no more than 12 minutes to present their scientific research in an oral presentation followed by a few minutes for questions asked by judges only. Room moderators will keep time and let students know how much time they have remaining using visual cues.
Your Video or Narrated Slideshow needs to outline your research question, project design, results, conclusions, and next steps. A complete list of questions to cover in your presentation is below. Video URLs must be uploaded into Zfairs by February 9, 2022. The Minnesota State Science and Engineering Fair guide for presentations can be viewed here.
- Watch a sample high school video/narrated slideshow:
- Watch a sample middle school video/narrated slideshow:
- Recommended video length for research project videos or narrated slideshow is 5-6 minutes. No video should be longer than 10 minutes. File size may not exceed 3GB.
- You can choose to create a video of yourself presenting in front of a physical display (poster, display board, etc.).
- The physical display can be a folding display board or can be a printed poster. You can also have any items needed for demonstration purposes present. Be sure to highlight the specific photos, graphs, charts, demos, etc. that may be important by stepping aside and zooming in or adding them to your submitted images.
- You can choose to create a narrated PowerPoint (or other slideshow format) presentation video.
- Narrated PowerPoint (or other slideshow format) presentations must be saved as a video file (do not submit a .pptx file).
- You can splice or add videos, images, screencasts, etc. into your video or slideshow, but the length of embedded videos will count towards the 10-minute maximum your presentation is allotted.
- Do not include logos (corporate, product, packaging, etc.) in your video or narrated slideshow.
- Do not include teachers, mentors, or affiliations in your video or narrated slideshow.
- If this is a team project all team members must be represented in and present for your presentation video or narrated PowerPoint. Each team member needs to mention her or his major contribution to the project. Team project presentation videos must not exceed the 10-minute maximum allotted to all project presentations.
- Review your video before submitting to make sure of video and audio quality.
Questions to Cover in Your Narrated Power Point of Video Presentation
If you are presenting a science fair project as a team of 2 or 3, there are several options for submitting a video file of your presentation.
Presenting in the same space
- If you are presenting with a sibling or another close person that you’ve been in social contact with, you are welcome to record a video while standing together.
- We want to caution any students that decide to share physical space with each other at this time. Please respect the health of everyone in the room by wearing a mask and maintaining 6ft of distance from each other.
Using Zoom or Google Meet
- Zoom, Google Meet, and many other video chat services allow you to record video calls. You can “present” your project during a call together while displaying your visual in a screen share, and submit the recording of the call.
- If you choose this option and are presenting with a physical display, the physical display can be in only one student’s space, but all team members will still have to take turns presenting.
Editing together video clips
- You can also record two or more video clips from separate locations, discussing different sections of your project, and edit them into a single video file for submission.
- If you are submitting a narrated PowerPoint presentation you can develop the slideshow, and assign team members slides to narrate. Once all narrations are completed, one student can compile the narrated slides and convert the ppt to a video file.
Have another idea?
Feel free to use another set-up for your team presentation. Important points to keep in mind are that each team member should participate equally, the presentation should be in a logical order for viewers to follow along, and it must be submitted as a single video file.