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Great Lakes Bay Region Science, Technology & Engineering Fair


All rules and guidelines are in alignment with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).
To review Intel ISEF Rules, click here.


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 the Great Lakes Bay Region Science, Technology, and Engineering Fair (GLBRSTEF).


  • A student participating in the GLBRSTEF must be in grades 6-12 or equivalent to be eligible, none of whom has reached age 21 on or before May 1, 2013.
  • Each student may enter only one project, which covers research done over a maximum of 12 continuous months between January 2012 and May 2013.
  • Projects that are demonstrations, ‘library’ research or informational projects, ‘explanation’ models or kit building are not appropriate GLBRSTEF.
  • There is a broad range of categories in which students can complete science fair projects. Please see the GLBRSTEF categories and subcategories for definitions
  • A research project may be a part of a larger study done by professional scientists, but the project presented by the student must only be their portion of the complete study.

All students must adhere to all of the rules as set forth in this document.


  •  All projects must adhere to the Ethics Statement above.
  • Projects must adhere to local, state, country and U.S. Federal laws, regulations and permitting conditions.
  • The use of non-animal research methods and the use of alternatives to animal research are strongly encouraged and must be explored before conducting a vertebrate animal project.
  •  Introduction or disposal of non-native species, pathogens, toxic chemicals or foreign substances into the environment is prohibited.
  • GLBRSTEF exhibits must adhere to display and safety requirements. 

Approval and Documentation

Before experimentation begins, a Scientific Review Committee (SRC) must review and approve most projects involving human participants, vertebrate animals, potentially hazardous biological agents, and haxardous chemical, activities, or divices. 

NOTE: Please click on the links for more information regarding projects using human participants, vertebrate animals, potentially hazardous biological agents, and hazardous chemicals, activities or devices

  • Upon qualifying for the Michigan Science and Engineering Fair (MSEF) and/or Intel ISEF, the following forms are required from each qualifiying student:
  •  After initial SRC approval (if required), any proposed changes in the Student Checklist (1A) and Research Plan must be pre-approved before laboratory experimentation/data collection resumes.
  • Projects which are continuations of previous year’s work and which require SRC approval must be re-approved prior to experimentation/data collection for the current year.
  •  Any continuing project must document that the additional research is new and different. (See Continuation of Projects section below)
  • If work was conducted in a regulated research institution, industrial setting or any work site other than home, school or field at any time during the current GLBRSTEF project year, Regulated Research Institutional/ Industrial Setting Form (1C) must be completed and displayed at the project booth.
  •  After experimentation, each student or team must submit a (maximum) 250-word, one-page abstract which summarizes the current year’s work. The abstract must describe research conducted by the student, not by adult supervisors.
  •  A project data book and research paper are not required, but are recommended.

Continuation of Projects 

As in the professional world, research projects may be done that build on work done in previous years. A valid continuation project is a sound scientific endeavor. Students will be judged only on the most recent year’s research. The project year includes research conducted over a maximum of 12 continuous months from January 2012–May 2013.

  • Any project based on the student’s prior research could be considered a continuation project. If the current year’s project could not have been done without what was learned from the past year’s research, then it is a continuation project for competition. These projects must document that the additional research is an expansion from prior work (e.g. testing a new variable or new line of investigation, etc.) Repetition of previous experimentation with the exact same methodology and research question or increasing sample size, are examples of unacceptable continuations.
  • Display boards and the abstract must reflect the current year’s work only. The project title displayed in the Finalist’s booth may mention years (for example, “Year Two of an Ongoing Study”). Supporting data books (not research papers) from previous related research may be exhibited on the table properly labeled as such.
  • Longitudinal studies are permitted as an acceptable continuation under the following conditions:
    • The study is a multi-year study testing or documenting the same variables in which time is a critical variable. (Examples: Effect of high rain or drought on soil in a given basin, return of flora and fauna in a burned area over time.)
    • Each consecutive year must demonstrate time-based change.
    • The display board must be based on collective past conclusionary data and its comparison to the current year data set. No raw data from previous years may be displayed.
    •  All continuation projects must be reviewed and approved each year and forms must be completed for the new year.
 NOTE: For competition in the Intel GLBRSTEF, documentation must include the Continuation Project Form (7), the previous year’s abstract and research plan and the abstract for all other prior years.The documentation should be clearly labeled in the upper right hand corner with the year (ex: 2011-2012). Please retain all prior years’ paperwork in case an SRC requests additional documentation.
  • Student project displays can only be set up from 7:30 am until 9:00 am on Saturday, March 22, 2014.
  • Displays must be self-supporting and stand freely. You project may not have support from a wall or other exhibits.
  • Displays and all apparatus must fit in and cannot exceed the following dimensions: 48 inches wide, 30 inches deep, and 72 inches tall on a table. A project over 72 inches high will be placed on the floor.
  • If electricity is needed, students should provide an extension cord at least 9 feet long. The maximums allowed for projects is 120 or 220 Volt, A.C., single phase, 60 cycle.
Prohibited Materials
  • Living organisms, including plants
  • Soil, sand, rock and/or waste samples even if permanently encased in a slab of plastic
  • Taxidermy specimens or parts
  •  Preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals
  • Human or animal food
  •  Human/animal parts or body fluids (for example, blood, urine)
  • Plant materials (living, dead, or preserved) that are in their raw, unprocessed, or non-manufactured state (Exception: manufactured construction materials used in building the project or display)
  • All chemicals including water (Exceptions: water integral to an enclosed, sealed apparatus.)
  •  All hazardous substances or devices [for example, poisons, drugs, firearms, weapons, ammunition, reloading devices, and lasers (as indicated in item 5 in the section of these rules entitled “Allowed at Project or in Booth BUT with the Restrictions Indicated”)]
  • Dry ice or other sublimating solids
  • Sharp items (for example, syringes, needles, pipettes, knives)
  • Flames or highly flammable materials
  • Batteries with open-top cells
  • Awards, medals, business cards, flags, logos, CD's, DVDs, flash drives, brochures, booklets, nor endorsements, and/or acknowledgments (graphic or written) unless the item(s) are an integral part of the project
  • Photographs or other visual presentations depicting vertebrate animals in surgical techniques, dissections, necropsies, or other lab procedures
  • Postal addresses, world wide web and email addresses, telephone and fax numbers of participants
  • Active Internet or e-mail connections as part of displaying or operating the project
  • Prior years’ written material or visual depictions on the vertical display board. [Exception: the project title displayed in the Finalist’s booth may mention years or which year the project is (for example, “Year Two of an Ongoing Study”)]. Continuation projects must have the SFIAB Version 2.3.1 (Development Revision: 2792)