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Documents Archive

Science Fair Documents Archive

Here's where you'll find a growing collection of Science Fair related documents from various sources. Many of these files are available here in PDF format and you will need to have Adobe Reader software installed on your computer in order to download and print these documents. [Get Adobe Reader]

Display Board Plan & Tips

At the science fair, you are given a table for your display. Most people find that three display boards fit nicely onto the table and leave room in the centre for apparatus, materials, specimens and written reports, etc. The maximum dimensions allowed by the Youth Science Foundation are 3.5 m high (from floor), 1.2 m wide, 0.8 m deep.[more]

See Also: CWSF Project Displays for more information.

YSF SMARTS Guide to Science Fairs

The Youth Science Foundation Canada 'Science Fair Guide' is a comprehensive toolkit to help students through their first-ever science fair project. From 'Choosing Your Topic' to 'Preparing for Judging,' this guide will take you through the entire process.

And if you're lucky enough to make it to the Canada-Wide Science Fair, there are tips and tricks to help you succeed there as well. [more]

This document is also available in French.

YSF SMARTS Guide to Mentorship

Ever wanted a mentor for your science fair project? Finding it hard to get one? The YSF 'SMARTS Mentorship Guide' was written by alumni whose work with mentors has helped them to achieve success at the Canada Wide Science Fair and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. This guide will show you how to approach and obtain mentors, and to use their expertise to your advantage. [more]

This document is also available in French.

CWSF Project Report

For students taking part in the Canada-Wide Science Fair.

The CWSF project report requires the finalist(s) to write a concise summary of the project using a scientific style of reporting. Finalists are required to select only what is important, and state it in a concise way. Graphs, diagrams and charts may be included, but not their raw data or observations. The report is submitted online as part of the registration process. [more]

CWSF Project Displays

For students taking part in the Canada-Wide Science Fair.

Includes information on Display dimensions, Backboard and Display Materials, Fire Safety, Electrical Safety, Structural and Mechanical Safety, Chemical Safety, Biohazards, Human Subjects, Animals and Animal Parts, Firearms, Hazardous Materials and Equipment, and Display Equipment and Damage. [more]

Use of Animals in Research

Biological experimentation is essential for an understanding of living processes. Such studies should lead to a respect for all living things. Capable students, anxious to pursue a career in biological sciences, must receive the necessary encouragement and direction. All aspects of the project must be within the comprehension and capabilities of the student undertaking the study.

An Adult Supervisor is responsible for ensuring the safe and ethical conduct of projects involving the use of animals. It is recommended that a Regional Science Fair Ethics Committee review all proposed research involving animals before experimentation is started. [more]

Use of Human Participants in Research

Science fairs often include excellent projects involving human research participants. These projects are usually based in the social and behavioural sciences such as psychology, sociology, and education, and in related health sciences such as physiology, kinesiology and nursing.

Human participants must be assured that they are safe, that they are treated with respect and dignity, and that the information they provide will be kept confidential. These ethical safeguards are primarily the responsibility of the science fair student researchers and their supervisors. [more]

Recombinant DNA and Biotechnological Safety

Recombinant DNA and Animal Viruses

Projects involving the manipulation of recombinant DNA molecules or animal viruses are allowed if conducted under qualified supervision. Evidence of this supervision, including the supervisorís name, institution, and qualifications must be included in the "Contributions by Others" form and must be available at all times during the fair.

Biotechnological Safety

Biotechnological investigations involving enzymes pose risks of allergic reactions. Work involving DNA technology can be accomplished safely if simple precautions are taken. The use of DNA is, in itself, usually safe, but hazards can arise from chemicals and electrical equipment employed in the manipulation of DNA. Extremely hazardous chemicals, such as ethidium bromide, used to stain DNA, should be avoided. Electrophoresis of DNA fragments should use low voltages or equipment that prevents access to connections at high voltages. [more]

Canada Wide Science Fair Judging Rubric

Are you ready for the big day?

Judging is a highlight of the science fair experience - the chance to share your work with interested adults - usually educators, scientists and engineers - with an interest in youth science. Of course, it helps to be prepared by knowing what the judges will be looking for.

At the Canada-Wide Science Fair judges assess projects in five areas:
  • Scientific thought - 45%

  • Original creativity - 25%

  • Project report & log - 14%

  • Oral presentation - 8%

  • Visual display - 8%
Please note that judging at regional fairs is based on these criteria but may differ in the details and/or the weight assigned. [more]

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