This page has important information about project categories, safety, and display regulations.
Students will compete in the categories listed below, defined by grade divisions and subject areas. A project will consist of 3 two-digit numbers. The first two digits will be the student(s)’ grade division, the next two digits will be the project subject area, and the last two digits will be the project order within that subject area. For example, a Grade Four project will have the grade division code 01. If the project deals with Earth and Environmental Science, it will have the subject area code 02. If the project is the third project in that subject area, it will have the project order code 03. The full project number would then be 010203. Participants will be able to see their project numbers online in the registration system the week of the fair. They will also find this number on the morning of set-up on a table label in the Exhibit Hall.
Elementary: Grade Four (01)
Elementary: Grade Five (02)
Elementary: Grade Six (03)
Junior: Grades 7 & 8 (04)
Senior: Grades 9 – 12 (05)
Many projects are interdisciplinary and therefore seem to fit into more than one division. Participants must choose only one of the divisions. This decision should be based on the subject area in which the finalist(s) is/are most knowledgeable and best able to communicate their knowledge to the judges.
Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences (01)
A biomedical project may be a biotechnology project involving the application of knowledge of biological systems to solve a problem, create a product, or provide a service. They generally fall into one of four fields: crop development, animal science, genomics, and microbial. Biomedical projects may also be related to Health Sciences involving the health services and products related to humans.
Earth and Environmental Science (02)
An earth and environmental sciences project focuses on a topic relating to planetary processes, the relationship of organisms to those processes, or the relationships between or among organisms.
Engineering & Computing and Information Technology (03)
An engineering or computing sciences project applies physical knowledge to solve a problem or achieve a purpose, or deals with computing or an innovative software or hardware design.
Life Sciences (04)
A life sciences project examines some aspect of the life or lifestyle of a non-human organism.
Physical and Mathematical Sciences (05)
A physical and mathematical sciences project studies abiotic phenomena to understand the relation between identified factors, perhaps including a cause and effect relationship, or uses mathematical models or mathematics to solve theoretical problems.
The Edmonton Regional Science Fair Council aims to encourage a broad range of science-related student work. Students may enter projects that are experiments, studies, or innovations. Each of these project types will be judged equally; experiments, studies, and innovations are all recognized at the Canada Wide Science Fair level. Projects compete against all other projects in their grade division (Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade, 6, Junior, and Senior). The type of project (Experiment, Study, Innovation) determine what criteria are used to judge the project. The project types and their criteria are described below:
An experiment is an investigation to test a specific hypothesis. For example, changing the colour of light to determine the effect on the growth of bean plants.
- To obtain a high score, an experiment should be devised and carried out by the student(s), be original, control most significant variables, and have unpredictable results.
A study is an analysis of data to explain a situation or a phenomenon of scientific interest. For example, a regional study of cancer incidence may be related to specific industries and pollution levels to explain the cancer anomaly.
- To obtain a high score, a study should draw upon literary research or observation, illustrate a cause-and-effect relationship or an original solution to a problem, and have in-depth statistical analysis of data.
An innovation involves the development and evaluation of devices, models, techniques, or processes. For example, constructing a computer guidance system to control a farm tractor, thus allowing it to plow a field without a human operator.
- To obtain a high score, an innovation should involve designing and building innovative technologies, or integrating several technologies in a way that will have economic impact or human benefit.
All projects must be safe in design and operation. The Edmonton Regional Science Fair Council reserves the right to disallow any project that is, in their sole and exclusive opinion, considered a threat to the safety of others.
The Edmonton Regional Science Fair Council does not assume responsibility for the loss or damage to projects or personal property.
The most commonly asked questions about safety regulations are listed below. The complete list of safety questions is linked below.
- Plants, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and invertebrate animals may be exhibited.
- Vertebrate animals may NOT be used in experiments for the ERSF if they involve pain, discomfort, or death to the animal.
- No living vertebrate animal shall be displayed in projects at the ERSF.
- Projects using chemicals which are listed as restricted or prohibited in the list of hazardous chemicals released by Alberta Education will not be accepted for entry.
- Lasers may NOT be operated during the project judging/viewing period.
- Open flames are NOT allowed.
- Radio-isotopes, biological toxins, cells, or tissues infected with animal viruses, and blood will NOT be allowed on display. ALL other cultures exhibited should be sealed air tight.
- Electrical switches and cords operating at 110 Volts A.C. must be C.S.A. approved. Extension cords are NOT provided, so please bring a 5m extension cord if you need electricity.
Project Safety Questions: Students need to complete this checklist prior to the fair.
A science fair display exhibit should consist of:
- A rigid, attractive backdrop
- Project information should be included on the backdrop
- The apparatus used in the project (if possible)
- A log book of observations with a summary of the project
The project should fit a table or floor space not to exceed a width of 120 cm, height of 250 cm, and depth of 80 cm.
Panels of cardboard, plywood, or masonite, folded or hinged together, make a rigid backdrop. The panels may be framed to increase their strength.
The information on the backdrop should be printed so that it is readable at a distance of two meters. The entire exhibit can be made very attractive by painting the backdrop and bordering the information sheets in coloured paper.
If possible, the equipment used in the project should be displayed. Judges are particularly interested in equipment that the entrant has constructed. It is important that no information on the backdrop be obscured by the equipment.
All results and observations should be carefully and neatly recorded in a log book, which should be exhibited as part of the project. Your log book should summarize your project and also be a diary of observations. It should be concise and comprehensive.
New Canada-Wide Science Fair Display Standards
Please click here to view the standards for project displays at the Canada-Wide Science Fair. Note, this information will be applicable only to students selected to represent our region at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in May when that fair is held in person.