Certain basic restrictions must be followed to ensure the safety of all science fair participants, judges and visitors. Failure to follow the following regulations will result in disqualification of projects and participants during the screening of applications and during the set up registration evening. If in doubt about the safety features of a project, students are advised to contact the Rules, Regulations, and Ethics Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org well in advance of the fair. Photographs of materials and procedures can be used effectively to represent the steps and materials used in any scientific experiment or study. Photographs can be displayed on the project backboard or in a photo journal.
Project Display Safety Rules and Regulations
- Any potentially hazardous elements of an exhibit should be shielded and posed with warning signs. Such elements may be displayed during the judging period only and not left unattended by the participant(s).
- Remove or otherwise protect all sharp edges or corners on prisms, mirrors, enclosures, glass and metal plates.
- Lengths of hoses or extension cords must be kept to a minimum and out of the way to eliminate tripping hazards. Use tape to secure them.
- Aisles and exits must not be obstructed.
- Syringes, pipettes, and similar devices are PROHIBITED.
- Exhibits must be sturdy and self-supporting; adjacent walls may not be used for support.
Food and Tissue
- The display of live animals (vertebrate and invertebrate) is PROHIBITED.
- The display of animal parts (vertebrate and invertebrate) is PROHIBITED.
- The display of human parts (tissue slides, teeth, hair, etc) is PROHIBITED.
- Food (ex. fruit, vegetables, etc.) which can decompose or decay is not permitted to be displayed.
- Food that may be subject to allergy concerns is PROHIBITED.
- Disease-causing organisms are PROHIBITED.
- Gratuitous, sensational, or macabre images are not permitted to be on display.
- No plants, plant tissues, leaves, or soils are permitted due to the potential of cross-contamination.
- Devices capable of producing temperatures in excess of 100 degrees Celsius are PROHIBITED.
- Low voltage light bulbs are acceptable.
- Papers on display boards should be firmly attached.
- The use of Styrofoam should be avoided.
- Packing materials must not be stored in the exhibit hall/rooms.
NOTE: In future years, in pursuance of fire hazard regulations, it is expected that stringent restrictions will be placed upon the construction material of displays and the methods of attaching paper materials to displays. At this time, care should be taken to construct stable, wooden display boards and to affix papers to the displays securely.
- Toxic or flammable chemicals are PROHIBITED.
- Dangerous chemicals, including prescription drugs, kitchen and laundry supplies are PROHIBITED from being displayed, however, you may display EMPTY containers only.
- No liquids are allowed to be displayed.
- PROHIBITED materials include, and are not limited to, sewage samples, sludge, petroleum products.
Electrical and X-Ray
- 110-volt AC, single phase service will be available.
- Exhibits should keep voltage as low as possible.
- All electrical connections should be disconnected when the student leaves the exhibit.
- Only properly grounded extension cords in good repair and with CSA approval may be used. It is the responsibility of the participant(s) to supply such extension cords.
- Where practical, it is recommended that pilot lights be used to indicate when voltage is on.
- Cord connected electrical appliances should have a 3-prong conductor wire with ground.
- Electrical devices must be protectively enclosed as far as is possible.
- The enclosure must be non-combustible.
- No exposed live parts over 35 volts are allowed.
- Bare wire and exposed knife switches may be used only on circuits of 12 volts or less; otherwise standard enclosed switches are required.
- Electrical connections in 110-volt circuits must be soldered or fixed under approved connectors and connecting wires properly insulated.
- In the case of exhibits featuring equipment capable of emitting radiation, the following are necessary: (a) equipment must be registered with the Provincial Government; (b) submission of plans for structural protections to the Provincial Government and a request for approval must be made by the exhibitor who must have the approval certification on hand at the Fair.
- All lasers are PROHIBITED from being displayed at the Fair. This includes laser pointers.
Microorganisms and Biohazards
If your project involves the use of DNA, viruses, or other such biotechnological specimens, please read and adhere to the rules set forth in policy 4.2.2.
The following hazardous biological materials are not permitted to be displayed:
- Radioisotopes or compounds containing radioisotopes.
- Biological toxins.
- Microorganisms (the use of mixed cultures obtained from the environment – ex. soils, mouth swabs, etc. – is acceptable for experimentation, but not for display).
- No cell cultures are allowed for exhibition.
Please note that the incubation of mixed cultures taken from inanimate objects around the school or home must be done in a registered lab. Incubation cannot occur at home due to the potentially high risk of illness. This does not pertain to cultures taken from soils or the mouth.
Hazardous Materials, Pressure Systems, and Explosives
If your projects involves the use of hazardous materials, equipment and firearms, please read and adhere to the rules set forth in policy 4.2.1.
- Air/hydraulic pressure systems must be non operational and open to the atmosphere if displayed.
- Pressurized tanks, canisters, or gas cylinders are PROHIBITED from being displayed.
- Firearms and explosives are PROHIBITED from being displayed (mock-ups may be used instead).