Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question? Try looking for the answer here. Click on a subject below to view questions and answers relating to your selection. If you have further questions, please contact us directly.


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What is the last day I can submit the online registration?
Projects involving human participants, vertegrate animals, potentially hazardous biological agents (ANY microorganisms or viruses), or hazardous chemicals, activities or devices need to be registered online by January 21, 2015.

All other projects need to be submitted by February 11, 2015.

What is the last day I can submit Intel ISEF Forms?

Projects involving human participants, vertegrate animals, potentially hazardous biological agents (ANY microorganisms or viruses), or hazardous chemicals, activities or devices need to send their ISEF forms to CSRSEF postmarked by January 21, 2015.

All other projects need to be submitted by February 11, 2015.

How do I register for the fair?
All students must register online AND send us the $15 registration fee (a check made out to Bellevue College) and copies of all of the required Intel ISEF forms. See below for address. After registering online, students will receive a confirmation and project ID number within 3 working days. If your project has not been confirmed within a week, please contact us.

Why do I have to register online?
The online registration lets us know that you are coming and helps us to plan for space, judging assignments, certificates, t-shirts, and more.  All students must register online.

Where do I send my completed ISEF forms?
Mail copies of your forms (keep your originals!) to:

Central Sound Regional Science & Engineering Fair
Bellevue College
3000 Landerholm Circle SE, L-200
Bellevue, WA 98007

What does the registration fee cover?
There is a $15 registration fee per student to participate–this covers the cost of the t-shirt, program and participation certificate; in addition, it helps us offset some of the costs incurred while planning the fair. Fee waivers are available to students who qualify for free or reduced price lunches.  Checks should be made out to the “Bellevue College” and be sent in along with the required ISEF forms. See address above.

I’m working in a team.  Do each of us have to pay the registration fee?
Yes, each student must pay his/her own registration fee. Each member of the team also needs to register online.

I just found out that I won’t be able to participate in the fair.  Can I get a refund?
We cannot give refunds for students who are unable to attend the fair.  It takes time and resources for the CSRSEF to review all of the projects, entered or not.



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What forms do I need to submit?
All students are required to submit the four Intel ISEF forms and the Bellevue College Photo Release form listed on the student page. Different types of projects require different types of forms. Additional forms are required for projects involving human subjects, vertebrate animals, controlled substances and/or potentially hazardous biological agents. You can use the Intel ISEF Rules Wizard or email us if you are unsure which forms you need.

Do I turn in the originals of my ISEF forms?
No! Students should only submit copies of their forms with their science fair registration. All original forms should remain with the student’s project.


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Who is eligible to participate?
All 9-12th grade students attending public, private, charter, parochial, and home schools in King and Snohomish Counties in Washington State are eligible to participate. If you attend a school outside of this region, please see our Washington State Science Fairs page to find the fair you should attend. In order to participate at the state level, students must present at a regional fair.

Unfortunately, we do not accept grade 1-8 submissions at this time. Students from King and Snohomish counties who are ineligible to compete at CSRSEF may present directly at WSSEF.


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Can parents, teachers, and other adults help with a project?
Yes!  One of the great things about a science fair is that there is room for parent involvement and outside help. By sharing science experiences, parents, teachers, and other mentors demonstrate that learning is an important and enjoyable process. The key is that the adults not do too much. Adults can offer advice, review forms, help gather materials, assist in constructing the backboard, and proofread grammar, however, the research and overall project, should reflect the effort of the student(s).

Can I work with a researcher at a University or a Research Institution?
Yes!  Working with a professional can open your eyes to current research, laboratory equipment, and valuable advice.  As a student, you will not be penalized if you choose to work on a project under the supervision of a researcher, however, we encourage students to do the majority of the work and have a strong understanding of the research they are working on.

I don’t know any professional scientists or engineers.  Can I still do well at the CSRSEF if I work on a project by myself?
Yes! We understand that it can be difficult to find a mentor and we do not penalize students who are working on their own.  Some of the best research we have seen at the fair comes from students that have researched simple problems in new and creative ways!


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What is the Scientific Review Committee/Institutional Review Board (SRC/IRB)?
The CSRSEF Scientific Review Committee and Institutional Review Board (SRC/IRB) is a group of adults knowledgeable about the federal and state regulations concerning experimentation.  The committee is responsible for reviewing all student projects to make sure that they are being conducted in a safe and ethical manner.  Student projects involving human subjects, vertebrate animals, potentially hazardous biological agents, hazardous materials, and DEA-controlled substances MUST receive SRC/IRB approval before beginning their projects.  You can read more about the CSRSEF SRC/IRB on the About Us page.

Does my project need to be approved by the SRC/IRB?
It depends on your choice of project. Use the Intel Rules Wizard to see what forms need to be submitted. This should be done BEFORE you begin your experiment. If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact us.

How long will it take to get SRC/IRB approval for my project?
Please allow two weeks for the SRC/IRB to review your project.

Is it OK to get approval after I have collected my data?
If you are working with human subjects, vertebrate animals, controlled substances and/or potentially hazardous biological agents, you MUST have your project approved before you begin your experiment.  The purpose of the SRC/IRB is to make sure that you are doing your science fair project safely and ethically, therefore, the committee must approve your project before you start collecting data. If you have already started your experiment and did not receive prior approval, please contact us and let us know about your situation.

Project Display

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Can my parents or teacher set up my project for me at the fair?
Yes. Just be certain that all materials you plan to display are present in order to be approved by a safety and display judge.

What can I include on my project board for the fair?
The Visual Display requirements are listed here as well as some additional tips and advice. Also, note that no photos of others are allowed, unless a signed release form has been submitted.

How should my project be displayed on the project board?
Your display will be a visual aid that will briefly state all the important aspects of your project: problem, hypothesis, experiment description, results/analysis, conclusions and applications.

What needs to be available besides my project board during the Science Fair?
Your notebook(s) and the official abstract should be included. Also, have all of the originals of all forms required for your project.

Event Information

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When do I set up my project?
Projects must be set up and ready for judging by 10 am on Saturday, March 8.  Please refer to the fair schedule for details.

Will lunch be provided?
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide participants with lunch.  Parents and students will need to make other arrangements for food.

Will parking be available?
Yes. Free parking will be available in the parking garage  on the Bellevue College Main Campus.  See the fair schedule for driving directions.

What should I wear to the fair?
We recommend that you dress professionally but comfortably.  You’ll be on your feet for most of the day, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

What should I bring to the fair?
The judging process can be lengthy with a lot of “down” time. We recommend that you bring a book to read or homework to work on.  Be sure that whatever you bring is not a distraction to yourself or others.

Will my valuables be secure at the fair?
We recommend that you only display computer or other valuable items while you are with your project.  The CSRSEF and Bellevue College are not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Is there a time for the public to view the projects?
The exhibits will be open to the public. Please refer to the fair schedule for details.


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How will I be judged?
The CSRSEF category judges evaluate projects using the Intel ISEF judging criteria.  Judges are looking for creative ability, scientific thought, thoroughness, skill, and clarity.  Team projects will also be judged on how well the students worked together.

The CSRSEF Special Awards judges evaluate projects using special judging criteria given to them by the sponsoring organization.  You can learn more about special award criteria on our Awards page.

Do I have to stay for the entire judging period?
Yes! During the judging time there are category judges and special award judges that are interviewing students. You need to give them an opportunity to talk to you.

What if I can’t come to CSRSEF during the judging time?
The judging interview is the most important component of the judging process. If you cannot come at all, we recommend that you do not set up your project.

Do all members of my team have to be present during judging?
Yes. It would otherwise be difficult for the judges to understand the contributions of each team member. Team projects without all members present will receive a hefty team deduction on their final score.

How long does the judging last and when can I leave?
The length of judging varies. It is important to stay with your project until the lunch break.  Students selected for final judging will be notified during the public viewing period.


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If my project is disqualified for improper procedure or missing forms, will I receive a refund of my entry fee?
We cannot give refunds to projects that are disqualified or withdrawn. It takes time and resources for the CSRSEF to review all of the projects, entered or not.

More questions?
If you have additional questions about the CSRSEF, forms, procedures, individual projects or anything else we’ve missed, we would like to hear from you!  Contact us and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.