NWSES Rulebook

Who can participate?
Any student in grades 5-12 who attends school in Oregon is invited to present their project in the Northwest Science Expo System of fairs. Home school students are welcome.

Projects may be science or engineering in the areas of the natural sciences, the social sciences, mathematics, or computer science. The work must be conducted by the student; the student may enlist the advice of a mentor.

NWSES IS ONLY FOR EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH. Students need to pose a research question and gather the data to answer it. This may include research that is descriptive and pattern seeking if the student collects the data. Or it may include asking an original question that is answered using statistics on data gathered by other than the student, IF the student poses the research question, determines the statistical methods to be used and interprets the results. Modeling projects are allowed if the model is used to answer an experimental research question, the structure of the model is explained and the model is tested.

NWSE is a state-level fair and projects submitted should be of good quality.

Projects may have 1-3 students.

IMPORTANT: HIGH SCHOOL (9-12) STUDENT ELIGIBILITY High school students must qualify for the Intel NWSE through a Regional Fair. Go here for a list of regional fairs. A student may only present 1 project.

IMPORTANT: MIDDLE SCHOOL (5-8) STUDENT ELIGIBILITY ALL middle school projects may go directly to NWSE-the state fair-without attending a regional fair. The only limitation will be a maximum of 10 projects per school. We also ask for no more than 2 projects in the same category from a school.  The spirit we want to encourage is choosing the best of your projects to attend the NWSE state fair, whether through an in school fair or other selection process.

How do you participate at NWSE?
Once the student or team of students has a research topic, an adult sponsor must be enlisted. The adult sponsor can be a teacher, parent, mentor or other responsible adult. All projects require some form of approval before experimentation is started. Projects that involve human subjects, non-human vertebrate animals, pathogenic agents, controlled substances, tissues or recombinant DNA require additional approval by either an Institutional Review Board (IRB) or a Scientific Review Committee (SRC). After experimentation is completed, the student creates an exhibit that communicates the essential ideas and findings of their research. Complete ISEF rules are available on the Intel ISEF website.

How are projects judged?
The most important factor in judging is how well scientific and engineering processes are applied in the project. The judges first view the exhibits without students present. Judges then interview students at their exhibits. In general, each student can expect to be interviewed by 3-4 judges. Judges look for well thought-out research and students who can discuss their work with confidence. They are not interested in memorized speeches, but simply want to talk with students about their projects. Students should be prepared to communicate their work with enthusiasm. Judges may evaluate the student's research data book or research paper. You can read the specific criteria used for science and engineering projects on the judging criteria page.

The judges are scientists and engineers from academia, government, and industry. High school judges have advanced degrees and research or design experience in the category which they are judging. Awards are based on the decision of teams of no fewer than 3 judges. The judges decisions are final.

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