VA Science Fair Rules and Guidelines

Van Arsdale Science Fair Rules and Guidelines

Sponsored by the Van Arsdale PTSA

  1. Eligibility
  • All students of Van Arsdale Elementary are eligible to enter the fair.
  • Students can complete as an individual or work with one partner. No teams of more than two students will be allowed.
  • Students are permitted to submit both a project and participate in the glider contest (gliders may only be submitted by 4th – 6th graders).
  1. Project Categories

There are two types of projects that students may enter.

  • Exhibit: Model or Display – shows how or why something works the way it does. An exhibit is an explanation of how or why something works. It reveals details about the topic. An exhibit is an explanation, not a question.
  • Experiment – uses the steps of the scientific method to answer a question to which you do not know the answer without testing. An experiment follows the steps of the scientific method. It clearly asks a question to which you do not already know the answer without testing.
  1. Projects That Are Not Allowed

No projects involving firearms, explosives or the discharge of an air pressure canister (i.e. potato guns).

No project that causes pain, suffering, sickness or death of an animal.

No activity or substance that presents a danger to the student or the environment, including hazardous chemicals or radioactive materials.

  1. Science Fair Dates
  • Registration deadline is January 19, 2018. Every participant must have a registration form submitted, preferably online at Paper registration forms can be found on the Van Arsdale PTSA website.
  • Project must be setup and ready for display on February 16, 2018 by 8:40a.m. The school will open at 8:00a.m. for setup. Parents must supervise setup and cannot leave students unattended until 8:40a.m.
  • The Science Fair will be open for viewing by families between 4:30 – 7:30 pm on Friday, February 16, 2018. Science demonstrations and judging will take place from 4:30 – 6:00 pm. While the judging time is open to allow arrival of participants as they are able to attend, please allow enough time for the judges to review before 6:00 pm. The glider contest will take place following judging completion at approximately 6:00 pm. Award will immediately follow the glider contest at approximately 7:00 pm.
  • Project must be picked up at the end of the fair on February 16. Any project not picked up on Friday evening will be left with the student to take home on Tuesday, February 20.
  1. Display and Safety Guidelines

Items not allowed for display.

  • No living, dead or preserved animals
  • No human or animal body parts or body fluids
  • No poison, drugs, controlled or hazardous substances
  • No harmful liquids such as laboratory or household chemicals
  • No pressurized tanks or containers
  • No batteries with open top cells
  • No waste products
  • No sharp objects such as syringes, needles, pipettes, knives, tacks and nails
  • No project, device, activity or substance that may be deemed hazardous to student health or safety
  • No photographs or pictures of animals or people in surgical techniques, dissection or necropsies


Items allowed for display only with precise safety procedures in place and advanced notice given to the fair organizers. ***Include on registration form as a special need or items used.***

  • Any use of dirt, soil, rocks and sand
  • Any use of glass or glass objects
  • Any use of liquids (harmful liquids such as laboratory or household chemicals are not allowed) Any use of human or animal food
  • Any use of living, dead or preserved plants
  • Any use of electricity


Allowed and Encouraged Items

  • Photographs or drawings that offer visual explanations of their project’s steps (be sure to credit any pictures not taken by the student to the appropriate sources)
  • Printed or written explanation for the steps of the project


  1. Parental Help

Parents are encouraged to help their children in these ways:

  • Read and discuss these rules and guidelines.
  • Help the student to select projects which are appropriate for the child’s age and ability.
  • Plan and manage project work, documentation, dates and times and deadlines.
  • Help by asking questions and steering your child towards the solution.
  • Help with research.
  • Help your child prepare to talk to the Review Committee.
  • Ensure your child’s safety.


Students may have their entries typed by another person as long as the original work or a copy of the original work is attached to the back of the display board. Students who are physically challenged or students in kindergarten, 1st grade, or 2nd grade may dictate to another person who may type or write down the original work. Transcribers should make every attempt to retain the same level of language and accuracy that is reflective of the student’s ability.

  1. Display

Strongly encourage the use of a sturdy tri-fold board for project display. Securely attach all written material, drawings, and pictures to the display board. Projects will be displayed on tables that are 36” high and approximately 24” deep. Size of display area may not exceed 48” wide by 18” deep. Due to space limitations please adhere to these specifications.

Make sure any electricity needed for the display is noted on the registration form.


  1. Participation

Every participant will receive a participation award.


If there are any questions please contact Kristen Gray at [email protected]