FAQ and Rules

Q. When are the GKCSEF Applications due?

A. All Fair Applications (grades 4-12) are due by 5pm on February 24, 2017 to Science Pioneers, Union Station, 30 W. Pershing, Ste. 400, KCMO 64108

Q. Does the GKCSEF have new categories & descriptions?

A. YES! In 2016, to align more with the International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF), Science Pioneers has new categories and descriptions! List is located at the bottom of the page. 

Q. Where and when is the Science Fair being held?

A. Union Station, April 5-8, 2017

Q.Who attends the Awards Ceremony and where is it?

A. Any student who has a purple rosette ribbon (Division Category Winner) or a white ribbon (Special Awards) is invited for recognition and to receive their award. It is held on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at Union Station in Sprint Festival Plaza

Q. Can the Senior Division (9-12) enter inventions in the GKCSEF?

A. No, the Senior Division (9-12) should determine which new category more accurately portrays their device. It might be Environmnetal Engineering; Engineering Mechanics; Materials Science; or Computer Systems, Electronics & Robotics; See below for the list of Categories & Descriptions. 

Q. What ISEF forms do I need for my project? 

A. Check out the ISEF Rules wizard for what forms you may need for your project. Just fill out the list of questions and you will be given a list of forms and approval information pertaining to your project. https://apps2.societyforscience.org/wizard/index.asp

Q. When do projects need to be picked up?

A. Project pick-up is Friday, April 7th from 4:00-7:00pm!! Please arrange for your projects to be picked up, Science Pioneers and Union Station will NOT hold any projects for anyone.

Q. Where do we send forms needing prior approval?

A. Human Tissue (1), Hazardous Materials Form (3), Bacteria Form (4)  form for Grades 4-8 and ISEF Forms for Grades 9-12 needing prior approval should be faxed to 816-501-4802 or emailed to elizabeth.evans@rockhurst.edu prior to application due date. All forms and pre-approved forms should accompany the fair application sent to Science Pioneers. 

Q. Do we need to send Human Participant Forms in for prior approval?

A. No, the only require prior approval by the IRB at the school before experimentation begins. The IRB (Institutional Review Board) consists of three people: medical or mental health professional, educator, and school administrator. The forms should accompany the fair application sent to Science Pioneers. 

Q. When are teachers notified about applications and other science fair information?

A. Fail to Qualify project information is sent to the teacher one week after applications are due. Other information for teachers is sent at least one week prior to the science fair. If your school is on spring break during this time or the fair, please notify Science Pioneers.

Q. How many students can a school enter in the science fair?

A. Schools of any size with students in grades 4-8 may enter all projects that are deemed of excellent quality. If projects are not all up to this standard, then the school may only have a maximum of 20 projects (with up to 3 students per project) entered in the science fair. Senior High Schools with students in grades 9-12 may have all projects that are deemed of excellent quality. If projects are not all up to this standard, then the school may only enter 40 projects maximum (with up to 3 students per project) into the GKCSEF.

Q. What is the abstract to be included with all Projects?

A. An abstract should be 1-2 paragraphs including the Title, Problem, Hypothesis, a short Procedure, along with the Results and Conclusion (if completed at time of application). Applications without abstracts will be disqualified.

Q. Can individuals enter the science fair?

A. Interested students from schools that do not have science fair support can enter as an individual or team. To be allowed to do so, students must get prior approval from Science Pioneers. Call 816-460-2261 to get details. Note: This does not apply to home schools.

Q. Can students’ pictures and names be displayed on backboards?

A. Student full face pictures or any other pictures relating to the project may be on the backboard and in the notebook along with student names. Senior level students must site source of pictures, graphs and drawings.

Q. Can we experiment on vertebrates?

A. Grades 4-8 can only observe vertebrates (including fish) and cannot interfere with or change their natural living conditions. Vertebrate rules for grades 9-12 are on the Science Pioneers' website.

Q. Is product testing allowed in the science fair?

A. Only in grades 4-8 and with certain restrictions. It requires the complete scientific process with a measurable, objective evaluation scale. Product testing must have at least ten trials of the variable.  Opinion surveys are not acceptable.

Q. Are there a minimum number of trials for an experimental project?

A. Experimental projects should have what you consider to be an adequate number of trials to verify your experimental results. Standard at elementary level is usually three, but this can vary by grade level and experimental situation.

Q. Will 7th & 8th graders be penalized by judges if they do not attend the interviews on April 5th from 7:30-8:30pm?

A. They will not be penalized by judges, but being present to answer questions may help clarify points in a project.

Q. What size space do students have for backboards?

A. Grades 4-6 have 32 inches width and grades 7-12 have 48 inches width…..A backboard with sides folded will fit in this space. There are no height limitations for project boards.

Q. Can a company or organization that sponsors supplies for a student have a logo or name on a project?

A. A company or organization that donates supplies to a student cannot have their logo or name on the project. The student may mention them in the Acknowledgement section of their notebook.

Q. How do I find out the Biosafetly Level of my bacteria and what kind of lab is required?

A. Review Classification of Biological Agents (BSL) & Levels of Biological Containment (lab requirements) from this link https://student.societyforscience.org/potentially-hazardous-biological-agents#classification 

Q. If my high school project involves swabbing someone's cheek to obtain DNA, what forms are required?

A. In addition to Forms 1, 1A, 1B and the research plan required for all high school projects, Form 4 (human participants)  and Form 6A (potentially hazardous biological agents) will be required. These forms must be submitted for review and prior approval before collecting the samples and beginning the project. Forms need to be sent to the following: IRB for Form 4 and SRC for Form 6A.