Project Rules and Guidelines


To be eligible to participate in the MN Academy of Science State State Science & Engineering Fair (MASSSEF), students must first participate in one of the eight affiliated Regional Science Fairs in Minnesota and be selected to advance.

Homeschooled students are welcome to participate and should contact the Regional Science Fair closest to their home.

Official ISEF Rules

Students must be in compliance with all rules stipulated in the2015-2016 Guide and modifications to Intel ISEF Science & Engineering Fair and Affiliated Fairs 

Scientific Review Committee (SRC) Forms

For help deciding which SRC forms are required for a project, use the Rules Wizard provided by the Society for Science & the Public. For more information about SRC forms, please visit the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) Forms page.


Abstracts for both high school and middle school projects must not exceed 250 words (middle school papers follow the National JSHS paper guidelines of 200 word abstract). If an abstract is submitted in violation of the abstract length, it will be sent back to the student for corrections until the abstract meets length requirements.

Team Projects

Teams must consist of no more than three individuals. A project cannot be switched from a team project to an individual project in the same year, nor can a project with three team members be reduced to a project with only two partners.

In order to participate in MSSEF, all members of a team must be registered even if all members are not able to attend.

All team members must be in the same division (i.e. Junior or Senior) to be eligible. Teams that contain a combination of both middle school and high school students are not eligible to participate in MSSEF.

Display and Safety

Students must pass Display and Safety Inspections to make sure their display boards are in compliance with the rules before they can present.

Display and Safety Checklist


All projects must compete under one of the now (22) categories. When choosing which category a project belongs in, students should consider which judges are most qualified to evaluate their project. For more advise about choosing a category and to view the Intel ISEF sub-categories, please visit the intel ISEF website -

Animal Sciences (ANIM)

Behavioral and Social Sciences (BEHA)

Biochemistry (BCHM)
Biomedical and Health Sciences (BMED)
Biomedical Engineering (ENBM)

Cellular and Molecular Biology (CELL)
Chemistry (CHEM)
Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBIO)
Earth and Environmental Sciences (EAEV)
Embedded Systems (EBED)
Energy: Chemical (EGCH)
Energy: Physical (EGPH)
Engineering Mechanics (ENMC)
Environmental Engineering (ENEV)
Materials Science (MATS)
Mathematics (MATH)
Microbiology (MCRO)
Physics and Astronomy (PHYS)
Plant Sciences (PLNT)
Robotics and Intelligent Machines (ROBO)
Systems Software (SOFT)
Translational Medical Science (TMED)