Please read these carefully.  You can download a pdf copy here. Please note: links are not included to the actual forms required.

RULES-AND-REGULATIONS for Virtual Fair-2021_F_R3  PDF File.



The COVID-19 pandemic has caused all government bodies to restrict contact between people. Science fair projects involving face-to-face human participation must follow the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines of the province, region/municipality, and school district in which students reside, in addition to the Participation of Humans in Research policies of Youth Science Canada.


1.Students in Grades 7-12 under 21 years of age, registered in school in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Counties are eligible. For 2021 ONLY, students in Grades 7-12 under 21 years of age registered in schools in Stormont, Glengarry, Dundas and Akwesasne are also eligible for the RSLSF with permission from the United Counties Science Fair Committee.

2. All projects must have an Adult Supervisor familiar with the rules and regulations of the science fair. Please note: A qualified Scientific Supervisor is required for projects working with microorganisms. (see Safety 13)(a))

3. The Science Fair Committee reserves the right to restrict entries to those that meet acceptable standards of merit in the respective categories.

4. Exhibits may be a Discovery (Devise and carry out experiment), Innovation (Design and construct an application) Study (Collect and analyze data) type and are divided into categories within each of 3 divisions.

DIVISIONS: Junior (Grades 7 & 8), Intermediate (Grades 9 & 10), Senior (Grades 11 & 12)

CATEGORIES: (Align with the Canada Wide Science Fair Challenges)

  • Agriculture, Fisheries & Food
  • Curiosity & Ingenuity
  • Digital Technology
  • Disease & Illness
  • Energy
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Health & Wellness
  • Natural Resources

5. If participation in a category is low, some categories may be combined. If in doubt about your category, consult with your science teacher or the Chief Judge. If in the opinion of the Chief Judge an entry has been placed in the wrong category, the exhibit will be moved to another category.

6. A project entered in a previous Rideau-St. Lawrence Science Fair is ineligible unless in the opinion of the Chief Judge, it has been significantly improved or modified. Documentation of the specific changes is required.

7. No more than 2 students may enter a joint project. Both students must be present for judging.

8. Projects must be designed and assembled by the students although advice may be obtained from any source. There is no limit to the equipment that may be bought or borrowed, but the exhibit will be evaluated only on the quality of the work done by the student. All assistance must be acknowledged.

9. Projects must be entered using the format required in the Online RSLSF Fair. Note the details include a word limit. Pictures should be included.  New in 2021: The procedure can be outlined, but not detailed to discourage others from using it in future fairs.  Raw data (measurements recorded from an experiment) should not be posted online but included in a one-page detailed Procedures and Observations Report that must be uploaded for judges to see (see 10)). You should include only charts and graphs that support the conclusions online.

10. New in 2021: A detailed Procedures and Observations Report must be prepared and uploaded as a PDF file. This will not be published but available for judges to view. Make sure that the name of the project, the names of the participants and the date submitted is evident.  It should include details of any procedures and a list of all the observations made during the project in an organized fashion (tables of data and pictures as necessary).

11. New in 2021: A logbook should be kept during the process of the experiment. This is a journal of progress. Not all experiments/models (especially unsuccessful ones) will necessarily be included in the final presentation but should be included in a logbook that can be shared as required. This is a record of all the work that was done for the project.


Experiments with vertebrates and cephalopods are strictly limited. If the project involves live animals, the regulations of the Youth Science Foundation must be followed. Check the Ethics Forms – Use of Animals carefully.

Follow the 10 Principles for the use of Animals in Pre-College Education.

A RESEARCH PLAN FOR ANIMALS must be submitted before the project begins and the ANIMAL APPROVAL FORM 4.1C must be completed and uploaded online. Any project online without the requested forms will not be considered for promotion to the Canada Wide Science Fair.


a) If your project involves people completing surveys, questionnaires or any type of activity, you must read and understand Ethics guidelines for human participation and complete all required forms. Any project online without the requested forms will not be considered for promotion to the Canada Wide Science Fair. All these experiments require a LETTER OF INFORMATION FOR INFORMED CONSENT and FORM 4.1A HUMAN PARTICIPTION LOW RISK APPROVAL to be completed. Some require a signed INFORMED CONSENT PERMISSION FORM. There are additional requirements for experiments with significant risk. Please check Ethics Forms – Human Participation.

b) Ingestion: Projects involving ingestion of food or drink, defined as consumption through eating or drinking, are considered Significant Risk when they involve:

  • articles not manufactured, sold or represented as food or drink for humans
  • foods that contain additives exceeding the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) normally associated with those foods
  • foods not considered to be basic or everyday foods and for which health benefits are claimed.

c) Projects involving ingestion of licensed Natural Health Products and Energy Drinks are not permitted at the Canada Wide Science Fair or similar YSC events. These products are identified by a Health Canada Natural Product Number NPN) or Exemption Number (EN) and are listed in the Health Canada Natural Health Product Database.

d) Projects that involve the consumption of alcohol or cannabis are not permitted at the Canada Wide Science Fair or similar YSC events.


a) If you are planning to work with microorganisms, you must work with a qualified scientific supervisor. You must read Microorganisms Safety 2020 and complete RSLSF Safety Form R2_ 2020located on the Safety Page . This must be sent to the registrar before beginning the project.

b) Electrical and Mechanical Safety. Mechanical devices must meet minimum safety standards and electrical devices must meet the minimum standards of the Ontario Electrical Code. Please read the safety guidelines published on the YSF website and check the safety page. If you have any concerns, please contact the registrar before the date of the fair. Your concerns and questions will be forwarded to the RSLSF Safety Committee.

15. To be eligible, an exhibit must be published on the RSLSF Virtual Fair website with required forms by the date and time specified by the Science Fair Committee and must be left on display until the official fair has closed.

16. The Science Fair Committee reserves the right not to award any prizes in any category or division, and the right to disqualify any exhibit for any infraction of the rules.

17. Judging will be based on the following criteria: scientific thought, originality, understanding, presentation, and aesthetics.

18. Judging interviews will be scheduled over several days. Contestants must be present at the agreed upon interview time during judging. If, in the opinion of the Chief Judge, any exhibitor is causing any undue delay in judging, that exhibit will be disqualified.

19. Judges may interview as many finalists as they choose. Decisions of the Chief Judge are final.


PLEASE NOTE: For the 2021 Virtual Rideau St. Lawrence Science Fair only

  • The $10 project fee is waived – there will be no charge for project entry,
  • The one-page synopsis with references requirement is changed to a detailed Procedures and Observation Report.