RULES AND REGULATIONS 2020 (Note that most of these will be applicable to 2021 especially regarding safety and ethics)


Please read these carefully.  You can download a pdf copy here. RULES AND REGULATIONS 2020_R


1. Students in Grades 7-12 under 21 years of age, attending school in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Counties are eligible.

2. All projects must have an Adult Supervisor familiar with the rules and regulations of the science fair. NEW IN 2020 – A qualified Scientific Supervisor is required for projects working with microorganisms. (see Safety 11 a))

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

  • Discovery: Create new fundamental knowledge based on your curiosity by asking a question and using the techniques of scientific inquiry to develop an answer.
  • Energy: Improve our use of current energy sources, enable the transition to alternative energy sources, or reduce our energy footprint.
  • Environment: Reduce our impact on, improve our understanding of, and ensure the quality of water, air, soil, and the diversity of living things.
  • Health: Increase our understanding of the human body, or apply science and technology to improve health, control disease, or support an aging population.
  • Information: Enhance communication and our use of information using digital and networking technologies, or applications of new media.
  • Innovation: Combine scientific principles with your creativity to develop a new material, structure, device, or system to solve a problem or improve an existing solution.
  • Resources: Develop better ways to use our natural resources that provide sustainable sources of food, products, or prosperity.

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of the Chief Judge an entry has been placed in the wrong category, the exhibit will be moved to another category or withdrawn from the fair

5.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.

6. No more than 2 students may enter a joint project

7. Exhibits 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


Oversize exhibits are not eligible. All exhibits including accessories must be confined to a table or floor space not to exceed 0.8 m (30 inches) front to back, 1.2 m (48 inches) side-to-side, and 3.5m (12 feet) from the floor. Outlets for water, steam, compressed air or gas will not be available. Electricity will be provided. Please bring your own extension cord.


a) 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

b) No live animals can be displayed at the fair – pictures only.

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

d) A RESEARCH PLAN FOR ANIMALS must be submitted before the project begins and the ANIMAL APPROVAL FORM 4.1Cmust be completed and brought to the fair. Any project arriving at the fair without having submitted the proper forms will not be considered for 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 arriving at the fair without having submitted the proper forms will not be considered for 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 required 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 human beings;
  • 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 are not permitted at the Canada Wide Science Fair or similar YSC events.


a) NEW IN 2020. Microorganisms. 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_2020 located on the Safety Page This must be sent to the registrar before beginning the project.

b) Dangerous chemicals, flames, or explosives must not be exhibited. Mechanical devices must meet minimum safety standards and electrical devices must meet the minimum standards of the Ontario Electrical Code. Safety defects, as determined by the Safety Inspector, must be corrected or the exhibit withdrawn. Microorganisms, including fungi, cannot be displayed, only pictures are allowed at the fair. Laser pointers are not allowed. Please read the safety guidelines published on the YSF website 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 Safety Committee.

12. To be eligible, an exhibit must be set up by the date and time specified by the Science Fair Committee and must be left on display until the closing of the fair (see Set up and Display). While efforts will be made to prevent damage to the exhibits or injury to the participants or others, neither the Science Fair Committee, the sponsoring organization nor co-operating groups can assume liability for loss, damage or injury.

13. 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

14. Entry forms must be received by the date specified on the form. If the number of entries exceeds the space available, a quota system will be applied to even out participation among schools.

15. A typed or neatly written project synopsis (summary) is required before an exhibit will be registered. See Project Summary for requirements

16. A Registration Fee of $10.00 per project must be submitted with the registration.

17. Students must exhibit the same project that was entered on the application form.

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

19. Contestants must be present during judging. If, in the opinion of the Chief Judge, any exhibitor is causing any undue delay in judging, that exhibit will be disqualified

20.Judges may require any finalist to operate the exhibit and may interview as many finalists as they choose. Decisions of the Chief Judge are final.