Intel ISEF Display and Safety Regulations | Student Science

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Intel ISEF Display and Safety Regulations

Please address any questions regarding Intel ISEF Display and Safety Regulations to: Diane Hecht, Display and Safety Committee Chair at


Display and Safety Authority
Display Regulations
Display Content for Research Institution and/or Continuation Projects 
Maximum Size of Project
Position of Project
Forms Required to be Visible and Vertically Displayed 
Forms Required at Project but not Displayed
Completed Informed Consent Forms not to be Displayed
Photograph/Image Display Requirements
Handouts Allowed at Project 
Items/Materials Not Allowed at Project
Other Display Regulations
Safety Regulations
Not Allowed at Project or Booth
Electrical Regulations at Intel ISEF
Laser RequirementsOther Safety Regulations

Display and Safety Authority

The Intel ISEF Display and Safety Committee is the final authority on display and safety issues for projects approved by the SRC to compete in the Intel ISEF. Occasionally, the Intel ISEF Display and Safety Committee may require students to make revisions to conform to display and safety regulations. The Regulations that follow have been divided into two main categories to separate those that deal specifically with display regulations and those that pertain to safety regulations.

Display Regulations

The following regulations must be adhered to when a finalist exhibits a project at Intel ISEF.


Maximum Size of Project

Depth (front to back): 30 inches or 76 centimeters
Width (side to side): 48 inches or 122 centimeters
Height (floor to top): 108 inches or 274 centimeters

Please be aware when ordering posters that the mechanism that supports the poster should conform to the maximum size limitations stated above.

  • All project materials and support mechanisms must fit within the project dimensions.
  • At the Intel ISEF, fair-provided tables will not exceed a height of 36 inches (91 centimeters).
  • If a table is used it becomes part of the project and must not exceed the allowed dimensions.
  • Nothing can be attached to the rear curtain for display.
  • At the Intel ISEF, all demnostrations must be done within the confines of the finalist booth. When not being demonstrated, the component must be returned to the project and must fit within allowable dimensions.

Position of Project

Table or freestanding display must be parallel to, and positioned at, the back curtain of the booth. Projects may NOT lean against the back curtain.

Display Content for Research Institution Projects

The display must reflect only the work conducted by the finalist. Minimal reference to mentor’s or other researcher’s work must only reflect background information or be used to clarify differences between finalist’s and others’ work. If Box 3 is checked YES on the official Intel ISEF Abstract and Certification, Regulated Research Institution/Industrial Setting Form 1C must be vertically displayed.

Display Content for Continuation Projects

The display board should summarize ONLY the CURRENT year’s work. The Title may include the duration of the project (for example, "Year Two of an Ongoing Study"). Minimum reference to the conclusions of previous years' work may be shown without any specific data being displayed. If Box 4 is checked YES on the official Intel ISEF Abstract and Certification, Continuation Form 7 must be vertically displayed, summarizing clear differences between current and previous years’ work.

Forms Required to be Visible and Vertically Displayed

The suggested placement of the required forms is on the front edge of the table, on the display board, or in a free-standing frame placed on the table top. 

Forms required at all projects: 

  1. Original of official Abstract and Certification as approved and stamped/embossed by the Intel ISEF Scientific Review Committee.
  2. Completed Intel ISEF Project Set-up Approval Form SRC/DS2 (Received on-site at the Fair)

Forms required when applicable (indicated on Form SRC/DS2):

  1. Regulated Research Institutional/Industrial Setting Form(1C) 
  2. Continuation Projects Form (7) 

Completed Informed Consent Forms Not to be Displayed

Completed informed consent forms are not allowed to be present at the project display.

Forms Required at Project but not Displayed

Forms including, but not limited to, Checklist for Adult Sponsor (1), Student Checklist (1A), Research Plan and Approval Form (1B) which are required for the project or for Scientific Review Committee approval do not have to be displayed as part of the project but must be available in the booth in case asked for by a judge or other Intel ISEF official. A photograph/video release form signed by the subject is required for visual images of humans (other than the finalist) displayed as part of the project. All other forms not specifically called for in the above sections are NOT required to be Displayed at the booth.

Photograph/Image Display Requirements

Display of photographs other than that of the finalist must have a photo release signed by the subject, and if under 18 years of age, also by the guardian of the subject. Sample consent text: “I consent to the use of visual images (photos, videos, etc.) involving my participation/my child’s participation in this research.” (These forms must be availabe upon request by a Display & Safety inspector, but shall not be displayed.)

Finalists using audio-visual or multi-media presentations (for example, 35mm slides; videotapes; images, graphics, animations, etc., displayed on computer monitors; or other non-print presentation methods) must be prepared to show the entire presentation to the Display and Safety Inspectors before the project is approved.

Any photograph/visual image/chart/table and/or graph is allowed if:

  1. It is not deemed offensive or inappropriate (which includes images/photographs showing invertebrate or vertebrate animals/humans in surgical, necrotizing or dissection situations) by the Scientific Review Committee, the Display and Safety Committee, or Society for Science & the Public. The decision made by any one of the groups mentioned above is final.
  2. It has a credit line of origin (“Photograph taken by...”or “Image taken from...” or “Graph/Chart/Table taken from…”). (If all images, etc. being displayed were taken or created by the finalist or are from the same source, one credit line prominently and vertically displayed on the backboard/poster or tabletop is sufficient.)
  3. It is from the Internet, magazine, newspaper, journal, etc., and a credit line is attached. (If all photographs, etc. are from the same source, one credit prominently and vertically displayed is sufficient.)
  4. It is a photograph or visual depiction of the finalist.
  5. It is a photograph or visual depiction for which a signed consent form is at the project or in the booth.

Safety Regulations

The following regulations must be adhered to when a Finalist exhibits a project at the Intel ISEF.


Handouts Allowed at Project: Official Abstract

Handouts to judges and to the public must be limited to UNALTERED photocopies of the official abstract and certification.

The Intel ISEF Scientific Review Committee defines the “official abstract and certification” as an UNALTERED original abstract and certification as stamped/embossed by the Intel ISEF Scientific Review Committee. If the Scientific Review Committee requires a finalist to make changes to the abstract and certification submitted with registration papers, the revised version will be stamped/embossed, will replace the earlier version, and will become the finalist’s official abstract and certification. The finalist will be provided with 25 copies of the Official Abstract and Certification.

The term “abstract” may NOT be used as a title or reference for any information on a finalist’s display or materials at the project except as part of displaying the official abstract. An original stamped/embossed official abstract and certification must be vertically displayed at the project.

Items/Materials Not Allowed at Project

The following is a list of what cannot be displayed at the project:

  1. Any items that are acknowledgements, self-promotions or external endorsements (such as naming the research institution, mentor or patent pending statements) and/or are inteded for distribution including:
    1. Any disks, CDs, business cards, printed materials, etc. (including unofficial abstracts) designed to be distributed to judges or the public
    2. Flash drives, brochures, booklets, endorsements, and additional give-away items including, but not limited to, pins, key chains, food etc.
    3. Any awards or medals, except for past or present Intel ISEF medals that may be worn by the Finalist.
  2. Postal addresses, World Wide Web, email and/or social media addresses, QR codes, telephone and/or fax numbers of a project or finalist.
  3. Active Internet or email connections as part of displaying or operating the project at the INTEL ISEF.
  4. Prior year’s written material or visual depictions on the vertical display board.  (Exception: The project title displayed in the finalist’s booth may mention duration of the project.) For example, Year 2 of an Ongoing Study.  Please note continuation projects must vertically display the Continuation Project Form 7.
*Any attempt to replenish or return removed items from the above list is a violation of the Ethics Agreement and will result in items being confiscated by the Display and Safety Committee and may result in the project failing to qualify for competition.

Other Display Regulations

  1. No changes, modifications, or additions to projects may be made after approval by the Display and Safety Committee and the Scientific Review Committee. Finalists who do not adhere to this signed agreement on the SRC/DS2 Form regarding this regulation will fail to qualify for competition.
  2. If a project fails to qualify and is not removed by the finalist, Society for Science & the Public will remove the project in the safest manner possible but is not responsible for damage to the project.
  3. It is highly recommended that your project number be placed on all notebooks or materials that will be left at your booth. A project data book and research paper are not required but are highly recommended.
  4. Judges will preview projects without finalists present beginning at noon on Tuesday.
  5. No Acknowledgements. 

Not Allowed at Project or Booth

  1. Living organisms, including plants
  2. Soil, sand, rock, cement and/or waste samples, even if permanently encased in a slab of acrylic
  3. Taxidermy specimens or parts
  4. Preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals
  5. Human or animal food as part of the exhibitor demonstration of the project.
  6. Human/animal parts or body fluids (for example, blood, urine)
  7. Plant materials (living, dead, or preserved) that are in their raw, unprocessed, or non-manufactured state (Exception: manufactured construction materials used in building the project or display)
  8. All chemicals including water (Projects may not use water in any form in a demonstration)
  9. All hazardous substances or devices (Example: poisons, drugs, firearms, weapons, ammunition, reloading devices, and lasers)
  10. Items that may have contained or been in contact with hazardous chemicals (Exception: Item may be permitted if professionally cleaned and document for such cleaning is available)
  11. 3-D Printers
  12. Dry ice or other sublimating solids
  13. Sharp items (for example, syringes, needles, pipettes, knives)
  14. Flames or highly flammable materials (including magnified light sources). A Fresnel Lens cannot be used in conjunction with a light source - it becomes an open flame. 
  15. Batteries with open-top cells or wet cells
  16. Glass or glass objects unless deemed by the Display and Safety Committee to be an integral and necessary part of the project (for example, glass that is an integral part of a commercial product such as a computer screen)
  17. Any apparatus deemed unsafe by the Scientific Review Committee, the Display and Safety Committee, or Society for Science & the Public (Example: large vacuum tubes or dangerous ray-generating devices, empty tanks that previously contained combustible liquids or gases, pressurized tanks, etc.)

Electrical Regulations at Intel ISEF

  1. Electrical power supplied to the project is 120 or 220 Volt, AC, single phase, 60 cycle. No multi-phase will be available or shall be used. Maximum circuit amperage/wattage available is determined by the electrical circuit capacities of the exhibit hall and may be adjusted on-site by the Display and Safety Committee. For all electrical regulations, “120 Volt AC” or “220 Volt AC” is intended to encompass the corresponding range of voltage as supplied by the facility in which the Intel ISEF is being held. 
  2. Electrical devices must be protectively enclosed. Any enclosure must be non-combustible. All external non-current carrying metal parts must be grounded.
  3. Energized wiring, switches, and metal parts must have adequate insulation and over-current safety devices (such as fuses) and must be inaccessible to anyone other than the finalist. Exposed electrical equipment or metal that possibly may be energized must be shielded with a non-conducting material or with a grounded metal box to prevent accidental contact.
  4. Decorative lighting or illumination is discouraged. If used, lighting must be as low a voltage as possible and must be LED lighting that does not generate heat. Light bulbs are prohibited. When student is not at the exhibit, all electrical power must be disconnected, or power bars must be switched off (exception: during pre-judging audio visual displays may be available).
  5. When student is not at exhibit, all electrical power must be disconnected, or power bars must be switched off. (Exception: during pre-judging audio visual displays may be available.) 
  6. An insulating grommet is required at the point where any wire or cable enters any enclosure.
  7. No exposed live circuits over 36 volts are allowed.
  8. There must be an accessible, clearly visible on/off switch or other means of quickly disconnecting from the 120 or 220 Volt power source.

Laser Requirements

Any Class 1 or Class 2 lasers, along with only Class 3A or 3R lasers, are allowed to be used provided a finalist avoids indiscriminate exposure to other finalists, judges, or visitors (except if passed through magnifying optics such as microscopes and telescopes, in which case they may not be used). No other lasers may be used or displayed. 

  1. Any laser must be labeled by the manufacturer so that power output can be inspected. Lasers without labels will NOT be "cleared."
  2. LED's that consume over 1 watt, unless they are in a commercial light bulb/fixture or otherwise shielded, will not be allowed.
  3. Lasers will be confiscated with no warning if not used in a safe manner. Serious offenses may result in failure to qualify.

Other Safety Regulations

  1. Any inadequately insulated apparatus producing extreme temperatures that may cause physical burns is not allowed.
  2. Any apparatus with unshielded belts, pulleys, chains, or moving parts with tension or pinch points must be for display only.
  3. Society for Science & the Public, the Scientific Review Committee, and/or the Display and Safety Committee reserve the right to remove any project for safety reasons or to protect the integrity of the Intel ISEF and its rules and regulations.
  4. Project sounds, lights, odors, or any other display items must not be distracting. Exceptions to this rule may be permitted for judging demonstrations. Approval must be given prior to judging.
  5. Projects can be continued under the table BUT this area is not to be used for storage. No personal items or packaging materials may be stored underneath the booth.

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