University of Southern Indiana

Rules for Scientific Research

Senior Division - Senior Division participants must adhere to all rules and guidelines set forth by the International Science and Engineering Fair.  Please read these rules thoroughly BEFORE beginning ANY experimentation!

Senior Division Rules
Rules Wizard 

Junior and Elementary Divisions - Junior and Elementary Division participants must adhere to the SEFI rules for Middle and Elementary School Scientific Research (see link below.) It is your responsibility to read and understand these rules BEFORE allowing your students to begin ANY experimentation. Teachers/sponsors must approve all projects prior to experimentation. 

SEFI Rules for Middle and Elementary School Scientific Research

Prohibited Research for Junior and Elementary School Scientific Research

Bacterial/Microorganism Studies - with the exception of baker's/brewer's yeast. Studies involving E. coli K-12 are permitted if performed at school and are not recombinant DNA studies. Prohibited microorganisms include:  bacteria, viruses, prions, fungi, and parasites. 

Mold Studies - unless it is the study of mold growth on food items inf the experiment is terminated at the first evidence of mold.

Studies Involving Human Participants - with the exception of observations in which the researcher has no interaction with the individuals be observed and the environment is not manipulated in any way. Parents must be notified of the conditions of any experiment and provided the opportunity for their child to opt out of participation. 

Studies Involving Vertebrate Animals - with the exception of zebrafish and observational studies which have been reviewed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. 

Radioactive Substances - no exceptions

Hazardous Chemicals - reagents, DEA-controlled substances, tobacco, alcohol, prescription drugs, firearms, or explosives. 

Class IV Lasers - All use of any type of laser must be under direct supervision of a qualified adult. Class IV lasers are strictly prohibited.

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