University of Southern Indiana

Display Rules

Science and Engineering Fair Display Guidelines

Expensive items should never be left at the display when the student is not in attendance. USI and fair officials are not responsible for lost or stolen items. 

  • Size limits are 30" deep front to back; 48" side to side; 108" floor to top
  • A place at a table is provided for all entries. “Floor space” only displays must be requested by contacting the Fair Director.
  • Electricity is not provided for displays unless indicated on the online registration form. All electrical wiring must be of an approved, insulated type. Electric cords are the responsibility of the exhibitor.

Children will be located at their table display during the entirety of their judging session. Parents may wait in the lobby area of the exhibit hall. 


In general, the display of anything that could be hazardous to the public is PROHIBITED, including the following:

THE TOP VIOLATIONS FROM THE LAST FAIR ARE IN BOLD - See pages 5 & 6 of the Rules for Indiana Elementary and Middle School Science Research Handbook for a comprehensive list of prohibited items.  Consider replacing prohibited items with pictures of those items on the project display board.
  • Food items (people or pet food, etc.) Clean, empty containers are OK
  • Containers filled with water or any other liquid, even if it has a secured lid
  • Sharp items (e.g. nails, sharp tools, needles, knives, syringes) including glass or glass objects
  • Small (smaller than a large marble), loose pieces sitting on the table that could be picked up by a child (choking hazard) or fall to the floor posing a tripping or slipping hazard to members of the public.
  • Photos of people, including student’s family, WITHOUT their (and if a minor, parent’s) written consent to be displayed Photo Display Approval form
  • Photos, including pictures taken off the Internet, that do not contain the credit line of their original source
  • Human/animal parts or body fluids (e.g. urine, blood, bones, teeth)
  • Anything that is ALIVE (animals, plants, molds, etc.)
  • Plant materials in their raw state (living or dried)
  • Taxidermy specimens/parts; preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals (bones, teeth, dead bugs, rabbit’s foot)
  • Soil, sand, rock and/or waste samples
  • All chemicals (laboratory/household), cleaners, poisons, toxic substances (e.g. nail polish)
  • Drugs or controlled substances; hazardous substances or devices (e.g. firearms)
  • Dry ice or other sublimating solids (e.g. moth balls, gel candles, bath crystals)
  • Flames, fire, highly flammable materials
  • Any apparatus deemed unsafe including empty tanks that previously contained combustible liquids or gases
  • Batteries with open top cells (Regular batteries are OK)
  • Projects with moving parts that have unprotected belts and pulleys especially if it can be triggered when unattended
  • Class 3 and 4 lasers; Class 2 lasers must follow rules in ISEF handbook
  • Ribbons or awards won at school/other fair (Exception: ISEF Medals)
  • Names of people who completed surveys, etc.
  • Photos that are offensive depictions of animals or humans
  • Photos or other visual presentations depicting vertebrate animals in surgical techniques, dissections, necropsies, or other lab procedures
  • Active Internet or email connections as part of the display or operation of the project

Contact Allison Grabert


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