Frequently Asked Questions

Important Dates
Eligibility
Registration
Registration Fees
Forms
Parent Help
SRC/IRB
Project Display
Event Information
Judging
Disqualification

Important Dates

USEF will be held Monday March 8 through Friday, March 12, 2021 at Rice Eccles Stadium. The Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 13th, will be held virtually. More info to come.

Eligibility

Who is eligible to participate?
Students attending public schools in grades 5-12 in the Salt Lake, Granite, Park City, Murray, Canyons, South Summit and Tooele school districts. Charter and private schools are also welcome. If you attend a school outside of these districts, please see the Utah Regional Fair map to find the fair you should attend.

In order to be eligible to participate at USEF, you must have participated and won at your school / district fair & received an invitation to participate. Please refer to the eligibility 'roadmap' for details.

2021 student allotments advancement 1

Note! Park City School District will not participate at USEF in 2021. We anticipate their return in 2022.

Registration

How do I register for the fair?
All students must register online with the user name and password obtained from their teacher or science fair representative. Senior division students must also submit completed Intel ISEF forms for their projects.

I'm a Senior division student. How do I submit my ISEF forms?
All 9th through 12th grade students will submit their forms online. link will be added this fall for registration and paperwork.

What is the registration fee?
Please refer to the fee schedule below for details.

Registration Fees

USEF fee schedule is as follows:

  Registration Dates Fee
Early Bird Registration February 1 through February 7th $25 per student
On-Time Registration February 8th through February 14th $30 per student
Late Registration February 15th through February 16th $35 per student
Registration Closes February 16th, 2021 at midnight MST

Note: Registration will close at midnight MST on Monday, February 16, 2021. No registrations for any reason will be accepted after that date. Fees shown are per-student. For example, an individual student project registering on or before February 7th, 2021 (Early Bird) will be $25, a team of two registering in the same time frame will pay $50 and a team project of three students will pay $75. The team captain (the person who fills out the registration form) is responsible for paying the registration fee for the entire team. (He or she can collect the registration fee(s) from the other team members later)

Fee waivers are available for students who cannot afford the registration fee. Students must register on time to receive the fee waiver. Students registering late (on or after February 15th) will not be eligible for a fee waiver.

USEF registration fees are remaining the same during our virtual fair. While we don’t have a building rental fee, we do have an added cost for specialized software which will be available for all USEF schools and districts. In addition, all participants will receive a USEF 2021 t-shirt by mail and students who place in their category or win a special award will received trophies and award money via mail, which adds additional costs. Please contact Jody Oostema at jody.oostema@utah.edu with any questions

What division should I register in?
Your division is based on your school grade:

Elementary Division - Grades 5-6
Junior Division - Grades 7-8
Senior Division - Grades 9-12

Forms

Why do I have to register online?
All students must register online to compete at USEF. The Online registration allows you to be entered quickly into the USEF database. The USEF database is used to create judging cards, organize the winner lists, and create certificates and all other printed materials.

What forms do I need with my senior division project?
All senior division students are required to submit the forms used at Intel ISEF. Different types of projects require different types of forms. Additional forms are required for projects involving human subjects, vertebrate animals, controlled substances and/or potentially hazardous biological agents. You'll be able to answer a few questions about your project to determine what forms you'll need.

Parent Help

Can parents help with a project?
One of the great things about a science fair is that there is room for parental involvement. By sharing science experiences parents demonstrate that learning is an important and enjoyable process. The key point is that parents not do too much. Parents can offer advice, help gather materials, assist in constructing the backboard, and proofread grammar. The research and overall project should generally reflect the student's efforts.

SRC/IRB

Does my project need to be reviewed by an SRC/IRB at my local school prior to experimentation?
It depends on your choice of project. Use the Intel Rules Wizard to see what forms need to be submitted. This should be done prior to the onset of any experimentation. If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact us.

Is it ok to get SRC/IRB approval after I have collected my data?
No. The whole purpose of SRC/IRB approval is to have the committee approve your project before you begin data collection. This will insure that ethical guidelines are met and followed.

Project Display

Will I still need a project board for the virtual fair?
No. Students will upload PowerPoint slides (or similar) when they register for USEF. These slides can be updated as late as 7 days prior to USEF. We will have more details regarding the format and number of slides allowed by December 4, 2020.

What can I include on my slides for the fair?
The Visual Display requirements are listed here as well as some additional tips and advice. Also, note that no photos of others are allowed, unless a signed release form has been submitted.

What information about my project should I include on the slides?
Your slides will be a visual aid that will briefly state all the important aspects of your project: problem, hypothesis, experiment description, results/analysis, conclusions and applications.

Event Information

When will judging for USEF take place?
USEF will be held virtually the week of March 8-12, 2021. We are still working out the details and more information will be posted by December 4, 2020.

When will I know what time my project interviews will take place?
Judge interviews will take place via ZFairs through Zoom. More information will be sent out in December and final interview times will be scheduled in early March.

What should I wear for judging?
We recommend that you dress professionally but comfortably from the waist up! A USEF 2021 background will be available for all participants for your Zoom background to protect the home environment of students.

Is there a time for the public to view the projects?
We are working on options for public viewing options of all of the virtual projects. Stay tuned!

Judging

How are projects judged at USEF?
You can read about how we judge projects here.

Do I have to stay for the entire judging period?
Yes. During the judging time there are category judges and special award judges that are interviewing students. You need to give them an opportunity to talk to you.

What if I can't attend the virtual fair during the judging time?
The judging interview is the most important component of the judging process and cannot be skipped.

What if I have a conflict and I have to leave the virtual judging period early or come late?
Please notify Jody Oostema as soon as you know you may have a conflict at jody.oostema@utah.edu

Do all members of my team have to be present for virtual judging?
Yes. It would otherwise be difficult for the judges to understand the contributions of each team member. Team projects without all members present will receive a hefty team deduction on their final score.

How long does the virtual judging last and when can I leave?
There will be a judging period that lasts several hours when judges will talk to you via ZFairs on Zoom; interview times will be assigned in early March. All students should make sure they are at their computer or tablet during these times.

Disqualification

If my project fails to qualify for improper procedure or missing forms, will I receive a refund of my entry fee?
No. We cannot give refunds to projects that fail to qualify or are withdrawn. It takes time and resources for the USEF to review all of the projects, entered or not.

More questions?
If you have additional questions about the USEF, forms, procedures, individual projects or anything else we've missed, we would like to hear from you-drop us an email. We'll do our best to get you an answer.

Challenging ideas Find a lab Find a researcher Where are they now Tips for success

We've Changed Our Name!

You are in the right spot—we've changed our name from SLVSEF to USEF—The University of Utah Science & Engineering Fair. We are now an official University event! Yay!