Science Fair FAQ

Who may participate?

The Coriell Science Fair is open to students in grades 6 through 12 who attend schools in Burlington, Camden, or Gloucester counties.

What if my school has a science fair?

If your school has a science fair, you must participate in your school's fair before you can enter the Coriell Science Fair. (Remember to plan ahead! All regulated projects which might enter Coriell's Fair must be pre-approved by Coriell before they are started.)

Why should I participate?

At Coriell, we believe that participation in the Fair offers you a foundation on which to build your interest in the sciences by engaging in self-directed research, learning to manage real-world regulatory requirements, interacting with and communicating your ideas to practicing scientists and educators, and representing your school in competition. You will have the opportunity to win certificates, cash prizes, and scholarships at the Coriell Fair, and advance to the Delaware Valley Regional Science Fair (DVSF) and the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

How do I participate?

To take part in the Coriell Science Fair, visit the Fair's Web Portal to register your project, complete your ISEF forms, and submit your paperwork to Coriell for approval. With completed (approved) forms, you may begin your research project. Once you have finished your project, decide whether or not to enter it into the Fair. If you decide to participate, submit your Fair Entry details and Abstract. Don't forget – deadlines can sneak up quickly! Keep current with all the Fair's important dates and deadlines.

How do I access the Coriell Science Fair Web Portal?

Click here to access the Portal. You can register and submit all forms and project details electronically.

Where can I reduce the size of my scanned forms before uploading to the Fair Portal?

If you need help reducing the file size of your scanned forms, this is one site that may be helpful: www.imageoptimizer.net/Pages/Home.aspx

Who will I compete against?

Individual projects are judged by categories and also, by grade groups. Individual student entries are divided into the following grade groups:

  • 6-8th grade
  • 9-10th grade
  • 11-12th grade

Team entries, regardless of categories, are divided by grade groups: 6-8th grade and 9-12th grade.

Where may I perform my research?

Generally, risk-free projects can be done at home with adult supervision. Low-risk regulated projects can be done at school. Higher-risk regulated projects should be done at a regulated research institute/industrial setting. 

Does my project need to be approved?

If a student's project requires only the basic registration forms – 1, 1A, the Research Plan Form, and 1B – then the student only needs approval from an adult sponsor before beginning their project.

When a student's project involves either human participants, vertebrae animals, potentially hazardous biological agents, or hazardous chemicals, activities, or devices, additional forms and approvals are required. For help determining if your student's projects contain one of these elements, you can consult the ISEF Wizard, a tool that will help you fill out the necessary forms.

In such instances, a scientific review committee would have to approve the project. If a school does not have a scientific review committee, Coriell would be able to approve the student's work.

How can I prepare for the judge interview portion?

In addition to the overall strength of a student's project and the development of an effective project tri-fold board, judges also evaluate the student's interview performance.

Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Review your project beforehand – Being able to speak in detail about your project (from hypothesis to experimentation and results) demonstrates a passion for and a comprehension of the subject matter
  • Dress for success – Students are encouraged to dress professionally for the judge interviews
  • Be confident; be yourself! – Judges like to speak with students who are excited to showcase what they've learned. Introduce yourself to the judge by using your first name; make eye contact and do your best to answer questions posed by the judge; most importantly, put your best foot forward!

Who do I contact with questions?

Please contact us at sciencefair@coriell.org.