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Supporting ISEF Quality Science Fair Projects. October 16, 2008 Reno Nevada. Welcome and Instructions. Objectives for Today’s Workshop Share Strategies to Engage Students in Science Gain Understanding of ISEF Rules, Regulations and Tools Engage in Science Teaching and Learning Discussions.

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Supporting isef quality science fair projects

Supporting ISEF Quality Science Fair Projects

October 16, 2008

Reno Nevada

Welcome and instructions
Welcome and Instructions

Objectives for Today’s Workshop

  • Share Strategies to Engage Students in Science

  • Gain Understanding of ISEF Rules, Regulations and Tools

  • Engage in Science Teaching and Learning Discussions


  • Inspiring Students

  • Posing Testable Questions

  • What is an ISEF Quality Project?

  • LUNCH 12-1pm

  • ISEF Rules and Regulations

  • Logistics for Today

  • Schedule and Requirements for the Regional Fairs

  • Additional Resources for ISEF

  • Reflections and Other Questions

Topic question

Find an adult sponsor,






Background research,

development of a hypothesis and initial procedures and protocol

Will you conduct your research in a laboratory or other regulated institute?


Is your project a continuation?

Continuation Projects Form (7)

Does your project involve?

Human Subjects

(4) IRB approval

(2) Qualified Scientist Form

Hazardous Chemicals,

Activities, or Devices

(3) Risk Assessment Form

DEA-Controlled Substances

(2) Qualified Scientist Form

Vertebrate Animals (5A OR 5B)

(2) Qualified Scientist Form

Will research be at a

Regulated Research Institution?

Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents (6A AND/OR 6B)

(2) Qualified Scientist

IF NO (5A)

Requires SRC approval

IF fresh/frozen tissue,

primary cell cultures, blood,

blood products or body fluids

(6B AND 6A)

IF microorganisms, rDNA,

fresh/frozen tissues,

blood or body fluids (6A)


Requires IACUC approval

Inspiring students
Inspiring Students

  • Creating an Environment for Science

  • Creating an Engaging Science Classroom

  • Providing Science-Like Instruction

  • Creating Opportunities for Students to Design and Perform Experiments

  • Establishing a Value for Science Investigations

Making thinking visible talk and argument
Making Thinking VisibleTalk and Argument

Science like instruction
Science-Like Instruction

  • Engaging Science Classrooms

  • Science-Like Instruction – Less is More


    • Vitamin C Lab

    • Evidence

  • Describe an activity from your instruction that is “science-like.”

  • How could you modify it to make it more science-like?

  • Inspiring students1
    Inspiring Students

    • Creating time for class science discussions

    • “Talk and Argument” as a class norm

    • Individual interviews and conversations

    • Balance guidance, motivation, and student centered investigations

    • Engaging students with scientists and community science and technology resources

    Inspiring students2
    Inspiring Students

    • Helping them find investigations that are interesting.

    • Providing opportunities for science discussions in the classroom.

    • Creating rich environments and resources for science learning.

    • Valuing and using science as a process of obtaining knowledge based upon observable evidence.

    Interviewing for ideas
    Interviewing for Ideas

    • Interview the teacher sitting next to you for the purpose of identifying areas of science interests that have potential for an investigation.

      • What sorts of things interest you in general?

      • What is it about science you like?

      • Have you ever wondered about a phenomena or something related to science?

      • What do you find interesting about that?

    • How could we investigate more about __________?

    • ????

    Examples of online sources for ideas
    Examples of Online Sources for Ideas

    • Soil Protocol


    • Lettuce Protocol

    • http://ei.cornell .edu/toxicology/bioassays/lettuce/default.asp

    Inspiring students summary
    Inspiring Students - Summary

    • Create an engaging science classroom

    • Provide science-like instruction

    • Conduct labs that lead to science investigations

    • Create opportunities for students to design and perform experiments

    • Establish a value for science investigations

    Testable questions
    Testable Questions

    • Posing Testable Questions

      • Plausible questions for students to investigate

      • Timeline considerations

      • Resource availability

    Formulate testable questions
    Formulate Testable Questions

    • Wind turbines have a braking system that engages at high wind speed to keep the windmill from spinning too fast and tearing itself apart. This is a waste of energy.

    • Pose a testable question from your previous discussion about topics of interest in science with the person next to you.

    Testable questions1
    Testable Questions

    • Drinking-water sources sampled in Park City, Utah contain elevated levels of arsenic, a known carcinogen. Levels were found as high as 50 ug/L were found in selected water sources, this is just below the current (2003) EPA standard for arsenic in drinking water. Water samples from Silver Creek, also in Park City have zinc concentrations that exceed the aquatic life standard of 388 ug/L. Elevated concentrations of zinc can kill fish by limiting oxygen uptake by the gills.

    Testable questions2
    Testable Questions

    • Attributes of testable questions

    What is an isef quality project
    What is an ISEF Quality Project?

    • Research done by student to investigate a science question.

    • Testable science question is pursued.

    • Good literature review specific to the question.

    • Procedures are consistent with the literature.

    • Data is analyzed and statistically investigated.

    • Findings are consistent with observations and data.

    • Abstract is clear and fully explains the nature and implications of the investigation.

    • Appropriate procedures are followed and all forms are completed properly.

    • Student presents work clearly and accurately.

    How to use the literature

    How to Use the Literature

    Background Research is the Key to a Good Science Fair Project

    Why background research is necessary
    Why Background Research is Necessary

    • Building on existing research is part of the nature of science.

    • Regardless of the science question, somewhere someone has done a similar investigation; this is a good thing.

    • Use previous research to know what to expect with your project

    • Others’ research helps you:

      • develop valid, in-depth questions and hypothesis

      • use established procedures

      • gain insight into the analysis and interpretation of data

      • draw warranted inferences from your findings

    To wiki or not to wiki
    To Wiki or Not to Wiki?

    • While Wikipedia is NOT a valid source, it is a good place to start looking for sources of information.

    • For example you may want to know something about jumping spiders...

    • When you access "Wiki" you will see what has been posted on jumping spiders; including a useful article.

    • If you know little about your topic, Wikipedia may be a good source of general information. If you already know about your topic, go to the references list at the bottom of the articles.

    Picking a specific topic
    Picking a Specific Topic

    After reading Wikipedia on the topic, try to formulate a more focused area within the topic. For instance:The vision of jumping spiders seems interesting to me.There is now a narrow enough topic to develop a question. When looking for research, it is often helpful to know what you are looking for—this will reduce the time, and frustration needed to find useful information.

    What is the range of a jumping spider s vision
    What is the Range of a Jumping Spider’s Vision?

    • This question is specific enough to direct the research.

    • Looking over the article there is some general information, but there is not specific information on how to test the range of vision.

    • We will need to be creative to come up with possible procedures, but will they be scientifically sound?

    • There is only one way to find out...

    Become sophisticated use the literature to help
    Become Sophisticated!Use the Literature to Help

    • Using the literature sometimes feels like you are cheating, but science is built upon the work of others.

    • There is probably an established procedure for whatever you would like to investigate.

    • Research articles provide the procedures used in others’ research.

    • The procedures are similar to a recipe that can be adapted to your questions.

    • Science literature is a pool of knowledge from which any scientist can draw, use it—there’s no point in inventing a cookie recipe if one exists on the chocolate chip bag!

    Science says what it means
    Science Says What it Means

    Start by skimming over the titles of the references; these titles may seem overwhelming, but just look for key words.

    • "Learning and discrimination of colored papers in jumping spiders"

    • "Spectral sensitivity in jumping spiders “

    • "Vision and prey-catching strategies in jumping spiders“

    • "'Eight-legged cats' and how they see - a review of recent research on jumping spiders

    These look promising!

    Dissecting the literature
    Dissecting the Literature

    Looking at the titles helps; however, more is needed to obtain the article. Let’s pick a particular reference apart.Forster, L.M. (1982). Vision and prey-catching strategies in jumping spiders. American Scientist 70:165-175.

    References are set up with their own address system

    • Forster, L.M. This is the author. Often you can search by this author and find other helpful articles.

    • (1982). This is the date the article was published, it is an important number for finding the article.

    • Vision and prey-catching strategies in jumping spiders. Here is the title.

    • American Scientist This is the journal where the article is published. You will need the volume/edition get the correct one.70: This is the specific volume. 165-175. These are pages in the journal where you’ll find the article

    Becoming a scholar
    Becoming a Scholar

    • Once you have found a number of articles specific to your topic, go look them up!

    • A good library should have some scientific journals. Some of the article may be found online.

    • A very good source of online science journals is Google Scholar. It works just like Google, but has the advantage of access to online academic journals.

    Organizing your information
    Organizing Your Information

    • Now that you have found some articles, read them. This is a slow process, but will serve you well throughout the project.

    • Read with a highlighter and notebook at hand.

    • Note specific information that would be useful to your project, paying attention to:

      • important methods (especially things NOT to do)

      • how/why the information helps you

      • variables others selected to modify and why

      • how others’ research differs or is the same as yours

    In conclusion
    In Conclusion

    • While finding, reading, and compiling literature can be a slow, sometimes frustrating process, it greatly enhances the quality of science projects.

      • It reduces unexpected problems you may encounter and helps you analyze collected data.

      • Research greatly enhances the credibility and improves the overall quality of your project.

    • You can receive help from teachers, librarians, the internet, and even professors at a local university or college to find and analyze science research in the area of your project .

    Statistical analysis of data
    Statistical Analysis of Data

    • What does it all mean?

      • Sample size

      • Consistency of results

      • Effect size

      • Proper analysis

    DOES CARBONATION AFFECT WHETHER YOU WIN OR LOSE?Athletic coaches often encourage their athletes to avoid the intake of carbonated beverages. This study was to evaluate the impact which the consumption of carbonation has upon the respiration and heart rates of athletes: specifically, distance runners. TI CBL systems and calculators, respiration belts, and gas sensors were used to evaluate respiration rates of each runner. Each of the twelve runners was instructed on the conditions of the three-week test, and agreed to comply. Respiration and heart rates were evaluated once after a week of no carbonated beverages, again a week later after consumption of a one liter Sprite® each day, and a third time, after yet another week without any carbonation. During the test, results for respiration rate were taken every 15 seconds, while heart rate was taken every minute.

    Data from the three weeks was compared and contrasted. From these results the conclusion was made that carbonated beverages on average, slightly increases respiration rate. The results also showed that carbonation seems to increase the heart rate of females and decrease the heart rate of males.


    The established procedure for determining standard metabolic rate (SMR) is complex and laboratory dependent. This study investigated nesting and feeding behaviors of jumping spiders at two temperatures to determine if these could be used in the field as indicators of relative metabolic rate. Phidippus sp. were collected in northern Utah during October 2002, and kept at two temperatures: 10 C and 20 C. Because spiders are poikilotherms cold temperature lowers metabolic rate, allowing for comparison of behaviors reflecting metabolic rate. Variables observed as indicators of metabolic rate were (a) presence of a nest, (b) relative size of the nest, (c) thickness of the nest, (d) lapse-time between introduction of prey and consumption (consumption time), and (e) number of waste excretions. Using rubrics to assess variables, data were collected cumulatively during a cycle. Feeding, observation, and data collection cycles lasted for 7-10 days. At the beginning of each new cycle, all containers were thoroughly cleaned to remove nest silk and waste.

    Data were analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficients (alpha= 0.05). Statistically significant correlations were found for group assignment to consumption time (r=0.941) and group assignment to average waste excretions (r=0.861), suggesting these variables were indicators of metabolic rate. Nesting variables were significantly correlated to one another, but not significantly correlated to group assignment, indicating that nesting does not reflect metabolic rate. Further research using established laboratory methods for SMR are needed to define a scaled relationship between consumption time and waste excretion and SMR for use in fieldwork.

    What is an isef quality abstract

    • The project is judged by the abstract

    • Where can you find ISEF abstracts?


    • Let’s look at a few abstracts

    Science fair abstracts

    • A science fair abstract is an abbreviated report or a summary in brief of the entire project and is of great importance. It states the essential components of the project. The science fair abstract, in clear language, outlines the entire project. The abstract has a limit of 250 words.

    • Science fair abstracts help judges determine if they want to read the full report. If one wants the jury and audience to be excited about one’s science fair project, then writing an accurate, exciting, and engaging abstract is critical.

    • Projects at ISEF are prejudged based on the abstract.

    Science fair abstracts1

    The science fair abstract should include the following components -

    • Introduction—project’s purpose statement

    • Problem Statement—hypothesis

    • Procedure—description of variables and method of investigation

    • Results—specific data and synopsis of the results

    • Conclusion—stated clearly

    Science fair abstracts2

    Given below is an outline to write a science project abstract:

    • Title

    • Introduction

    • Problem statement and the hypothesis

    • Methodology

    • Analysis of data

    • Conclusion

    • Application

    Abstract don ts

    While writing an abstract avoid the following –

    • Uncommon scientific terms most scientists are not aware of

    • Brand names

    • Abbreviations and short forms

    • Charts and tables

    • Acknowledgements

    • Colloquial language

    • Humor

    • Writing in first person


    The purpose of our experiment was to examine the secretions from domestic housefly larvae, maggots, Musca domestica, and three other species of insects for antimicrobial antibiotic production. We had observed fly larvae in dead animal flesh and wondered how they could survive in the bacterial rich decomposing flesh and not be killed. We hypothesized that insect larvae, maggots or grubs, produce and secrete antibiotic-like substances that kill bacteria in the dead tissue in which the insect larvae grow, protecting the insect larvae from bacterial attack.In this study, we used housefly larvae or maggots (Musca domestica), mealworm grubs (Tenebrio), fruit fly larvae (Drosophila melanogaster), and superworms (Zophobas morio). Fourteen different types of bacteria were streaked on agar plates. Secretions from the insect larvae cuticle were collected on sterile filter paper discs, placed on the inoculated petri plates, and incubated. Zones of bacterial inhibition were observed and measured. Results showed that housefly larvae, mealwom grubs, and fruit fly larvae, produced and secreted from their cuticle an antibiotic like substance that inhibited several species of soil bacteria. Further characterization using denaturation by heat showed that the secreted antibiotic-like substance to be a protein. Our research showed that insect larvae produce and secrete antibiotic-like proteins from their cuticles to protect the insect larvae from bacterial attack in the soil or rotting animal flesh in which the insect eggs were laid. These antibiotic-like proteins could possibly be of therapeutic value in the treatment of human infections as a new source of antibiotics.

    PHOTOCATALYTIC REDUCTION OF HEAVY METALS: METHODOLOGY AND EFFICACY OF AN APPARATUSHeavy metal contamination from mining or industrial waste threatens aquatic systems. The process of using titanium dioxide as a photocatalyst has been previously established, however a process using a low-cost, feasible apparatus that did not introduce chemicals to the aquatic system was still needed. This project focused on the design, assembly, and use of an apparatus that used affixed titanium dioxide on a substrate with exposure to ultraviolet light (UV) to reduce water contaminated with copper II ions.The apparatus involves a laminar flow of water over a titanium dioxide coated substrate, with recirculation to maximize exposure to the catalyst and UV light. Several substrates and adhesives were used to find the most effective combination. In addition, variables of the apparatus such as flow rate and flow volume were adjusted to maximize ion reduction. The most effective substrate and flow characteristics yielded results sufficient to reduce the threat to aquatic organisms. In trials lasting 4 hours, copper II ions were reduced from 5.99 ppm to 1.80 ppm. The control trials, involving UV exposure without titanium dioxide, reduced ions from concentrations of 6.23 ppm to 5.86 ppm as measured by an atomic absorption spectrophotometer.

    The apparatus and methodology established in this project have potential as a solution to water contamination from light industry. The apparatus is small, inexpensive, and does not introduce additional chemicals to the system due to the affixed titanium dioxide.


    The purpose of my science fair project is to prove that human behavior is affected by the full moon's gravitational pull. To complete this project, I first interviewed public safety personnel to see if there was a common belief that the full moon affected behavior. I then asked each department contacted for information or data on crime/incidents for the year 2002. I gathered data from the Price City Police Department, Carbon County Sheriff's Office, Price City Fire Department and the Price Communications Center. Information was also gathered from back issues of The Sun Advocate, our local newspaper. I counted the incidents from each department, including jail bookings into the Carbon County Jail, for the dates of the full moon in the year 2002. I used from sundown to sunrise the next day as my frame of reference. This information was then charted. I chose the same period of time on the third and fourth day of each month as my control date and charted this information. The number of incidents for the full moon and the control date were averaged and these numbers were compared. The results for all departments show a noticeable increase of incidents on the night of a full moon. All data and averages prove my hypothesis correct. The majority of individuals interviewed stated that they believed that the full moon affects behavior. My data also indicates that their observations were correct.

    ISEF Site for Abstract Information EFFICACY OF AN APPARATUS

    ISEF site for writing abstracts

    ISEF site for past abstracts

    Resources online

    • Publishers



    • ISEF – Society for Science & the Public


    • Fairs in other states



    Logistics for today
    Logistics for Today EFFICACY OF AN APPARATUS


    Find an adult sponsor,






    Background research,

    development of a hypothesis and initial procedures and protocol

    Will you conduct your research in a laboratory or other regulated institute?


    Is your project a continuation?

    Continuation Projects Form (7)

    Does your project involve?

    Human Subjects

    (4) IRB approval

    (2) Qualified Scientist Form

    Hazardous Chemicals,

    Activities, or Devices

    (3) Risk Assessment Form

    DEA-Controlled Substances

    (2) Qualified Scientist Form

    Vertebrate Animals (5A OR 5B)

    (2) Qualified Scientist Form

    Will research be at a

    Regulated Research Institution?

    Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents (6A AND/OR 6B)

    (2) Qualified Scientist

    IF NO (5A)

    Requires SRC approval

    IF fresh/frozen tissue,

    primary cell cultures, blood,

    blood products or body fluids

    (6B AND 6A)

    IF microorganisms, rDNA,

    fresh/frozen tissues,

    blood or body fluids (6A)

    IF YES (5B)

    Requires IACUC approval

    Rules and regulations for isef
    Rules and Regulations for ISEF EFFICACY OF AN APPARATUS

    ISEF Rules and Regulations

    Rules Wizard

    SRC Applications Due December 1 SRC%20Nomination08_int_v1.pdf

    Preparing for isef


    A brief guide to the forms and regulations of ISEF projects

    Forms to be completed by all projects
    Forms to be completed by visitationALL projects:

    • (1) Checklist for Adult Sponsor

    • (1A) Student Checklist/Research Plan

    • (1B) Approval Form

      IF a direct continuation of a prior project:

    • (7) Continuation Projects (must be accompanied by previous abstract, 1A, and Research Plan)

    Research plan
    Research Plan visitation

    • Outlines the entire project

    • Establishes framework upon which others may base decisions about the project

      • supervisors, scientists, review boards, etc

    • Guides student’s thinking with regard to the possible risks

    • Keeps student on track through experimentation

    Assessing project risk
    Assessing Project Risk visitation

    • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

      • Additional sites:



    • Biohazards

      • American Biological Safety Association

      • American Type Culture Collection

        • Also useful for information about cultures, identification, ordering, etc.

    • SRC

    Assessing project risk con t
    Assessing Project Risk (con’t) visitation

    • Once you have determined the risk levels, acquire the appropriate forms and signatures

    • Most forms must be filled out BEFORE experimentation begins

      • “Start date”: day data collection begins

    Adult sponsor
    Adult Sponsor visitation

    • Responsible for making sure student’s research is acceptable for ISEF entry

    • Who is an appropriate adult sponsor?

      • Any person with a strong scientific background

      • Must be available to work closely with the student

      • Will work with student to determine project risks

      • Should be familiar with laws and regulations of potentially dangerous research

    Qualified scientist
    Qualified Scientist visitation

    • Ph.D or equivalently advanced degree or M.S. with equivalent work experience or expertise in applicable area

    • Knowledgeable about laws and regulations of potentially dangerous research

    • If a scientist does not work directly with the student, a Designated Supervisor must work with the student

      • Designated supervisor does not have to have an advanced degree, but must be trained and have knowledge of the project and of risks

    Additional forms
    Additional Forms visitation

    • IF the project involves any of the following:

      • DEA-controlled substances (2)

      • Hazardous chemicals, activities, or devices (3)

      • Human subjects (4)

      • Vertebrate animals (5A or 5B)

      • Potentially hazardous biological agents (6A)

        • Including: Microorganisms, rDNA, fresh/frozen tissue, blood and body fluids.

      • Human or Vertebrate Animal Tissues (6A,B)

        • Including: Fresh/frozen tissue, primary cell cultures, blood, blood products, or body fluids

    Regulated research institutional industrial settings
    Regulated Research Institutional/Industrial Settings visitation

    • Form to be completed if work is done in a setting outside of school or home

    • Completed AFTER experimentation by Designated Supervisor

    Hazardous chemicals activities and devices
    Hazardous Chemicals, Activities, and Devices visitation

    • No prior board approval

    • Risk Assessment Form (3)

      • Refer to MSDS to determine risk.

        • Use Form 3 if “Hazard” of the chemical or reaction is greater than a “1”

    • Qualified Scientist Form (2)

      • DEA-controlled substance or when otherwise applicable

    Human subjects
    Human Subjects visitation

    • Requires IRB approval

    • Qualified Scientist (2)

      • If required by IRB

    • Human Subject Form (4)

      • Need a medical professional’s signature

        • Psychologist, psychiatrist, medical doctor, licensed social worker, physician's asst. or registered nurse

      • Must be signed by each participant

    Vertebrate animals
    Vertebrate Animals visitation

    • Requires prior SRC or IACUC approval depending on location of experimentation

    • Qualified Scientist (2)

    • Vertebrate Animal Form (5A or B)

      • (5A) When conducted at non-regulated site

        • SRC approval needed

      • (5B) When conducted at Regulated Research Institution

        • IACUC approval needed

    International science and engineering fair

    Rules and Guidelines

    Adult roles and responsibilities
    Adult Roles and Responsibilities visitation

    • Adult Sponsor

    • Designated Supervisor

    • Qualified Scientist

    • IRB

    • SRC

    Useful acronyms
    Useful Acronyms visitation

    • IRB (Institutional Review Board)

    • SRC (Scientific Review Committee)

    • IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee)

    Adult sponsor1
    Adult Sponsor visitation

    • Oversees project

    • Completes Form 1 – Checklist for Adult Sponsor

    Designated supervisor
    Designated Supervisor visitation

    • Supervises project when Qualified Scientist cannot directly supervise

    • “Animal Care Supervisor” for animal projects

    • Supervises projects using Hazardous Chemicals, Activities or Devices

    Qualified scientist1
    Qualified Scientist visitation

    • Required for some projects

    • Possesses doctoral or professional degree related to student research

    • Completes Form 2 – QS Form

    Irb institutional review board
    IRB (Institutional Review Board) visitation

    • Reviews human subject studies

    • Membership

      • science educator

      • school administrator

      • someone knowledgeable about evaluating risk: MD, PA, RN, psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed social worker or licensed clinical professional counselor

    Src scientific review committee
    SRC visitation(Scientific Review Committee)

    • Reviews some projects before experimentation

    • Reviews all projects just prior to competition

    • Membership

      • biomedical scientist (Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M., D.D.S., D.O.)

      • science educator

      • At least one other member

    Studies conducted at research institution/industrial setting or any work site other than home, school or field require Form 1C

    Continuation studies
    Continuation studies or any work site other than home, school or field require Form 1C

    • Project based on prior research in the same field of study

    • Longitudinal studies are permitted

      • Multi-year study

      • Studies time-based change

    • Require form 7

    Human subjects1

    HUMAN SUBJECTS or any work site other than home, school or field require Form 1C

    What are human subjects studies
    What are human subjects studies? or any work site other than home, school or field require Form 1C

    Human Subjects studies involve living individuals where there is

    • Intervention or interaction with subjects


    • Collection of identifiable private information

    What types of projects not human subjects research
    What types of projects or any work site other than home, school or field require Form 1Cnot human subjects research?

    • Product testing

      • No health hazards

      • No personal data collected

      • Feedback directly related to product

    • Pre-existing data/record review studies

    • Behavioral observations of unrestricted public settings

      • No interaction

      • No manipulation of environment

      • No recording of any personal identifiers

    Human subjects studies
    Human or any work site other than home, school or field require Form 1CSubjects Studies

    • Require IRB review and approval of research plan before experimentation begins

    • IRB evaluates and determines

      • Risk level

      • Requirement for informed consent

      • Requirement for Qualified Scientist

    Requirements for projects with pre existing data sets
    Requirements for projects with pre-existing data sets or any work site other than home, school or field require Form 1C

    • Publicly available data – no IRB review

    • Data not de-identified require IRB approval and may require informed consent

    • Data de-identified/anonymous will not require IRB approval if:

      • Data provider certifies de-identification and compliance with HIPAA

      • Final SRC review confirms above

    Risk evaluation for human subjects research

    Risk Evaluation for Human Subjects Research or any work site other than home, school or field require Form 1C

    Risk groups vulnerable to coercion or undue influence
    Risk Groups or any work site other than home, school or field require Form 1C(vulnerable to coercion or undue influence)

    • Naturally at risk because of disease (AIDS, psychiatric disorders, cardiac disorders, etc.)

    • Members of vulnerable groups covered by federal regulations

      • Children/minors

      • Prisoners

      • Pregnant women

    Risk activities more than minimal risk
    Risk activities or any work site other than home, school or field require Form 1C(more than minimal risk)

    • Exercise

    • Ingestion, tasting, smelling, or application of a substance of a potentially hazardous material

    • Emotional stress – survey, stimuli

    • Invasion of privacy

    • Breech of confidentiality

    Informed consent required
    Informed consent required or any work site other than home, school or field require Form 1C

    • When more than minimal risk

    • If IRB determines that potentially there could be emotional stress

    • When subjects belong to risk group

      IRB can waive informed consent

    Irb can waive requirement of informed consent if
    IRB can waive requirement of informed consent if or any work site other than home, school or field require Form 1C

    • study with minimal risk and,

    • anonymous data collection and,

    • one of the following

      • Study of normal educational practices

      • Behavior study where no manipulation

      • Surveys of perception, cognition, game theory

      • Physical activity with no more than minimal risk (daily activity, routine physical activities)

    Vertebrate animals1

    VERTEBRATE ANIMALS noted on Form 4

    What is a vertebrate animal
    What is a vertebrate animal? noted on Form 4

    • Live, nonhuman vertebrate mammalian embryos or fetus

    • Bird and reptile eggs within 3 days of hatching

    • All other nonhuman vertebrates at hatching or birth

    Prohibited studies
    Prohibited studies noted on Form 4

    • Induced toxicity studies involving a poison or toxin that could impair health or destroy life

    • Behavioral experiments with

      • Operant conditioning with aversive stimuli

      • Mother/infant separation

      • Induced/learned helplessness

    • Studies of pain

    • Predator/vertebrate prey experiments

    Additional prohibitions
    Additional prohibitions: noted on Form 4

    • A weight loss or growth retardation of 15% or more in any group or subgroup is not permitted

    • A death rate of 30% or greater in any group or subgroup is not permitted

    Behavioral observations are exempt from prior src review if
    Behavioral observations are exempt from prior SRC review if: noted on Form 4

    • No interaction with animals being observed


    • No manipulations of environment


    • All federal/state fish, game, and wildlife regulations are followed.

    Non regulated vs regulated sites

    Examples of non-regulated sites noted on Form 4






    Examples of regulated sites (Have an IACUC Review and Approval process)


    Government research agencies

    Private research laboratories

    Non-regulated vs. regulated sites

    Additional non regulated research sites may include those studies using
    Additional non-regulated research sites may include those studies using

    • Animals in their natural environment

    • Animals in zoological parks

    • Livestock that employ standard agricultural practices

    Requirements for studies at non regulated sites
    Requirements for studies at non-regulated sites studies using

    • Agricultural, behavioral, observational or supplemental nutritional studies


    • Non-invasive and non-intrusive with no negative effect on animal’s health or well-being


    • Require SRC review and approval

    Adult supervisors
    Adult Supervisors studies using

    • SRC determines requirement of any or all of the following adults:

      • Designated Supervisor

      • Veterinarian

      • Qualified Scientist

    • Form 5A required

    Requirements for studies at regulated sites
    Requirements for studies at regulated sites studies using

    • Must be approved by IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee)

    • Local SRC should review project before experimentation

    • Experimentation must follow ISEF guidelines and adhere to restrictions regarding pain

    • Qualified Scientist completes Form 5B which includes documentation of IACUC approval

    Potentially hazardous biological agents1
    Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents studies using

    • Microorganisms (including bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.)

    • Recombinant DNA technologies

    • Human or animal fresh/frozen tissues, blood or body fluids

    • All above studies require a risk assessment

    Risk assessment
    Risk Assessment studies using

    • Defines potential level of harm, injury or disease to plants, animals or humans

    • Involves

      • Assignment of bio. agent to risk group

      • Determination of level of biological containment

      • Assessment of expertise of adult(s)

      • Assignment of final biosafety level

    Overview studies using

    • BSL 1 studies can usually be conducted in a high school or college teaching laboratory.

    • BSL 2 studies are usually conducted in a regulated research institution

    • BSL 3 and BSL 4 studies are prohibited for ISEF projects

    • Form 6A (potentially biological agents form) required for all projects involving microorganisms, rDNA and fresh/frozen tissue

    All studies involving potentially hazardous biological agents
    All Studies Involving Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents

    • Must have prior approval by SRC/IACUC

    • All studies are prohibited in a home environment

    • Studies intended to produce or genetically engineer bacteria with multiple antibiotic resistance are prohibited

    • Biosafety level 3 and 4 studies are prohibited

    Exempt from prior src review no additional forms required
    Exempt from prior SRC review – no additional forms required

    • Studies using baker’s and brewer’s yeast (except for rDNA studies)

    • Coliform water test kits

    • Studies using Lactobacillus, B. thurgensis, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, oil-eating bacteria and algae-eating bacteria in natural environment

    Exempt from prior src review requires risk assessment form 3
    Exempt from prior SRC review – requires Risk Assessment Form 3

    • Studies involving protists, archae and similar microorganisms

    • Research involving manure for composting or other non-culturing experiments and fuel production

    Unknown microorganisms
    Unknown microorganisms Form 3

    • BSL 1 if

      • Organisms cultured in plastic petri dish or petrifilm

      • Culture dish remains sealed throughout experiment

      • Culture dish disposed of in appropriate manner

    • BSL 2 if petri dish is opened

    Rdna technologies
    rDNA technologies Form 3

    • Experiments with BSL 1 organisms can be done in BSL 1 lab with a Qualified Scientist or trained Designated Supervisor

    • Experiments with BSL 2 organisms must be done in a regulated research institution with a Qualified Scientist

    Tissues Form 3

    • If animal euthanized solely for student project – vertebrate animal study

    • If animal euthanized for a purpose other than student project – tissue study

    • Exempt of containing infectious agents

      • Plant tissues

      • Established cell and tissue cultures

      • Meat and meat by-products – grocery stores, restaurants, packing houses

      • Hair

      • Sterilized teeth

      • Fossilized tissue/archeological specimens

      • Prepared fixed tissue slides

    Form 6b
    Form 6B of containing infectious agents

    • Required for all projects using

      • Fresh/frozen tissue

      • Primary cell cultures

      • Blood and blood products

      • Body fluids

    Hazardous chemicals activities or devices

    HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS, ACTIVITIES OR DEVICES of containing infectious agents

    Hazardous chemicals activities or devices1
    Hazardous Chemicals, Activities or Devices of containing infectious agents

    • Includes:

      • Chemicals

      • Equipment

      • DEA-Controlled Substances

      • Prescription Drugs

      • Alcohol and Tobacco

      • Firearms and Explosives

      • Radiation

    General rules
    General Rules of containing infectious agents

    • Do not require prior SRC review and approval

    • All studies require a Risk Assessment documented on Form 3

    • DEA- controlled substances require a Qualified Scientist

    • All other studies require a Designated Supervisor

    • DEA-Controlled Substances of containing infectious agents

      • Consult DEA list of controlled substances

      • All studies require Qualified Scientist

      • Schedule 1 requires DEA protocol review

    • Prescription Drugs

      • Cannot administer to human subjects

      • Animal administration must follow ISEF animal guidelines

    • Alcohol and Tobacco of containing infectious agents

      • Must follow local laws for purchase, possession and consumption

      • Home production of ethyl alcohol must follow U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) regulations

      • Alcohol distillation for fuel production can be conducted at school with TTB permit obtained by school officials

    • Firearms and Explosives of containing infectious agents

      • Must check local training and certification requirements

    • Hazardous Chemicals

      • Refer to MSDS Sheets for safety and handling guidelines

    • Hazardous Devices of containing infectious agents

      • Involve level of risk beyond that encountered in student’s everyday life

    • Radiation

      • Non-ionizing

      • Ionizing

    Form 3
    Form 3 of containing infectious agents

    • Required for all projects involving

      • DEA-Controlled Substances

      • Prescription Drugs

      • Alcohol and Tobacco

      • Hazardous Chemicals

      • Hazardous Devices

      • Radiation