The following procedures must be followed for the student application process.
CONSEF is open to students for grades 5-12 from Midwest.
- The CONSEF project session registration fee is $160 that covers 1-25 projects per school per division.
- All projects are subject to a pre-selection process based on the criteria listed on http://www.consef.org/?p=3319. The selected projects will be announced one month prior to the day of the event. See the important dates.
- For more information, reach us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Team projects are not accepted. Also, duplicate projects from the same school are not accepted.
- Design Projects: Most projects will be experimental in nature using the scientific method and will fall into the experimental category. However, if the objective of the project is to invent a new device, procedure, computer program, or algorithm, then the project may fall into the Design category. Design Process Skills can be implemented in all categories and the Design Project rubric will be different than the Experimental one. Students will have opportunity to choose their rubric style on the online application form.
- Research Review Projects: The Research Review is a comprehensive summary of previous researches of what has been published on a topic by accredited researchers. The Research Review surveys and critiques scholarly articles, research papers, and other sources relevant to a particular area of research. It may include qualitative and/or quantitative meta-analysis- a formal study design used to systematically assess the results of previous researches to derive conclusions. The Research Review creates an understanding of the topic for the reader by discussing the findings presented in the research. The review should list, describe, summarize, objectively evaluate, and clarify previous researches.
Safety Guidelines and for Experiments and Design Projects
- Projects involving firearms and explosive are not accepted.
- Drones may be used in a project provided the use complies with all Federal, State and community rules, regulations and ordinances. In addition, the use of a drone for a science project may not infringe on anyone’s privacy or air space.
- Any project involving non-human vertebrate animals, pathogenic agents, controlled substances, recombinant DNA, bacteria and fungi, human and non-human vertebrate animal tissue , laser (except the lowest class laser), U-V light, X-ray, radioactive materials or high intensity radio waves require prior SRC approval. All required forms must be submitted before the experimentation.
- If your project involves bacteria and fungi, recombinant DNA, human and non-human animal tissue, pathogenic agents, controlled substances, laser (except the lowest class laser), U-V light, X-ray, radioactive materials or high intensity radio waves, you are required to do your research/experiment under the constant supervision of a qualified scientist in a university, a medical or research facility, an industrial institution or in a school laboratory.
- If your project involves non-human vertebrate animals, you are required to do your research/experiment under the constant supervision of a qualified scientist in a university, a medical or research facility, an industrial institution, in a school laboratory, field, or at home.
When planning to experiment bacteria and fungi, recombinant DNA, human and non-human animal tissue, pathogenic agents, controlled substances, or non-human vertebrate animals laser (except the lowest class laser), U-V light, X-ray, radioactive materials or high intensity radio waves, follow one of two pathways to get SRC approval.Please click to see the ENDORSEMENT FLOW CHART
Work with a qualified scientist in university, a medical or research facility, an industrial institution and get approval from their Science Review Committee.
- Research Institutional/Industrial Setting Form (1C) :
- Qualified Scientist Form (2)
- Designated Supervisor Form (3)
- SRC/IRB Approval Form (7)
If your project involves:
- Non-human vertebrate animals; Submit Non-Human Vertebrate Animal Form (5) additionally
- Human and non-human vertebrate animal tissue; Human and Non-Human Vertebrate Animal Tissue Form (6) additionally
Work with a qualified scientist in a school laboratory and apply to CONSEF Science Review Committee. Fill out the student application form along with the required endorsement forms and submit for our team to review. You should hear by phone or e-mail from CONSEF within one week of submitting your forms. If not, please contact us at email@example.com.
- Qualified Scientist Form (2)
- Designated Supervisor Form (3)
If your project involves:
- Non-human vertebrate animals; Submit Non-Human Vertebrate Animal Form (5) additionally (Experimenting the Non-human vertebrate animals can be also handled at home under the same circumstances described above)
- Human and non-human vertebrate animal tissue;Human and Non-Human Vertebrate Animal Tissue Form (6) additionally
- Submitting these forms does not guarantee the qualification of the project.
Fire and Radiation Safety
- Students using radiation sources (laser, U-V light, X-ray, microwaves, or high intensity radio waves) should be adequately shielded from such sources. Many experiments using these sources should not be undertaken unless under the constant supervision of qualified scientist with the equipment and hazards involved.
- No student may work with any radioactive materials unless the work is conducted in a licensed laboratory under the direct supervision of a licensed individual.
Use and Care of Non-Human Vertebrates
Experiments using vertebrates must be conducted with a respect for life and an appreciation of humane considerations.
- The student and the sponsor have the responsibility to see that all animals have proper care in well- ventilated, properly lighted locations with proper nutrition, proper temperature, adequate water, and sanitary surroundings. Care must be taken to see that the organisms are properly cared for during weekends and vacation periods.
- No changes may be made in an organism’s environment that could result in undue stress, an injury, or death to the animal without prior approval.
- No vertebrates can be used as the independent or dependent variables in an experiment that could result in undue stress, an injury, or death to the animal.
- No intrusive or pain-producing techniques may be used. These prohibited techniques include, but are not limited to, surgery, injections, taking of blood, burning, electrical stimulation, or giving of over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol to measure their effect.
- For maze running and other learning or conditioning activities, food or water cannot be withheld for more than 24 hours. If the animal has a high metabolic rate, then food or water cannot be withheld for a length of time that would produce undue stress on the animal.
Use and Care of Microorganisms
- All microorganism experimentation must be conducted in a laboratory setting such as a science laboratory or professional research facility. Experiments with microorganisms, except for Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Baker’s yeast), may not be done at home.
- Any projects involving growth of mold or rotting of organic material must be done in science laboratory or professional research facility.
- This area of science may involve many dangers and hazards while experimenting. It is the sole responsibility of all teacher(s)/sponsor(s) to teach students proper safety methods and aseptic techniques. Students should wear safety goggles, gloves and wash hands after each experiment.
- Projects involving viruses and recombinant DNA projects should be done with the help of a professional and should comply with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guidelines unless the project is limited to a kit obtained from a legitimate supply house.
- All cultures must be destroyed by methods such as autoclaving or with a suitable NaOCl (bleach) solution before disposal.
Use and Care of Humans as Test Subjects
- Any project involving human subjects requires IRB (Institutional Review Board, which consists of at least one medical professional, one science teacher, and one school administrator) approval before experimentation.
- The participants must fill out the Human Subject Form (4) for each human tested and submit them to the IRB chair for the approval. The IRB Approval Form (7) must be submitted through the online application form- reg.consef.org.
If using humans as test subjects, the following rules must be observed.
- Humans must not be subjected to treatments that are considered hazardous and/or that could result in undue stress, injury, or death to the subject. To avoid potential disqualification, contact the CONSEF Organizing Committee prior to experimentation if you are uncertain that the treatment may cause undue stress, injury, or harm.
- Quantities of food and non-alcoholic beverages are limited to normal serving amounts or less and must be consumed in a reasonable amount of time. Normal serving amounts must be substantiated with reliable documentation, such as a food label. This documentation must be attached to the Humans as Test Subjects Endorsement form. No project may use over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol in order to measure their effect on a person.
- Only human blood and/or other bodily fluids (urine, saliva, tears, cerebrospinal fluid, etc.) may be used ONLY IF either purchased or obtained from a blood bank, hospital, or laboratory. No blood may be drawn or other fluids collected from any person specifically for a science project. This rule does not preclude a student making use of data collected from tests run on blood or other fluids that were collected for a purpose other than exclusively for a science project.
- Any project involving human teeth must have the teeth sterilized prior to experimentation.
- Hairs, nails, and feathers are not needed to be treated as potentially hazardous biological agents.
Parent/Guardian approval is required for all projects. Teacher/mentors and/or science fair coordinators must keep the Parent Approval Form (Form 8) at the school for their school records.
Day of the Event:
- The following items include the rules and the regulations on the day of the event. Please re-read them carefully 2-3 days prior to the event.
- Upon your arrival at the facility, take your project immediately to the appropriate room and space, then register.
- Do not leave your project during judging until it is announced that judging is complete.
- Since you are a representative of yourself and your school, neat appearance is important. Look good for the judges.
- Be aware that other students are being judged around you. Courteous behavior is expected of all participants as well as others at the event.
- Do not leave valuables or delicate items unattended during the public viewing.
- Do not dismantle your project until project breakdown is announced. You are responsible for removing all materials from the display area.
- Parents should not be in the judging area during judging.
- Judging begins promptly at 11:00 am. Each project will be judged by at least three judges. Students must be present near their projects until it is announced that judging is complete. If a student is not present when the judges arrive, the project may not be awarded any points from that judge.
- Projects will be judged according to the attached criteria. Judges decisions are final.
- The maximum amount of projects participating in CONSEF is restricted to 20 in each division from each school.
- No student is allowed to participate in both the CONSEF project session and STEM EXPO demonstrations in the same day.