Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair

Hosting science fairs and supporting students since 1953 and proudly presented by:

Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland State University
Great Lakes Science Center
Parker Hannifin Foundation



Rules and Regulations

The following rules allows operations at NEOSEF to run smoothly and efficiently, and also ensures the safety of all persons in attendance, and reduces the risk of possible damage to your display. All projects will be inspected for adherence to these rules on set-up day at the fair and any projects with violations must be corrected in order for the student to compete.

Display Size: The maximum display size is 40 inches wide, 108 inches high including the table and 30 inches deep.

Display Rules/Regulations:

Many items are not permitted for display at NEOSEF. We recommended that you take pictures or draw schematics of important steps/results (see exceptions listed below) that you wish to convey to the judges.  You may bring packaging from non-permitted items, but all packages must be empty. We also suggest using artificial items to substitute for items not permitted in the fair (examples: artificial plants or food).

Display items NOT permitted at NEOSEF include:

Food of any kind
Liquids of any kind (including water)
Any living organism,
including plants, animals, bacteriological samples, etc.
Human or animal parts or body fluids. (EXCEPTIONS: teeth, hair, nails, dried animal bones, histological dry mount sections, completely sealed wet mount slides)
Soil or waste samples
Dried plant material, unless sealed in acrylic or similar material
Any household or industrial chemical, including water, toothpaste, soaps, detergents, motor oil, etc.
Poisons, drugs, controlled substances, etc.
(Even over-the-counter medications)
Dry ice or any other sublimating solid
Compressed-gas tanks (including empty tanks)
Flames or any highly-flammable material like gasoline, alcohol, etc.
Weapons and sharp items like knives, syringes, scalpels, etc.
Batteries with open-top cells
Photographs that:
     Depict animals in surgical techniques, dissections, necropsies, etc.
     Identify human subjects that did not consent to being photographed
    Personal information of your human subjects, such as names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.
    Awards, medals, business cards, or other promotional materials not relevant to the project

Project Set-Up (Monday during Fair week):

Only students may set up the exhibit. No parents, teachers, siblings, etc. are permitted in the Exhibit Halls during set-up. (If the student is unable to set up his/her project, contact NEOSEF to make other arrangements.)

The display must be set up in its entirety, and inspected and approved by NEOSEF Officials before the student may leave. Students may not add additional material to their display after inspection without permission from an NEOSEF Official.

While the Exhibit Hall is relatively secure, there is public access to the event. NEOSEF recommends that you avoid bringing expensive equipment, such as computers, microscopes, calculators, etc. If you wish to display these items, please consult NEOSEF Officials about setting these items up just before judging on Tuesday.

Judging (Tuesday during Fair week):

Students must remain at their project during judging and are not dismissed until 5:45 6:00 pm.

Students not present at their projects during the judging process will not be eligible for any awards. No exceptions to this rule will be made. NEOSEF Officials will verify attendance during the judging period.


Awards Ceremony (Thursday during Fair week):

If you are unable to attend the awards ceremony, the results will be posted on our website at following the event. Someone at the ceremony may pick up your awards on your behalf provided they do not contain any money. All unclaimed awards will be mailed to the winners.

As a courtesy to others, please do not leave the award ceremony prior to its conclusion. If your project display is located in the same area as the awards ceremony and you absolutely must leave early, we ask that you remove the display before the ceremony begins.

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Last updated: 10/20/17.