Competition Guidelines

Research Guidelines

  • Missouri Junior Academy adheres to the rules, guidelines, and protocols promoted by the Intel ISEF.
  • All projects must follow the same protocols as your regional fair and must be certified by the appropriate committee (SRC or IRB) before experimentation begins.
  • If your project is subject to any specific certifications, a copy of the certifications MUST be brought to the state competition.  Presentations without these certifications from their regional science fair committee will not be eligible for competition.
  • The necessary certification forms are available through Society for Science and the Public.

Oral Presentation

Team presentations are not allowed at the state competition. If teams were allowed at the district level, the team must select ONE individual to present at the state competition, who will be eligible for any awards.

Presentations will be checked in immediately following registration. Please plan to arrive early to allow for all steps in the registration process.

Presentations are limited to twelve minutes with three minutes for questions from judges. Presenters will not be allowed to go beyond the allotted time.

Presentations are subject to the following guidelines:

  • PowerPoint 2000 or newer.
  • Compatible with Windows XP or newer.
  • Presentation should be on a portable jump drive.
  • NO VIDEO CLIPS (mov. Quick Time, Real Player, etc.) will be allowed in the visual presentation.
  • No props are allowed during presentations

Poster Presentation

This portion of the competition is limited to high school students who have qualified and are presenting at the state competition.

The posters are to be set up prior to the high school paper presentations and remain up until after the High School Awards Ceremony on Friday Afternoon.

The poster session will be closed to all people except the judges during the judging period (1:00 PM – 3:00 PM).

All poster displays must be free standing and can not exceed the following dimensions (including table):

  • 30 inches (76 centimeters) deep
  • 48 inches (122 centimeters) wide
  • 108 inches (274 centimeters) high including table

Research Paper

To participate in the state competition, each qualifying student will submit a project paper (including abstract) during the registration process.
The paper should be formatted in a style typical of a scientific research paper format (title, abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, literature cited).

  • The title should be descriptive of the project.
  • The abstract should be a brief summary of the project (in less than 250 words).
  • The introduction should provide necessary background information for the reader to understand the project. The hypothesis should be included in this section.
  • The materials and methods section provides the reader with the necessary to steps to repeat the project. It should be written in paragraph form (not lists or steps like a recipe). If following/adapting from an already published method, it is appropriate to cite that method and not provide detailed methodology.
  • The results section should provide summarized results of the project. It should not include all raw data that collected, but averages of all trials. It is ideal to include statistics to show significance or lack of. There should be no interpretation of the data in this section.
  • The discussion section provides interpretation of the results. What can be concluded? It is provides insights into the project as to what may be improved or changed in the future if the project was to be repeated.
  • The Literature Cited section should include all citations located within the paper. These should be organized alphabetically.
  • All content that is not the students should be cited using in-text citations and fully cited in the literature cited section. For further guidance on writing a scientific paper, you may contact the district director.
  • Format: Times New Roman font, size 12, 1.5 margins, page numbers located at bottom center of page.
  • Papers should be brief and concise. Page length should not exceed 10 pages.

Miscellaneous

  • Recognition will be given to each of the top four competitors by the Junior Academy.  Competitors will be placed in appropriate categories and judged within their category.  The categories will vary from year to year depending on the papers submitted.  One cash prize per category is not mandatory.  Only high quality papers will likely be competitive.
  • Judging will be based on both technical merit and visual presentation of the research.
  • Any project using, Potentially Hazardous Biologicals, DNA, Humans or other Vertebrates must display the appropriately signed ISEF forms with the poster display.
  • Direct any questions regarding the poster session to Teresa Boman Boman-T@mssu.edu or Mary Kilmer Kilmer-M@mssu.edu.