To be eligible for an award, students must carry out a scientific investigation or design and construct a working model of an innovative device or application, observing the following conditions:

1. All Scientific Investigation entries must be submitted online before midnight, Friday 25th August, 2017. Projects received after this time will have their eligibility for a prize decided by STANSW Council.  Teachers are encouraged to submit projects early so uploading and internet issues do not result in a student project missing the deadline.
2. Each component of a Scientific Investigation (e.g. report and logbook) must be uploaded as a separate PDF on the online registration system. Every effort must be made to compress file sizes and a Young Scientist dropbox will be available for files that are too large.
3. Teachers must register Models and Innovation projects online by midnight, Friday 18th August, 2017. Teachers will be prompted to provide student, school and project details, but no files will need to be uploaded. The device itself, the folio, the poster describing how the model works and any other component should be set up as a display for the judges at the University of Sydney by 4pm Friday 25th August, 2017. Projects received after this time will have their eligibility for a prize decided by STANSW Council.
4. Students entering both a innovation and a scientific investigation must submit each component as a separate entry, following the specified rules for each category.
5. Entries must be the student’s own work. It is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that the project to be submitted is the work of the identified student or team.
6. Students may receive support, however, all support must be clearly stated in an Acknowledgements list.
7. Entries may be submitted by teams of students. A team must consist of no more than three members. If teams comprise students from different age categories, they must be entered into the age category of the oldest student.
8. There is now no limit on the number of entries a school can submit, however, schools are encouraged to conduct their own preliminary judging and send in projects that are appropriate for state-level judging.
9. Students from other Australian states and territories can enter the STANSW Young Scientist Awards and be in the running for any of the category or sponsored prizes. However, we strongly encourage students from outside NSW to enter their own state-based competitions and only enter STANSW Young Scientist if their state-based competition does not have categories that support their project. They are not eligible to win any Grand Awards or represent STANSW in subsequent national or international competitions.
10. Students from other countries are welcome to enter the STANSW Young Scientist Awards and be in the running for a place in any of the category prizes. If they are selected for a prize they will receive a Certificate stating their category placement and their name will be listed on our annual list of prize winners.
11. The investigation or innovation submitted must not have commenced before 1 September 2016. Students will be judged only on work performed since 1 September 2016.
12. To be eligible for ISEF 2018, students must have started their experimentation on or after 1 January 2017. Interested students should review the rules and guidelines for ISEF before commencing any experimentation or data collection. Only Year 9-12 students will be eligible for ISEF 2018.
13. Each project entered into the Young Scientist Awards must include a logbook (or folio for Models and Inventions).
14. The student name and school name must not appear on a student’s entry, including the logbook and file names. This includes a school’s handout or marking scheme, that is often pasted into the logbook. The only detail that needs to be included on the front page is the name of the project and the school year of the student(s). All student and school details will be stored on a database that the judges can’t access.
15. There should also be no teacher comments, edits or marks in the final report that is submitted to the Young Scientist Awards. Teacher comments are permitted in the logbook, however, these must be kept to a minimum.
16. Members of the organising committee, judges and sponsors must not judge any project or participate in any decision relating to a matter where they have a conflict of interest. Sources of conflict can include: (i) A familial or other close personal relationship eg. living in the same household, child of a close friend (ii) A teacher/student relationship (including a student at the same school, but different class) (iii) A mentoring relationship (iv) A personal or business relationship with a sponsor (v) Previous exposure to the entry (eg. at a school or regional fair)
17. Documentation should be submitted outlining all phases of the investigation or innovation process, showing when research was conducted and when experimentation or data collection began. This will form part of the logbook (investigations) or folio (innovations).
18. Students may submit a new investigation or innovation to Young Scientist each year. A project in the same field of study as a previously submitted project may be considered a new investigation if it is based upon new hypotheses. To be considered a new innovation, significant modifications need to have been made to the working model based on previous evaluations. Students must document how the additional work is new and different from a previous entry.
19. Students may submit more than one entry into the Young Scientist Awards.
20. Projects involving animals must meet animal welfare guidelines for NSW.
21. If a student’s experimentation or testing involves interaction with human subjects (e.g. measuring human activity, in-depth questionnaires, surveys), approval must be given by an ethics committee constituted at their school. Students must provide evidence of the written consent of each subject and their parents/guardians (if the subject is less than 18 years old). Care must be taken to ensure the anonymity of each subject in all submitted documentation. A Young Scientist editable sample consent form is available.
22. Projects involving potentially hazardous biological agents, chemicals, activities or devices, must satisfy the requirements for chemical safety in schools (CSIS).
23. For projects involving firearms, students must provide evidence of a permit to use such equipment.
24. Entries must be in line with State and Federal laws and regulations.
25. If a student conducts any part of their experimentation at a laboratory outside the school, written approval must be obtained from that facility and documented in their entry.
26. Schools are advised that posterboards are no longer accepted as this material should be contained in the report. For schools that have posterboard displays as part of their own school or regional fair, we encourage them to take a good resolution photo or set of photos of the poster and upload these photos as their project entry.
27. Each student entry must be submitted and endorsed by their school on their entry documentation. Students undertaking home schooling must provide evidence of registration with NESA.
28. The judges’ decision is final. Any inquiry relating to the judging of a project must be made, in writing, to STANSW Young Scientist Awards, PO Box 458, Strathfield NSW 2135.

5 thoughts on “Rules

  1. Hi Leonie,

    There is no particular format. It can be typed or handwritten and later scanned but it needs to show what the student has done each day or week. The logbook gives the judges a clear understanding of how the student thinks and it gives the report authenticity. We have a lot of examples on our past winning projects pages and you will see they are vastly different. As a tip, judges love to see raw data written down in a logbook and they love photos for evidence and even diagrams.

  2. Is it possible to submit an entry that won at the UOW Science Fair in 2016? It fits the date cut off as the students began working on their project in the first week of September 2016. Two students have been reworking their project and are keen to submit their project for Young Scientist.

  3. This is totally fine and we are very pleased to receive as many entries from the UOW Science Fair as possible. You may remember that I was at the UOW Presentations and encouraged all students there to enter Young Scientist and continue work on their projects.


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