Student Information

Thanks for your interest in the Reading-Berks Science and Engineering Fair. It is our intention to provide you a quality competition with lucrative awards to encourage you in your development as a student researcher and in your choice of a career in STEM.

1. Check project eligibility rules.

  • Before you begin your project, be sure to check the RBSEF eligibility rules.
  • Look at the judging criteria to see what the judges will be evaluating.

2.  Check ISEF rules to be sure the project is permitted and that prior IRB and/or SRC approval is not needed.

  • Here is a link to the ISEF Rules Wizard.
  • Because the RBSEF champions go on to compete at ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair), all RBSEF projects must conform to international student research guidelines.
  • Your school may have an IRB (Internal Review Board) if it has an established research program. If not, contact the SRC for projects needing review prior to experimentation.
  • Send project documentation requiring SRC review and approval to the SRC prior to performing any experimentation.

3.  Collect Required Forms

  • Be sure you have completed the required forms to compete at RBSEF prior to experimentation.
  • Please note that there are different form requirements for Junior and Senior Divisions.
  • The ISEF Rules Wizard can help you determine which forms to use for Senior Division and certain Junior Division projects.
  • Complete, download and print the forms and acquire the necessary signatures.
  • Your teacher-sponsor may want to see the forms once they are signed and may want to keep them at school, or your teacher may want you to keep track of the forms yourself.  Be sure you check with your teacher.

RBSEF Required Forms

1. Forms for Grades 6-8

  • All students complete Form 1: Checklist for Adult Sponsor
  • All students complete Form 1B: Approval Form
  • If you do not need to check items in number 4 (projects dealing with vertebrate animals, some human experiments, fungi, microbes, recombinant DNA and tissue cultures) of Form 1,  you are finished.
  •  If you do need to check any items in 4 on Form 1 you need to follow the Grade 9-12 form requirements.

2.  Forms for Grades 9-12

  • All students complete Form 1: Checklist for Adult Sponsor
  • All students complete Form 1A: Student Checklist (numbers 10 Research Plan and 11 Abstract  are optional and not required  for this fair, use of estimated dates is ok)
  • All students complete Form 1B: Approval Form
  •  If you need to check any items in 4 on Form 1, (projects dealing with vertebrate animals, some human experiments, fungi, microbes, recombinant DNA and tissue cultures) additional forms may be required.
  • Use the ISEF Rules Wizard to help you determine which forms to use.

4.  Experimentation

  • Once you have all of the approvals needed, you are free to begin your experimentation.
  • Be sure you have designed an experiment with a control.
  • Conduct sufficient repetitions to generate reliable data.
  • Be sure you understand your data. Analyze it to find trends, outliers, and insignificant differences.

5.  Register for RBSEF

  • Student registration opens on January 1st. Early registration closes February 15th. Late registration closes March 1st.
  • Fill in the registration information carefully. The information you input is transferred to the program for the RBSEF award ceremony. Proper capitalization and spelling is important. Keep your project title brief to avoid undesirable truncation in the award ceremony program.
  • Choose your category carefully. Read the descriptions to be sure you have chosen correctly.
  • Make sure you list your correct school and teacher-sponsor.
  • You can edit your registration information by logging back in with the username and password you have created.
  • No registrations can be edited or accepted after March 1.  Please plan accordingly.
  • Check with your teacher-sponsor to determine if your school will pay the $10 entry fee for your project. Payments can be made here.
  • After you have registered, if your teacher-sponsor is not collecting necessary forms, scan (or take a LEGIBLE photo) and send to
  • Registration is contingent upon receipt of all necessary forms with proper signatures.

6.  Plan Your Display

  • Be sure you have your data visually represented with charts and graphs. Use units throughout the display.
  • Your display area is 36 inches wide and 15 inches deep. This fits a standard tri fold science fair board with 15 inches in front of the display board for a notebook and other display items. Larger items can be placed on the floor below the table. If you are in the senior division (gr. 9-12) and require a 48 inch wide space, accommodations will be made for your project if you communicate before the registration deadline.
  • Project number should be written on the back of the display board as well as on the project notebook.
  • Your name and the school name cannot appear anywhere on the project.
  • Be sure to check the list of items prohibited for display at  a  science fair.

7.  Some Set-Up Hints From Us to You

  • Project Number-Know your project number and category before you come to the science fair to set up.
    Don’t know?  No problem. (1) sign in with your user name and password to enter your registration account or (2) ask your teacher.
  • What to Bring – Be Prepared!
    pen or pencil, clear tape, scissors, sharpie, white-out, plain white paper
  • Study Up! Plan Ahead!-Read the student project Display Safety Rules to make sure you do not bring restricted items to the science fair. Within these rules you can find suggestions on how to fashion your display without bringing the restricted items to the science fair. Begin with the end in mind! You may have to take photos throughout the course of your project.
  • Every year students and parents are disappointed because they have not read these rules and portions of the display are disallowed.  Don’t be that student!

8.  Attend the Science Fair

  • Check out the fair schedule in the right-hand margin.
  • Be familiar with the activities each day of the fair. 
  • Make plans to attend the awards program on the Wednesday of fair week.
  • Talk to your teacher if you have activities that interfere with the science fair schedule. Many times your teacher will have a helpful solution.

Science Fair Week-Daily Activities


Monday-6pm-8pm    Project Set-Up

  • Be sure your project is labeled with your project number.  The project number is found with your project information in STEMWizard.
  • Remember to check what is not allowed in the science fair before you bring your project to the science fair.
  • Bring your project to the Albright College Bollman Gymnasium.
  • Parking is on 13th St. and on parking lot next to the gym.
  • Set up your tri-fold board at the location labeled with your project number.
  • A Safety Checklist will be at your project station. Fill in the checklist and ensure you can say “yes” to all the questions.  Drop the checklist into the box labeled “Completed Safety Checklists” at the registration table on your way out.
  • If you have any questions about items on the checklist you may ask any safety inspector on the floor your safety question. Safety inspectors will be wearing fluorescent RBSEF green vest.


Tuesday-1pm-3pm   Student Interview Session

  • Your school will arrange to bring you to the Albright College Gym for student interviews.
  • It is important to keep as quiet as possible while waiting in the bleachers during the interview session so that judges can hear the students being interviewed.
  • Be sure you know your project number and listen carefully for it to be called. Because it would be too crowded to have all students on the floor at all times, projects are called down to the floor in batches.
  • Depending on the type of awards you are eligible for, you may be interviewed multiple times, and not all awards require interviews. There are several interview judges involved: category judges, special awards judges, and a fair-staff judges.


Thursday-6:00pm-9:00pm   Awards Ceremony (location TBD)

Over $10,000 in special awards will be given out to deserving students at the ceremony. After the special awards the place awards for each category will be given out. At the end of the ceremony the champions of grade 6, 7 and 8 will be announced and finally the senior division Grand Champion, Champion and Reserve Champion will be announced.  The champions receive plaques for their awards. The Grand Champion and Champion of the senior division (gr. 9-12) will receive an all expense paid trip to compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in May.  Note: if you cannot attend the awards ceremony you can pick up your award Friday morning before 8:30 am, or you will have to make arrangements with your Teacher-Sponsor.


Project Removal
Thursday from 8:00am-4:00pm (before award ceremony)
Thursday after 9:00pm (after award ceremony)
Friday 7:00am-8:30am

  • Come to the Bollman Gymnasium to remove your project from the gym.
  • Someone else can remove your project if you a cannot do it.
  • We recommend you pick up your projects after the award ceremony, but we understand if you cannot come to the ceremony, so you have an option to pick it up earlier in the day Thursday as indicated above.
  • Projects not removed will be discarded after 8:30am Friday.


9. Ask Questions!

Science fair is all about answering questions. If you have a questions, go after the answer!  Here’s how.

  • Check out our FAQ’s
  • Can’t find the answer? Contact your teacher.
  • The science fair committee is here to help you-contact us!