RULES

  1. Any 6th through 12th-grade student who has not attained the age of 21 in a public, a private or parochial school in Douglas, Sarpy, or Washington Counties may enter a project in the Metropolitan Science and Engineering Fair (MSEF). MSEF is the only means for students in the Eastern Region to qualify for the Nebraska Junior Academy of Sciences (NJAS).

  2. MSEF accepts projects from either individuals or teams of two.  An individual or team may enter only one project and it must be the personal work of that individual or the members of the team.   Refer to MSEF Rule 6 for additional rules and regulations relating to team projects.

  3. All MSEF/NJAS project entries are expected to comply with entry rules of the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). This includes a Research Plan/Project Summary (Form 1A) and Approval Form (Form 1B). Forms 1A and 1B, a Research Plan, and projects requiring Safety Review Committee (SRC) MUST have forms completed BEFORE experimental research begins!  Research plans involving humans, vertebrates, and potentially hazardous biological agents MUST receive Safety Review Committee (SRC) approval BEFORE actual experimental RESEARCH BEGINS! The contact information for the MSEF SRC is MSEFSRC@omahazoo.com.  For rules questions, start with ISEF Rules Wizard: https://ruleswizard.societyforscience.org/ 

  4. Any projects involving live vertebrate animals or human subjects must comply with ISEF Life Research Rules. Projects involving DNA, tissue, pathogenic agents, or controlled substances require additional forms, which may be downloaded from the ISEF website www.societyforscience.org/isef/.

    • Individual project submissions are due by Friday, January 28 by 10:00 PM:

      • Electronic submissions:

        • MSEF Digital Registration Form (includes student's name, title, and abstract)

      • Upload or Mail hard copies of:

        • Form 1 (Checklist for Adult Sponsor)

        • Research Plan/Summary

        • Form 1A (Student Checklist)

        • Form 1B (Approval​ Form)

        • Other required forms as determined by ISEF Rules Wizard 

        • Mail the $10 entry fee (payable to MSEF). Schools may request by January 28 to be invoiced to pay for all students with one check.

        • Virtual project board, Written Report, and Presentation Video are due no later than Friday, February 25, 10:00 PM

        • Finalists (for final judging) will be notified Tuesday, March 15.

        • Final judging for finalists (live via RocketJudge) Thursday, March 24 

  5. ​Team Projects consist of two members.  A team project cannot be converted to an individual project without authorization.  A new member may not be added to a continuing Team Project.

    • Both members of the team should be able to serve as spokesperson, be fully involved with the project, and be familiar with all aspects of the project.  The final work should reflect the coordinated efforts of both team members and will be evaluated using the same rules and judging criteria as individual projects. 

      • Team project submissions requirements due by Friday, January 28 by 10:00 PM:

        • Electronic submission:

          • one MSEF Digital Registration Form (includes both partners' names, title, and abstract)

        • Upload or Mail hard copies of:

          • Form 1B (Approval Form) for Partner #1

          • Form 1B (Approval Form) for Partner #2

          • Form 1 (Checklist for Adult Sponsor)

          • Research Plan/Summary. Include in the outline each person's tasks

          • Form 1A (Student Checklist) 

          • other required forms as determined by ISEF Rules Wizard 

          • Mail $20 entry fee (payable to MSEF) Schools may request by January 28 to be invoiced to pay for all students with one check.

          • Virtual project board, Written Report, and Presentation Video are due no later than Friday, February 25, 10:00 PM

          • Finalists (for final judging) will be notified Tuesday, March 15.

          • Final judging for finalists (live via RocketJudge) Thursday, March 24  

  6. Forms and a non-refundable registration fee of $10.00 per student MUST be received by January 28, 2022. Schools may request an invoice if submitting entry fees for participating students. Applications received after this date will not be accepted unless the MSEF Rules Chair is contacted before then.

    • Correspondence, forms, and fees must be sent to MSEF 2001 S. 6th St. Omaha, NE 6810

    • Forms or additional information may be obtained by contacting the MSEF Rules Chair, Dave Dow, at dowchemistr@gmail.com, or visiting the MSEF website at https://www.msefomaha.com                          

  7. Categories of Projects:  Participants’ projects must be classified into one of the following categories on the registration form:

    • Animal Sciences (ANIM)

    • Behavioral and Social Sciences (BEHA)

    • Biochemistry (BCHM)

    • Biomedical and Health Sciences (BMED)

    • Biomedical Engineering (ENBM)

    • Cellular and Molecular Biology (CELL)

    • Chemistry (CHEM)

    • Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBIO)

    • Earth and Environmental Sciences (EAEV)

    • Embedded Systems (EBED)

    • Energy: Sustainable Materials and Design (EGSD)

    • Engineering Mechanics (ENMC)

    • Environmental Engineering (ENEV)

    • Materials Science (MATS)

    • Mathematics (MATH)

    • Microbiology (MCRO)

    • Physics and Astronomy (PHYS)

    • Plant Sciences (PLNT)

    • Robotics and Intelligent Machines (ROBO)

    • Systems Software (SOFT)

    • Translational Medical Science (TMED)

  8. Category selection is the responsibility of the student and teacher.  ISEF category descriptions: https://www.societyforscience.org/isef/categories-and-subcategories/all-categories/

    • The fair director may change category designation to allow similar types of projects to be judged together.  If the judges feel that a particular project is misclassified, it may be transferred to a more appropriate category with the approval of the judging teams involved and the fair director.

  9. Judging will be done within the specific procedures announced to the entrants.

  10. Projects will be rated according to the following criteria used by the Nebraska Junior Academy of Sciences:

    • 60%  Scientific Method or Engineering Goals

    • 20%  Communication Skills (oral, written, and virtual)

    • 20%  Personal Growth (relevance of the project, creative thinking, age-appropriate understandings, attitude)

  11. MSEF/ NJAS awards presentation will occur in late March. More information will be shared via email and on our social media.

  12. All participants will receive a certificate.  Superior projects will be awarded a plaque, trophy, or other honor for the participant.

  13.  Technical Rules

    • Presentation Video Guidelines

      • No longer than 8 minutes long (maybe shorter)

      • Best if the presenter is viewed making a presentation

      • Record in “one take” if possible (practice first!)

      • Should be “well-organized, clear and concise” (a judging criterion)

      • Will be evaluated on content and communication, not video production effects

      • No special effects, editing, background music, overlays, etc.

      • Use “fast” and subtle if slide transitions are used

      • Do not say or show, your name, school/institution name, teacher/sponsor name

    • Virtual Project Board display options

      • Photo of the tri-fold display board (able to be enlarged so as to clearly visible)

      • Slide deck (PowerPoint, Google Slide, Prezi, Sway, etc.)

      • Photo of the poster (single, legible slide)