Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair
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Judging Criteria


The VPRSF 2014 Rulebook is now available. See Rulebook.

Check out the forms you will need using the ISEF Rules Wizard. Approval forms must be signed and, if required, reviewed by the SRC (Safety Review Committee) before any experimentation. If your project involves human subjects, nonhuman vertebrate animals, potentially hazardous biological agents, or hazardous chemicals, activities and devices, an SRC review is required.


Please register so we can add you to our email information distribution list. Register here

You should receive instructions via email from to register your schools projects in addition to sending in all required forms and payment. 

Orientation and  planning meetings are planned for September throughout the Fair district to help teachers prepare for the fair. Please check the home page for updates.

Who May Enter:

The Piedmont Regional Science Fair, governed by its Board of Directors, was established to serve the Central Virginia area. The Fair is open to students in public, private and parochial schools in the area. School participation can be arranged by contacting the Fair Director and sending a representative from the school to at least two designated planning meetings each year. Home school students may participate and parents are requested to contact the Fair Director in November to ensure that they participate in information distributions and planning meetings.

How Many Entries Per School:

Senior Division is ONLY for students in grades 9 - 12

Each school is allowed to submit a maximum of sixteen (16) projects in the Senior Division — four projects per grade level. Petitions for up to four (5) more Senior Division projects can be made on a space available basis. Each Senior Division first place winner in the Piedmont Regional Science Fair is eligible to enter the Virginia State Science Fair. The top two OVERALL Senior Division winners, the Grand Award winners, of the Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair are invited to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Junior Division is ONLY for students in grades 6 - 8

Each school is allowed to submit a maximum of sixteen (16) projects in the Junior Division. Petitions for up to four (5) more Junior Division projects can be made on a space available basis. Dual school middle schools (i.e. schools that share the 6-8 grade range) are allowed to apportion allotment between those two schools. 

Some Important Reminders on Forms and Dates:

The ISEF forms constitute written documentation of what will occur in a research project. They are designed to provide the information that is needed to review the project to ensure compliance with the ISEF rules and with laws and regulations that apply to the project. The forms should be filled out and signed before any research takes place. (Only Forms 1C, 7, and the abstract are done after the research.) The dates of the signatures reflect when the approval or consent is given.

Every student must complete Student Checklist (1A), a Research Plan and Approval Form (1B) and review the project with the Adult Sponsor as the Checklist for Adult Sponsor (1) is completed and before experimentation begins. Only projects which require more detailed approval and supervision of risk and safety also require addition forms. These procedures and forms are for everyone’s safety.

The Rules Wizard at is an easy way to determine which forms, in addition to the VPRSF Application To Enter, are required for your project.

Checklist for Adult Sponsor (1) The checklist is provided so that the adult sponsor can review what information (and therefore which forms) must be provided. The date signed is the date that the sponsor first reviews the project plan.

Student Checklist (1A) On this page, the student outlines what the project is about. Explain clearly and in detail what will be done in the research project. Items that especially need to be clear are the following:

#5 Any project conducted in a similar area of research as previous projects should be considered a continuation. If the project is a continuation, explain on Form 7 as completely as possible how the project will differ from previous experimentation because ONLY a new and different research project is allowed. (If based on previous research, the current year project must demonstrate significant progress.)

#6 Explain when the actual experimental procedure (not the background literature review) will begin and end because ONLY a 12-month project that occurred within the last 18 months before this Intel ISEF is allowed.

#7 Explain where the experimental research will be done: home, university, field. Pathogens may NOT be cultured at home. Research animals must be housed in school or institutional settings only. Universities, research facilities, and industrial settings will require the additional documentation of Form 1C to explain what was done at each facility.

#9 Attach a research plan (see instructions after Form 1A).

Approval Form (1B) These statements attest that each of these people (or committees) approves or consents to this project. The dates should be signed as described below:

a) Student - Date they attest that they understand the possible risks and that they will read and follow the rules.

b) Parent/Guardian - Date they consent to their child doing this project.

c) Adult Sponsor - Date indicates when they approved this project.

d) SRC Approval BEFORE - Date that the committee reviews this project BEFORE the experimentation. Projects that must be preapproved are research in these areas: human subjects, nonhuman vertebrate animals, potentially hazardous biological agents, and hazardous chemicals, activities and devices.

e) SRC Approval AFTER - This applies only to projects that needed preapproval by the SRC but were done at a research institution and were preapproved by that institution instead of the SRC. Date signed indicates when the affiliated SRC approved this project after it was completed. Attach all documentation from the research institution showing approval of the project.

f) Final SRC Approval - All projects must be reviewed by the SRC after the experimentation is complete and shortly BEFORE they compete in the regional fair. The date signed shows the date that SRC gives final approval to this project.

Continuation Projects Form (7) Any project conducted by the student or team in a similar area of research as previous projects should be considered a continuation. Explain as completely as possible how the project is different from previous experimentation because ONLY a new and different research project is allowed. (It can be based on previous research, but must be new and different research.) Date signed is the date the student researcher is certifying that this information is correct.

Abstract The abstract is a summary written after experimentation that explains the project. The date signed is the date the student researcher certifies that the statements are correct.

VPRSF Application to Enter The Entry Application completed along with a copy of all required forms above must be submitted by the deadline indicated on the form. So the student’s names get spelled correctly on their Regional Fair certificates and in the Program, please check the spelling and ensure the entry forms are legible.

The Scientific Review Committee:

The Scientific Review Committee is composed of a minimum of three persons, including at least one biomedical scientist (Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M., D.D.S. or D.O.) and a science teacher, one of whom is familiar with animal care procedures.

Policies For The Day:

Participants should not wear clothing or nametags with their name or their school’s name on it or display this information in their reports or exhibits because this information could influence judging.

Participants must stay in assigned areas during the entire judging time except during their assigned lunch break. They may bring quiet activities (books, cards etc.) to entertain themselves when judges are not interviewing them.

Lunches and snacks will be provided for all participants!

*The John Paul Jones Arena does not allow outside food. Any outside food will have to be consumed outside the Arena.

Judging resumes after lunch. Know your schedule and be prompt.

For More Information Contact:

Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair

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Last modified: 03/13/14