Lambton County Science Fair

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I register?

2. Which grades can enter the science fair?

3. Can I work in pairs?

4. How big can my project be?

5. When is judging?

6. Are there any safety rules for projects?

7. Can I use animals in my experiment?

8. What are the awards?



1. How do I register?

Follow instructions on website under Registration. Come to Lambton College with your project on the day of the fair between 3:30-5:00 pm. Grade 7-12 students must bring your $5.00 fee with you to the college. Please print a copy of the photo permission form and have your parents sign it and bring it with you to registration.

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2. Which grades can enter the science fair?

 Students in grades 3 through 12 can enter the science fair.  Only students from grades 7 through 12 can continue to the Canada Wide Science Fair.

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3. Can I work in pairs?

 Projects can be done by individuals or in pairs. Any prizes won will be split equally between both members of the pair.  No groups larger than two (2) are permitted.

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4. How big can my project be?

 Exhibits must be confined to an area which does not exceed 0.75m front to back and 1.20m from side to side. The overall height of exhibits is limited to 2.5m from the floor (assume a 0.7m table height). All exhibits must be self-supported. Wall space to attach exhibit material to will not be available. Tables will be provided.

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5. When is judging?

Judging takes place at 6 pm until 9 pm on the Friday night and continues from 9 am until noon on the Saturday morning. You must be with your project during ALL judging times. If you cannot be with your project for the required times please do not enter a project. Projects can be taken down starting at noon on the Saturday.

Judging inevitably involves long waits by participants. While the judging teams will do their utmost to keep the waiting time to a minimum, we recommend that the participants bring a book to read during these periods.

There will be several short breaks announced during judging where students may leave their experiment, use the washrooms, buy a snack from the cafeteria.

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6. Are there any safety rules for projects?

Rules are set out by the Youth Science Canada and are to be followed by all students across Canada.

  1. Remove or otherwise shield all sharp edges or corners on prisms, mirrors, enclosures, glass and metal plates.
  2. No displays containing chemicals.  Use coloured water or items that look like the chemical(s) used in the project.
  3. No live or dead tissue.  This includes plants, soil, bacteria, mold, protists, fruits, etc.  Take pictures while completing your project and use a scrapbook, photo album, electronic photo album, or laptop to display them at the fair.  You may also use plastic versions of these items.
  4. Lengths of hose or extension cords are to be kept to a minimum and out of the way to eliminate tripping hazards. Use tape to secure hoses and cords.
  5. No heat sources
  6. All lasers used must have a power of 1 milliwatt or less. Precautions must be taken to ensure that the direct beam never reaches the eye of the observer.

THE SCIENCE FAIR SAFETY OFFICER WILL INSPECT EACH EXHIBIT AND DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT AN EXHIBIT MAY BE DISPLAYED WITH OR WITHOUT FURTHER MODIFICATION. THE DECISION OF THE SAFETY OFFICER IS FINAL.

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7. Can I use animals in my experiment?

 Please go to : http://www.ysf.ca/SMARTS/support/safetyethics.aspx

Yes; HOWEVER certain conditions must be met as set out by CWSF.

Students may do experiments on non-vertebrate animals, and exhibit their work in the LCSF. Lower orders of life - bacteria, fungi, protozoa, insects, plants and invertebrate animals - can be used in experimentation to reveal valuable basic biological information. The use of invertebrate animals is generally acceptable. However, ethical issues pertain to all living animals and consideration must be given to the scientific and educational value of the study being undertaken. The LCSF reserves the right to disallow a project involving experimentation on invertebrates that is of questionable scientific or educational value, or is judged to be unethical.

Vertebrate animals (birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians) are not to be used in any science fair projects, with the following four exceptions:

  1. Observation of wild animals, animals in zoological parks, farm animals and pets is permitted. Vertebrate animals are not however to be used in any active experiments which may be deleterious to the health, comfort or physical integrity of the animals. Observation of wild animals falls within the definition of hunting in some jurisdictions. Students should obtain advice and permission from conservation authorities to ensure that they are not interfering with the animal's life, and to ensure that their project is permissible. A permit may be required.

  2. Behavioural experiments with positive rewards are permissible only if the animal is not placed in a stress situation. Training an animal to travel through a maze to receive a food reward is allowed as long as the animal is not stressed, e.g., by withholding food well beyond normal feeding times.

  3. Projects involving animal experimentation may be conducted under the supervision of research personnel employed by a University, Hospital, Government Organization or Agency, or Industrial Laboratory and where the animal experimentation has been pre-approved by a Scientific Review Board (or equivalent) in the institution employing the supervisor(s). A copy of the Letter of Approval from the SRB must be included in the documentation submitted to the Chief Judge, LCSF.

  4. Experiments on embryos are subject to the same rules that apply to the animal producing the embryos. If embryos are incubated until the end of the gestation period, the offspring must be reared normally. Otherwise all embryos must be destroyed by freezing or other approved methods before 85% of the normal incubation.

THE LCSF MUST BE CONTACTED FOR ALL PROJECTS INVOLVING VERTEBRATES (PRIOR TO THE START OF THE PROJECT) AND THE FINAL DECISION FOR ELIGIBILITY RESTS WITH THE CHIEF JUDGE, LCSF. A COMPLETED 'SCIENCE PROJECT HUMAN/ANIMAL RESEARCH APPROVAL FORM' (AVAILABLE FROM THE LCSF) MUST BE SUBMITTED TO THE LCSF AT REGISTRATION FOR ANY PROJECT INVOLVING THE USE OF ANIMALS.

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8. What are the awards?

  • (a) Each age category (Senior, Intermediate, Junior, Exhibtion) will be awarded several Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards. These awards apply to ALL categories and ALL divisions. These awards consist of cash prizes.

  • (b) Projects are further judged by divisions only. For example: Best Junior, Best Intermediate, and best Senior. These three winners may receive paid trips to the Canada Wide Science Fair to represent Lambton County with their projects. The Canada Wide Science Fair takes place in a different city across Canada each year and students will compete with hundreds of the best young scientists for awards.

  • (c) Senior projects may be judged for a summer job offered by a local plant.

  • d) Projects may also be judged by special interest groups for cash awards of $20 - $200 in addition to $1000.00 scholarships. These awards could be, but are not limited to, projects involving environment, renewable energy, lab techniques, and teamwork.

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