California State Science Fair
Application Acceptance Criteria 2013
Submission of an Application to the California State Science
Fair does not guarantee acceptance to the Fair.
The Fair has always rejected applications on the basis of inappropriate
content and for violations of Fair regulations. Projects which are
substandard (poor quality) or incomplete will also be rejected. The
basis for this judgement of quality is exclusively the information
provided within the project's on-line application. The California
State Science Fair does not consider other submitted materials or
awards won at affiliated fairs.
The following is the official list of acceptance criteria:
- Acceptance to present a project at the California State Science
Fair requires the approval of an Application submitted by the
- Applications without a Project Abstract will be rejected without
recourse to appeal. Each student on a team project must complete
his/her own personal Application, but the Project Abstract need only be
supplied by one member of the team. As long as the Abstract is
provided by at least one member, other members of the team may choose
to provide or omit the Abstract without penalty.
- Abstracts must demonstrate a level of knowledge and investigation
that is appropriate for the grade of the student and discipline and
which is beyond what is considered common knowledge. In other words,
the investigations must demonstrate knowledge that is not found in
middle or high school textbooks.
- Abstracts must communicate ideas effectively and use standard
- The methodology and experimental design should be appropriate for
the student's grade and discipline, and should include the following
- experiments are appropriate to achieve the stated objective;
- the sample size and/or number of trials is sufficient for
projects where replication is necessary to establish validity;
- the statistical analysis is appropriate for the students'
grade and discipline; the conclusion is relevant to the stated
- Projects which are merely demonstrations, display collections, and
literature searches are generally not acceptable. In order to be
acceptable, the student must use the demonstration, collection, or
search results, to extract new information not previously known to the
- Applications may be rejected for failing to satisfy the rules of
- Application Fees are not refundable. The only exception is for
multiple payments for the same application.
- All rejected Applications will be reviewed by the Directors of
Judging and are subject to appeal (with the exception of those
applications which do not contain an Abstract).
Students, parents, and advisors should be aware that these
acceptance criteria are not intended to limit the number of
participants but rather, by requiring higher standards for project
abstracts, the criteria are intended to improve the quality of the Fair
and to ensure that all participants are able to effectively communicate
their projects to the judges. Only a small percentage of Applications
have ever been identified as likely to be rejected. Every Application
so identified this year will be contacted in a timely manner as
described in the Calendar, where the
process of appeal is also described.
Thu Feb 28 23:11:15 PST 2013
California State Science Fair