Colorado Science & Engineering Fair

Detailed schedules and information on the following activities can be found in the Finalist's Handbook (pages 6-8). All activities (except for tours of CSU labs) will be held in the Lory Student Center (LSC) at Colorado State University - Fort Collins.

Thursday, April 2, 2020:

  • Scientific Review Committee Interviews - only for students needing to see the SRC prior to setting up their project due to questions about their research process.
  • Finalist Check-In - Registration packets must be picked up prior to entering the exhibit hall.
  • Display & Safety Inspections - ALL projects must be reviewed for compliance with the D&S rules and guidelines before students will be allowed to proceed with the judging interviews.
  • Official Photos - ALL projects with the students must have an official photograph taken.
  • Judging Interviews - Students must be at their projects from 1:30 - 5 p.m. for judging interviews. Not all students will be interviewed by the same number of judges due to the different sizes of the categories and the special award judging process.

Friday, April 3, 2020:

  • Guest Speaker - TBD for 2020
  • Tours & Presentations - Participating in the tours and presentations offered by the CSEF is completely optional. Students and teachers can pre-register for the tours and presentations or sign up on Thursday 8:30 - 11 a.m. in the designated room of the LSC.
  • Student Choice & Poster Art Contest Judging - Ballots for these awards are due to the CSEF Headquarters booth by 2 p.m.
  • Awards Ceremony - The CSEF Awards Ceremony will be held at the Timberline Church in Fort Collins starting promptly at 6 p.m.

Saturday, April 4, 2020:

  • Public Viewing - Unless otherwise arranged, ALL students must be at their project for interaction with the public 9 - 11 a.m. on Saturday.
  • Pizza Party - All students, teachers, parents, family members, etc. are invited to join us in celebrating the end of another successful CSEF with pizza and beverages starting at 11:00 a.m.
  • Door Prizes - Door prize tickets will only be collected just prior to the pizza party on Saturday and Finalists MUST be present to win!

Once chosen to represent a Regional Science Fair at the CSEF, each STUDENT finalist must:

  • choose a CSEF category to compete in (please note that category judging captains will review abstracts prior to CSEF to comply with the CSEF Category Change Policy and will make recommendations for category changes accordingly);

  • register for the CSEF using the on-line Colorado Science and Engineering Fair Registration Form (ONLY students who have won the right to represent their regional science fair and have received an official Finalist Handbook from their Regional Fair Director are to use this registration form);

  • complete the official CSEF Abstract Form (individual projects or team projects), submit the abstract electronically, print TWO copies (one to submit with your paperwork to CSEF and one for your notebook) AND sign both copies;

  • pay the $40/student registration fee by April 1st; and

  • attach a copy of the Finalist's Verification Form, a signed copy of the official CSEF Abstract Form to the required ISEF or CSEF paperwork (see Forms, Rules & Guidelines for more information) and submit to your Regional Fair Director for approval (they will forward on to the CSEF Director).

Please note that each Regional Science Fair has their own personalized registration deadline at which point, all students' paperwork, abstract submissions and registrations MUST be turned in to the CSEF Director. Check the Finalist Handbook, page 4 for details.

Finalist Registration Corrections

CSEF Finalists needing to make corrections to their registration information should email those corrections to the CSEF Director. Please DO NOT submit a new registration! Corrections will be accepted through Friday, March 13, 2020.

ALL students presenting at the Colorado Science & Engineering Fair MUST follow the display & safety regulations outlined in the Finalist Handbook (page 14). The following are a few items that are typical problems found by Display & Safety Inspectors during check-in:

  • Students must have their ISEF or CSEF forms with them at their project.

  • ALL photographs, images, graphics, data tables, graphs, etc. must be credited (even if everything was done by the student). Items from the Internet must have the specific URL for that image (do not credit Google Images).

  • No glass or glass objects are allowed at the display (this includes equipment used for the project).

  • No live or dried plant material is allowed at the display.

  • No food is allowed as part of the display (students may have snacks and drinks for their own consumption, but that is all).

  • No chemicals or water (other than for consumption by the student) is allowed as part of the display.

  • No laser pointers are allowed to be used during judging.

  • No sharp objects may be part of the display.

We encourage students, parents and teachers to give the Board of Directors feedback on their experience each year in order to maintain a high level of excellence. Please use the appropriate link below to complete an on-line survey about the 2020 CSEF held at Colorado State University - Fort Collins April 2, 3, &4.

Finalist Survey

Adult Survey

The following are publications that students and teachers may find useful.

  • The CSEF Middle School Rules & Guidelines is an option for only 6th - 8th grade students to use instead of the Intel ISEF forms. If a student uses these rules and forms, they must follow ALL of the rules for middle school students and not pick and choose between the Intel ISEF forms and rules and these.
  • The CSEF Finalist Handbook includes the necessary information students who have qualified to compete at the CSEF need.
  • The CSEF Program includes all of the Finalists' project information and CSEF program information for the days of the science fair.
  • The CSEF Awards Ceremony Program includes information on the organizations that provide the special awards.

As an incentive to participate and to reward outstanding research, the CSEF offers many different types of awards to the students entered into the CSEF each year.

  • Grand Awards of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and Honorable Mention are awarded in each of the 12 categories for both the Junior (6-8 grades) and Senior (9 - 12 grades) Divisions.
  • Student Choice Awards of a trophy, certificate and $100 are given in both the Junior and Senior Divisions. Finalists vote for their favorite project (ballots are due by 2 p.m. on Friday of the CSEF).
  • A Poster Art Contest is held where any student in Colorado may submit an entry for the next year's artwork for the Finalists to vote on. The winner receives a certificate and $100. Their artwork will be printed on the covers of next year's CSEF publications.
  • Technical Writing Awards are available to students in both the Junior Division (Elemer Bernath Technical Writing Award) and Senior Division (Ralph Desch Memorial Technical Writing Award). To be considered for this award, students must prepare a technical report as if they were planning on being published in a scientific or technical journal. The winners of these awards receive a certificate, $100 and his/her work published on the CSEF web site.
  • Pioneers of Science Awards are personally sponsored by the Board of Directors and the winners are chosen based on their enthusiasm for their project and their future potential as a scientist as decided by the sponsoring board member. Each winner receives a certificate, information on the pioneer of science the award is named for and $50.
  • Special Awards and Scholarships are provided by a variety of scientific organizations, businesses and universities according to criteria that they set. Check out the latest list of Special Award Organizations along with the criteria for the award and which CSEF categories are eligible for the award.


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Last modified 11/5/19