In general, photographs and diagrams are the preferred method of presentation. Most of the following items are presented better using photographs or diagrams.
These items are restricted by ISEF and are not allowed at the Mercer Science and Engineering fair.
1. Living organisms, including plants
2. Soil, sand, rock and/or waste samples even if permanently encased in a slab of plastic
3. Taxidermy specimens or parts
4. Preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals
5. Human or animal food
6. Human/animal parts or body fluids (for example, blood, urine)
7. Plant materials (living, dead, or preserved) that are in their raw, unprocessed, or non-manufactured state (Exception: manufactured construction materials used in building the project or display)
8. All chemicals including water (Exceptions: water integral to an enclosed, sealed apparatus.)
9. All hazardous substances or devices [for example, poisons, drugs, firearms, weapons, ammunition, reloading devices, and lasers (as indicated in item 5 in the section of these rules entitled “Allowed at Project or in Booth BUT with the Restrictions Indicated”)]
10. Dry ice or other sublimating solids
11. Sharp items (for example, syringes, needles, pipettes, knives)
12. Flames or highly flammable materials
13. Batteries with open-top cells
14. Awards, medals, business cards, flags, logos, CD's, endorsements, and/or acknowledgments (graphic or written) unless the item(s) are an integral part of the project (Exception: Intel ISEF medal(s) may be worn at all times.)
15. Photographs or other visual presentations depicting vertebrate animals in surgical techniques, dissections, necropsies, or other lab procedures
16. Active Internet or e-mail connections as part of displaying or operating the project at the Intel ISEF
17. Prior years’ written material or visual depictions on the vertical display board. [Exception: the project title displayed in the Finalist’s booth may mention years or which year the project is (for example, “Year Two of an Ongoing Study”)]. Continuation projects must have the Continuation Project Form (7) vertically displayed.
18. Glass or glass objects unless deemed by the Display and Safety Committee to be an integral and necessary part of the project (Exception: glass that is an integral part of a commercial product such as a computer screen)
19. Any apparatus deemed unsafe by the Scientific Review Committee, the Display and Safety Committee, or Society for Science & the Public (for example, large vacuum tubes or dangerous ray-generating devices, empty tanks that previously contained combustible liquids or gases, pressurized tanks, etc.)
In addition, the Mercer Science and Engineering Fair has the following restrictions:
1. No glass or glass objects.
2. Computers or electronics
3. All batteries
4. No liquids
The Senior Division may petition the fair to display apparatus during in-person judging but these materials are not to be left at the booth after this period. Laptops, computers and other electronics may be brought to the in-person judging session by any Senior Division student if it is providing information related to the project.