California Science & Engineering Fair
Eligibility Rules 2022

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  1. Affiliated Fair. Qualification to the California Science & Engineering Fair is through an affiliated county or regional science fair. Each student must qualify through the single affiliated fair responsible for the geographic domain in which the student receives instruction. For students enrolled in most schools, including boarding schools, that location is the school. That location for students enrolled in online schools is the student’s residence, regardless of the school’s incorporation address. Exception requests, including students whose schools are not accepted by any current affiliate, must be emailed to CSEF@usc.edu. California finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search also qualify for entry; such projects are not counted against the allocation of any affiliate.
  2. California Student. Each applicant must be a student in an educational institution recognized by the State of California and enrolled in grades 6-12 at the time of qualification. Students in grades 6-8 participate in the Junior Division, while students in grades 9-12 participate in the Senior Division. The division for team projects with students in different grades is determined by the highest grade represented. Students are limited to a maximum of seven (7) entries during their lifetime.
  3. Single Entry. Each student may enter only one project each year. Each project may have one to three authors. Team projects will be placed in competition with individual projects in the same categories, though judging panels will have a higher level of expectation for team projects commensurate with the number of students on the team. All work must be done by the student(s) named as author(s). Projects entered into the Fair under an individual's name but discovered by the judging panel to have been prepared by a team of more than one student will be disqualified.
  4. Category Assignment. The Directors of Judging will determine, upon review of submitted Project Summaries, the correct category for each project. The California Science & Engineering Fair reserves the right to disqualify any project due to poor quality, incompleteness, or inappropriateness of project content.
  5. New Research. Any project reentered from a past California Science & Engineering Fair must show substantial new research and development to be eligible for an award. Final determination shall be made by the category judges.
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California Science & Engineering Fair / Eligibility Rules 2022 / CSEF@usc.edu