EPSEF - Eastern Panhandle
Science and Engineering Fair



Eastern Panhandle Science and Engineering Fair
Elementary and Middle School Divisions

What's New for 2023?
What's old is new again! With the Coronavirus pandemic in the rearview mirror, EPSEF '23 will once again be a "traditional" in-person science fair. 
All projects will be evaulated in-person at the fair. There is no longer any requirement to submit a Quad Chart, high resolution photo, or other digital version of the project display. Students are encouraged to focus on the science project, project display board, approved ancillary items, and optional research notebook.
Elementary and Middle School categories (see below) have been updated to reflect alignment with the revised WVSEF 2023 categories, which now more accurately reflect ISEF categories.
Projects will be evaluated via "traditional" student presentations and interviews.  Judges will also evaluate approved items on display at each project booth.
The Society for Science has announced a new title sponsor for the world's premiere middle school science competition.  The previously named Broadcom MASTERS will now be called the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge.  Although it has a new name and title sponsor, the competition structure is the same! Just as before, EPSEF will nominate 1st place award winners in each category to enter the national competition. Nominees will complete an online application, the top 300 will be named and the 30 finalists will participate in a finals week competition in Washington, DC in October. There is no cost to the student at any step of the competition. The top prize will have a new name, but is still $25,000.
Friday, February 3, 2023 
Snow Date: Friday, February 10, 2023
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Ranson Civic Center
432 West 2nd Avenue
Ranson, WV 25438
9:30 AM - Check-In and Project Setup
10:30 AM - Opening Remarks
10:45 AM - Project Presentations and Judging
2:00 PM- Exhibit Hall Open for Public Viewing
3:00 PM - Presentation of Awards
3:30 PM - Project Removal and Clean-Up
Projects not removed by 4:00 PM will be "recycled."
Students in grades 3-8 who placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in county science fairs from the Eastern Panhandle counties of Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan, Pendleton, and the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. 
Note: If your county did not host a science fair this year you may still be eligible to participate.  Contact your science teacher or county science fair coordinator for more information.

EPSEF is affiliated with WVSEF, the West Virginia Science and Engineering Fair.
First place category winners from EPSEF will be eligible to compete in WVSEF in Charleston on Monday, March 6, 2023.
EPSEF '23 Middle School Division is affiliated with the Society for Science and the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge.
As a Society-affiliated fair, students who participate in EPSEF must observe the International Rules for Pre-college Science Research, as applicable to middle school students. 
Projects earning first place in each middle school category are nominated to participate in the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge, hosted by the Society for Science.
Rules in Brief
EPSEF adheres to the rules of the West Virginia Science and Engineering Fair and to the International Rules for Pre-College Science Research, the official rules of the Regeneron ISEF as applicable to elementary and middle school students.
The purpose of these rules is to:
  • protect the rights and welfare of the student researcher and all human participants
  • protect the health and welfare of animals
  • ensure adherence to local, state, and federal regulations
  • ensure use of safe laboratory practices
  • protect the environment
  • determine eligibility for competition in the Broadcom MASTERS
  • to ensure the safety and well-being of fair visitors
Projects will be inspected for potential violations of the Display and Safety (D&S) Rules prior to judging. Without further notice to the participant, the D&S Inspector may remove or obscure any prohibited items on display and make safe any potentially hazardous condition. Where necessary, the D&S Inspector will make a reasonable attempt to work with particiapants to correct any serious violations. Projects with unresolved violations after commencement of judging will not be eligible to compete in subsequent Society-affiliated fairs.

The D&S inspector most commonly encounters violations of the following rules:
  • Absolutely NO liquids, not even water
  • No chemicals, food, grocery items, spices, or edible items
  • No plants, fruits, seeds, soil, sand, rock, or cement
  • No glass (no jars, containers, light bulbs, aquariums, etc; tablet/laptop computers are allowed)
  • No exposed sharp objects, pinch points, electrical wires, or other potential hazards
  • No insects, animals, body parts or fluids, etc (living or once living)
  • No algae, bacteria, fungi (molds, yeasts), protozoa, viruses, or other microscopic organisms
  • No items that may have contained or been in contact with hazardous substances
  • No lasers, bright lights, flames, loud noises, odors, or other distractions
  • No personal information (name, school, grade, web address, phone number, etc)
  • No active internet connections
Participants are encouraged to display photographs of their work. Photographs are usually an excellent alternative way to display items that would otherwise be banned at the project booth. Remember that photos should not include any human faces, animals in distress, or potentially offensive images.

This is only a summary list of common violations. Participants are strongly encouraged to carefully review the official ISEF International Rules for Pre-College Science Research, ISEF's complete Display and Safety Rules, and WVSEF Elementary or Middle School Rules, as applicable.
Questions should be directed to the student's science teacher or the EPSEF SRC (Scientific Review Committee).
Ethics Statement
"Student researchers are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity.  Scientific fraud and misconduct are not condoned at any level of research or competition. This includes plagiarism, forgery, use or presentation of other researcher’s work as one’s own and fabrication of data. Fraudulent projects will fail to qualify for competition in affiliated fairs and the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge. The Scientific Review Commitee reserves the right to revoke recognition of a project subsequently found to have been fraudulent."
EPSEF Elementary and Middle School Divisions use the WVSEF Categories.  Please note, the Fair Director reserves the right to change a project's category placement or combine categories with an insufficient number of entrants.
  1. Animal Science
  2. Behavioral and Social Science
  3. Chemistry
  4. Earth and Environmental Science
  5. Energy
  6. Engineering
  7. Materials Science (Middle School only)
  8. Mathematics
  9. Medical Science (Middle School only)
  10. Plant Science
  11. Physics and Astronomy
  12. Technology
How to Enter
The following information must be received by Friday, January 20, 2023:
  1. Eligible students and their parents/guardians will submit the electronic EPSEF 2023 Application Form and Abstract online.
  2. Students are to work with their science teachers to complete the required WVSEF paperwork. (Your science teacher or county science fair coordinator will scan and email the completed forms to apply@epsef.org or bring completed forms to the fair.)
  • Required forms for Elementary division (See the WVSEF Student page for forms.)
    • Student Checklist (Form 1A)
    • Elementary School Abstract (2-pages)
    • Vertebrate and Human Research Form (Form VHRF), if applicable
  • Required forms for Middle School division (See the WVSEF Student page for forms.)
    • Checklist for Adult Sponsor (Form 1)
    • Student Checklist (Form 1A)
    • Research Paper or Research Plan (Form 1A2)
    • Approval Form (Form 1B)
    • Vertebrate and Human Research Form (Form VHRF), if applicable
    • (Abstract is submitted via online EPSEF '23 Application Form)
    • Other forms as required by WVSEF or ISEF rules  (Note: If Continuation Projects Form (7) is required, the Abstract, Form 1A, and Research Plan from the previous year or years must also be attached.)
Questions concerning the application process should be addressed to Shane Price, Fair Director at 304-270-7769 or email d.price@k12.wv.us. 
Participation in EPSEF is provided at NO COST to students or attendees. Funding is provided by a grant from the West Virginia Department of Education and our generous sponsors.
Prizes and Awards
Award sponsorship opportunities are available! Please contact us for more information.
In addition to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards in each category, participants in EPSEF '23 compete for a variety of Special Awards, including:
  • Best Graphic Design
  • Best Data Visualization
  • Best Application of the Scientific Method
  • Most Creative Model/Apparatus
  • Most Surprising/Unexpected Results
  • ISEF Alumni Award
Additional Prizes and Awards for Middle School Division participants:
  • Lemelson Early Inventor Prize ($100)
First place winners in each catetory have the honor of contiuing their science fair journey by applying to compete in the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge.  From the enrants, the Top 300 will be selected and receive a prize of $150.  The Top 30 finaliststs will compete for more than $100,000 in prizes, including a top price of $25,000 and scholarships for STEM summer camps. Additionally, each of the finalists' schools will receive $1,000.
The top projects in each division will earn the distinction of EPSEF '23 Best of Show.
Judges and Volunteers
The Science Fair can only be made possible with a small army of volunteers.  If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering to help with the Science Fair, please complete the Judge and Volunteer Registration Form online.  Thank you! 
First place winners from each category will be eligible to compete in the 2023 West Virginia Science and Engineering Fair in Charleston on Monday, March 6, 2023.
Additional Info
EPSEF coordinates and co-plans with WVSEF and the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge/ISEF.  As such, information is subject to change.
Your Adult Sponsor must be your science teacher (or another teacher if your science teacher is not available), even if you are learning from home.
Contact your science teacher, county science fair coordinator, or Shane Price, Fair Director at 304-270-7769 or email d.price@k12.wv.us
Shane Price, Fair Director
Tel: 304-270-7769
-- Updated Jan. 9, 2023 SP