EPSEF - Eastern Panhandle
Science and Engineering Fair

EPSEF 2021 Science Project
Required, Recommended, and Optional Items

REQUIRED (Items 1-4)

1. Forms

2. Abstract

After finishing research and experimentation, you are required to write a (maximum) 250-word summary.  It is recommended that it include the following:
  • purpose
  • procedure
  • data
  • conclusions
It may also include any research applications. Only minimal reference to previous work may be included.
An abstract must NOT include the following:
  • acknowledgements (including naming the research institution an.or mentor with whom you were working, or self-promotions and external endoresements
  • logos or proper names of commercial products
  • work or procedures done by your mentor

3. Project Presentation

The Project Presentation replaces the project display board or poster used during in-person fairs.  It is generally created as a set of PowerPoint slides formatted for printing and exported to PDF format.  ISEF 2020-2021 Virtual Science Fair Project Material Guidelines provides complete instructions, format requirements and recommendations, and basic templates for traditional science projects, engineering projects, and mathematics/computer science projects.
You may prepare your Project Presentation using PowerPoint, Word, or any software tools that you desire, so long as the final document submitted for display to the judges and the public satisfies the following requirements:
  • The Project Presentation must be a single PDF document.
  • Maximum document length is 12 pages, including Title Page.
  • Maximum page size is 11" x 8½” (Landscape orientation).
  • No animations or active hyperlinks.  (You may separately submit an optional video if you need something to move in order to illustrate your project.)
  • General design must be dark text on a light background.
  • Recommended 18 point font; minumum 14 point when printed on letter size paper.  (Captions and photo credits may use smaller font, 10 point minimum.)
  • All Project Presentation elements must conform to Display & Safety Rules as if placed on a physical project board or poster for display to judges and the public.  Passing a Display & Safety inspection will be required to compete.
Required content - Each of the seven (7) required sections must start on its own page and be in the order shown.  Each section may include graphic elements and extend beyond one page as long as the total does not exceed the 12-page maximum.
  • Must include the following:
    • Project ID.  (This ID will be provided by EPSEF upon submission and approval of required paperwork.)
    • Project Title
    • Student Name(s)
    • School
    • City, County
  • What is your research question or engineering goal?  Explain what is known or has already been done in your research area. Include a brief review of relevant literature.
  • If this is a continuation project, a brief summary of your prior research is appropriate here. Be sure to distinguish your previous work from this year’s project.
  • What were you trying to find out, or what problem are you trying to solve?  Include a description of your purpose, your research question, and/or your hypothesis.
  • Explain your procedures for carrying out your project in detail, or explain how you designed and built your prototype.
  • What did you do? What data did you collect and how did you collect that data? Discuss your control group and the variables you tested.  If you tested your prototype, what were your testing procedures?
  • (Do NOT include a list of materials.)
  • What measurable results did you obtain, or, did your prototype meet your engineering goal?
  • Include tables and figures which illustrate your data.
  • Include relevant statistical analysis of the data.
  • What do these results mean? Compare your results with theories, published data, commonly held beliefs, and expected results.
  • Discuss possible errors. Did any questions or problems arise that you were not expecting? How did the data vary between repeated observations of similar events? How were results affected by uncontrolled events?
  • What do these results mean in the context of the literature review and other work being done in your research area?
  • How do the results address your research question?
  • Do your results support your hypothesis?
  • What application(s) do you see for your work?
  • Use APA or MLA format to list the references/documentation used which were not of your own creation.

4. Quad Chart

A “quad chart” is a single page (PDF) divided into four quadrants providing a high-level summary of the project. It is intended to be more visual than detailed to quickly introduce your judges to what is important about your project.
Format must be 11" x 8½" (Lanscape orientation) with dark text on a light background.  Minimum font size is 13 point, except for figure captions or photo credits, which may be as small as 9 pt.
All four quadrants of your Quad Chart should each be the same size with a single border line delimiting each, as shown below. Use suggested titles or alternate titles for Engineering and Math projects.  The Title section should be only as tall as necessary to include your project title and other identifying information.
The Quad Chart should not include a bibliography, references, or acknowledgments.
All Display & Safety rules must be followed.
Quad Chart
Quadrant 1: Research Question/Engineering Objectives
  • This should reflect material in the Introduction of the Project Presentation.
  • State the research question or engineering problem being addressed.
  • A leading core graphic or visual is encouraged, but not required.
Quadrant 2: Methodology/Project Design
  • This should reflect material in the Methods (or Framework) of the Project Presentation.
  • Provide a succinct, bulleted summary of the methodology/project design.
Quadrant 3: Data Analysis & Results
  • This should reflect material in the Results and Discussion sections of the Project Presentation Template.
  • It is advised that this quadrant should primarily be a graphic representation of relevant data and results.
  • Text should be kept to a minimum.
Quadrant 4: Interpretation & Conclusions
  • This should reflect material in the Discussion and Conclusion(s) sections of the Project Presentation Template.


5. Project Video

Project video should not exceed two (2) minutes.  It should be in landscape format (turn your phone sideways), be in one of the following formats: avi, mov, mpeg, mp4, or wmp, and compressed for email/web if possible. 
The video should summarize the project at a high level.  Although judges will view the video, the general public should be the intended audience as it will be posted on epsef.org for public viewing.
The video can be of the student speaking and looking into the camera, a voice-over of a video or computer-generated graphics, or a combination.  Creating a project board or poster for use with the project video is NOT recommended. 

OPTIONAL (Items 6-8)

6. Video Demonstration/Simulation/Animation

If a project is best explained by showing a demonstration, simulation or animation, you may include a short (1-minute maximum) video.  The content shown in the video must meet all Display & Safety regulations and be formatted as described in Item 5, above.

7. Research Paper

EPSEF does not require any project to include a research paper.  While the Research Plan or Project Summary attached to Form 1A is written before experimentation, many students transform this document into the research paper described here by adding their experimental data, analyzing and discussing their results (to include calculations, charts, and graphs), and adding conclusions and thoughts regarding future research. 
Many students have completed such a paper and would include it at their booth during an in-person fair.  If you have prepared such a paper, you may upload it to share with judges.

8. Lab Notebook Image/Excerpt

EPSEF does not require any project to submit a laboratory notebook.  However, many students have this important record of their research timeline and process and typically have it available at their booth.  A student may upload a PDF of photographs or scans of up to any 4 pages of a lab notebook to provide evidence of its use.