Science and Engineering Fair Registration

The High Plains Regional Science & Engineering Fair is affiliated with the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), so our fair follows the ISEF rules and regulations for all project entries.

Visit the ISEF website to find the rule book and all forms needed for registration. Project material guidelines for our regional fair will align with those outlined by ISEF here. However, we will not be requiring students to submit a video or a quad chart. 

Registration Info

Judges, teachers, and students must register online here:

No hard copy submissions will be accepted--everything must be uploaded to the registration page. 

Click here to download the 2023 High Plains Regional Science & Engineering Fair Participant Guide.

Information for Middle School Students

Each grade in the middle school division will be split into four categories:

  1. Biological Sciences
  2. Engineering
  3. Physical Sciences
  4. Social Sciences

The top five scorers in each category will be awarded medals and cash prizes pending final sponsorships.

We request middle school students submit a written description of their project during the project registration. Written description should be in the form of an abstract less than 300 words in length.

Middle school students should follow the procedures according to the ISEF guidelines, but ask that individual schools handle the review of the research plans using a group of knowledgeable people with backgrounds as close as possible to those specified by ISEF. If you encounter a project that you do not feel capable of reviewing, or a student is working individually with an adult outside of the school setting and his/her school does not have a group that can review the project, our review board can perform the review.

Information for High School Students

Students in grades 9-12 will compete in one high school division, which will be split into four categories:

  1. Biological Sciences
  2. Engineering
  3. Physical Sciences
  4. Social Sciences

The top three scorers in each category will be awarded medals and cash prizes pending final sponsorships. The top overall scorer will qualify for the International Science & Engineering Fair and will travel with a chaperone at our expense. There are also many special awards that are given out from local organizations as well as other ISEF-affiliated organizations.  

High school students need to have their research plans approved prior to beginning work by a local review board constituted according to the ISEF guidelines. If your school cannot form such a board, please contact the regional fair coordinator, so our scientific review committee can review research plans for your students.  

Our scientific review committee requires informed consent forms for all projects involving humans, including methods such as surveys for all high school projects. The early registration deadline allows time for our scientific review committee to check these entries and to return forms for corrections/additions in time for these to be accomplished prior to the fair. This is important since a finalist from our fair may be prevented from competing in the ISEF if proper procedures and reviews have not been followed as the work was done. The most common problems are lack of signatures in proper places, correct starting and ending dates, and lack of three major sources in the bibliography entry on the research plan. Please help your fair entrants to give special attention to these areas.


Fair Director

Questions or concerns can be directed to your fair director:

Dr. Jade Herman
Office of the President                                                                       
South Dakota Mines
501 East Saint Joseph Street
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 394-1718

Other Information for On-Campus Exhibits 

Each student needs an adult advisor, which can be a teacher, parent or other adult from the community.  Advisors should consult with students concerning his/her ideas and methods prior to beginning the project. Please make sure that appropriate approval is obtained before the student begins work on the project. This is one of most common problems we encounter when reviewing the students’ projects and paperwork. It is an important step in the process.

Student exhibits may require as much or more time than conducting the research. Please recommend careful attention to simple layout with large letters. Detailed graphs or tables can be included in a written research report to be available at the exhibit. Remember that judges have a limited amount of time to review each exhibit. Most judges rely very heavily on material included on the exhibit board and obtained from the personal interview. Judges almost never have time to review the Intel ISEF forms or read a lengthy report.  

We do our best to adhere to Intel ISEF guidelines for the exhibits, which require the exhibit consist of nothing more than paper, graphics, and photographs. Video and computer displays are also allowed.  Plants (even common houseplants), water, food items, etc., ARE FORBIDDEN.  Please encourage your students to follow these guidelines in preparing their exhibits, so we do not have to go around the exhibit area confiscating forbidden components from exhibits on the day of the fair.  

The full list of Intel ISEF display regulations can be found at:

Science Fair Photos Vertical