Get Involved




Entrants must complete the MTSEF online registration as well as required ISEF forms to be eligible to compete at MTSEF.


Required Forms: 

The following forms are required to participate at MTSEF (links to be added soon): 

2021 MTSEF Final Online Registration

Middle School Certification Form

Location of MTSEF and ISEF Forms (print, complete as necessary, and upload with MTSEF Online Registration)

When registering online, you will be asked to submit the forms together as a single pdf with the filename Lastname_Firstname. Please use the ISEF Rules Wizard to identify which forms are applicable and must be submitted. Please arrange the forms within the pdf in the order:

Abstract (required)
1 - Adult Sponsor (required)
1A - Student Checklist (required)
1B - Approval Form (required)
Research Plan with a Bibliography (required)
1C - Regulated Research Institutional/industrial Setting (if applicable)
7 - Continuation Projects (if applicable)
4 - Human Participants and Informed Consent Form (if applicable)
2 - Qualified Scientist Form (if applicable)
Human Consent form (if applicable)
5A - Vertebrate Animal SRC Form (if applicable)
5B - Vertebrate Animal IACUC Form (if applicable)
6A - Potential Hazardous Biological Agents Form (if applicable)
6B - Human and Vertebrate Animal Tissue Form (if applicable)
3 - Risk Assessment Form (if applicable)
Teacher Signature Form (required)

Middle School Certification Form (if applicable)

You may elect to mail in the forms (postmarked by the deadline), but you must still register online by the deadline. Postal mail instructions are provided during online registration.

Please note that when using the "Human Informed Consent Form" that the form supplied is a sample form. While you can use it as is, because the fillable text blocks of this pdf form allow your text to shrink to a very small size which is often illegible, it is not suitable for overly long descriptions. In this case you will need to reproduce the content of the form in its entirety. Alternatively, you can use the form provided, but place a note in the “Purpose of the project:” block to see attached description of the project. 

Additional ISEF Resources

ISEF Forms (from SS&P website)

Are you looking for ideas for your project? Check out the links and resources below!


Summary of Rule Changes for the 2020 MTSEF

SRC and IRB Pre-Approvals

Projects requiring pre-approval CAN NOT be conducted until approval is received from the SRC or IRB.

  • IRB pre-approvals are now completed at the school-level. MTSEF will no longer pre-approve Human Participant Projects. 

  • Are you unsure if your project will require pre-approval?  Check the Rules Wizard

  • SRC meets monthly.  Final project pre-approval submission deadline is Friday, January 10, 2020.

  • REPEAT: Final project pre-approval submission deadline is Friday, January 10, 2020.

  • Check International Rules for changes HERE


Notable changes noted from ISEF 2020

General Clarifications

  • Expanded Ethics Statement

  • Roles and Responsibilities of the Students and Adults has been rewritten and reformatted

  • Added Responsibilities for Qualified Scientist and Designated Supervisor

Human Participant Clarifications (See Rules for complete descriptions of criteria)

  • Pg. 9, Rule 6: Students are prohibited from independently diagnosing disease, administering medication and/or performing medical procedures.

  • Pg. 9, Rule 1 of Human Participant Involvement in Student-designed Invention, Prototype, Computer Application & Engineering/Design Projects: IRB review and preapproval is necessary when the student-designed invention, prototype, application, etc. is tested by human participants other than the student researcher(s) or a single adult guardian, adult sponsor/QS/DS when the testing requires an adult tester.

Engineering Projects Guide

  • Changed section heading from "Human Participants" to "Device Testing with Human Participants"


  • Pg. 14, Rule 8: insertion of antibiotic resistance markers for the clonal selection of bioengineered organisms is permitted, with the following exceptions:

    • Students are prohibited from the insertion of antibiotic resistance traits…

    • Students are prohibited from designing or selecting for multiple drug resistance organisms…


Ethics Statement

  • Expanded Ethics Statement:

    • Addresses integrity, legality, respect for confidentiality and intellectual property, and stewardship of the environment.

    • Student researchers, as well as adults who have a role in their projects, are expected to maintain the highest ethical standards.

Middle School Limitations

  • The goal of the fair is to allow all project entries from grades 9-12 and the best from grades 6-8.

  • Each grade 6-8 school will be allowed at least 3 entries per grade.

  • Schools submitting winning 1st, 2nd, or 3rd category awards in the previous year’s fair will be allowed additional entries.

  • The formula is (3 x Category Awards in grade in previous fair  + 1) x 2 = allowed entries in that grade for present fair.

  • Schools receiving additional entries for 2020 are Lead Cameron, Cascade Middle, ASE Homeschool Tutorial, Faith Homeschool Tutorial, Fairview Homeschool, Sunset Middle School.

  • For these schools, the total entries allowed for these schools for the 2020 fair will be:

    • Lead Cameron: 8 in 6th, 14 in 7th, 8 in 8th

    • Cascade Middle School: 3 in 6th, 3 in 7th, 8 in 8th

    • ASE Homeschool Tutorial: 8 in 6th, 3 in 7th, 8 in 8th

    • Faith Homeschool Tutorial: 8 in 6th, 3 in 7th, 8 in 8th

    • Fairview Homeschool: 3 in 6th, 8 in 7th, 3 in 8th

    • Sunset Middle School: 3 in 6th, 3 in 7th, 8 in 8th

  • Middle Schools will have to validate their entries with the signature of a certifying official. This can be the school science fair coordinator or an administrator. Middle Schools are encouraged to have qualifying school fairs to determine their entries. Middle School Certification Form



Volunteer Job Descriptions

Have you ever volunteered at a middle or high school science fair? If not, it's definitely something you should consider. From meeting other like-minded volunteers at the event, to putting on exciting science demonstrations for all fairgoers to enjoy, helping out at local science exhibitions is fun and rewarding!

If you're interested in volunteering with the MTSEF, it's easy to get involved.

Set Up Crew:

Assist in setting up student display tables, table clothes, electrical power strips, banners, sponsorship booths, and registration tables.

Student Check-In/Registration:

Manage all activities at the Student Check-In Table. Provide direction, assistance and information to students, parents, and
educators. Welcome students to the science fair and help collect and hand out registration materials.


Greeter/Information Desk:

Provide information about layout of science fair – particularly to general public attending the event. Be available to answer questions throughout the day.

Room Monitors:

Assure that only authorized judges or volunteers are admitted to the room when judging is taking place. Provide security for personal belongings left in room by volunteers.



Visually record all areas of the science fair. Must be able to bring your own camera. Provide digital copies of the science fair for use on website and in publications.



Judges are knowledgeable and objective individuals who have the ability to assess students fairly and determine which project earned special awards. Technical judges assess design and should have a technical,
engineering, or science related background. A panel of judges interviews students about the research hurdles and discoveries the student faced in their overall project. Judge Advisor conducts training prior to the event and provides guidance during the competition.


The majority of judging takes place in the morning; however, we ask judges to remain for the duration of the competition to congratulate teams and hand out medals and trophies.

Scorekeeper - Judging:

Official manager of the scoring sheets and official score spreadsheet.

Experience And Skills Needed: Attention to detail is critical, ability to sit for long periods of time, must be able to use Excel to enter data


Advancing the interests of science and engineering throughout Middle Tennessee.


Phone: 615-460-6221

Tax ID: 81-0790680

A 501(c)(3) organization

© 2019 by MTSEF partnered with CGI