Official Information and Registration Site  
Frequently Asked Questions

Day of the Fair
How long does the Fair last?

About 6 hours from beginning to end.

Where will the Fair be held?

Black River Middle School, Chester, NJ

When do I arrive to set up my project?

You must arrive to set up your project between 8:30 and 9:15 AM. This will assure that you have sufficient time to set up your project prior to judging.
Log into the Family Portal on the night before the Fair, and click on Project Information. Your table location will be listed there.
There will be volunteers available on Fair Day to direct you to your table location.

What other activities will be at the Fair?

There are many great exhibits, science demonstrations and lots of food to eat.

When can I take my project home?

We ask that you keep your project up for display until the end of judging at 1:30 p.m., because judges often need to revisit projects while compiling their scores.
If you must leave, please make arrangements to leave your project in place and pick it up after 1:30 p.m.
All projects must be picked up by 4pm.

Will food be available at the Fair?

Yes, there is a very reasonably priced food court at the Fair. CASH ONLY


How much time will be allotted to judge my project?

The judges are given about 5 minutes to judge projects in grades K-2, and between 10 and 15 minutes for projects in grades 3-8.

Can Mom and Dad watch my presentation to the judges?

While your Mom and Dad are welcome to watch the judging process, we do ask that they stand back and not participate in the process. The judges are interested in your knowledge of your experiment.

Can I see the judging scoresheet ahead of time?

Samples of the judging scoresheets can be viewed on the Science Fair website. See Sample scoresheets for K-2, 3-5, and 6-8

Do I have to be present at the time of judging?

Yes, the judges need to speak to you in order to effectively evaluate your project.
Click on judging information for things the judges will be looking for.

Who are the judges that will judge the projects?

Our judges come with a wide variety of scientific experience. Some have been judges for over 15 years; a few may be highly qualified high school students who were successful Chester Science Fair participants themselves. Many currently work in the field of science as chemists, engineers, teachers or researchers. We do our best to match your project's area of science with a judge with a similar scientific background.

Can I see the judges’ scoresheets after the Fair?

The scoresheets and general range of scores will be posted online shortly after conclusion of the Fair. You will be able to view your individual scoresheet in the Family Portal. The actual scoresheet is available upon request.



When is the Awards ceremony?

Immediately following the conclusion of the Fair, we will recognize the winners of the Special Awards. Peer Recognition Awards assemblies for Dickerson, Bragg & Black River Schools will take place during the school day the week following the Fair, usually on the Monday following the Fair. See Awards Ceremonies

How many medals and ribbons are awarded each year?

There are no specific numbers of Blue Ribbons or Medals to be awarded, either in total or by grade level. The actual number of Blue Ribbons and Medals to be awarded will depend on the number of entries in a specific grade level. See Awards Policy

Will projects in grades K-2 be given awards?

Yes, all of these participating students receive an award.

Will there be any Special Awards given this year?

Check Special Awards for an up-to-date list of any special awards. Check back often to see if there are any changes/additions. To be considered for a Special Award, each project must apply for the award. A project can only apply for one Special Award. Special Awards are specific to project categories.



How much space can I have to display my project?

You will be given table space of 36" wide and 30" deep. If you need more space or any other space requirements you must specify this when you register your project. Extra space will not be given on Fair day.

Can I do a project with friends or siblings?

Project Teams from grades K-2 can have a maximum of three students, comprised of grade K-2 students.  
Project Teams from grades 3-5 can have a maximum of three students, comprised of grade 3-5 students.  
If team members are in different grades, the project will be judged at the highest grade level represented on the team.
Project teams from grades 6 - 8 can have a maximum of two students, and team members must be in the same grade.

What is the Scientific Method?

See Steps to Success for more information.

What should my display look like?

Your display should be interesting and eye catching. Use pictures and diagrams to illustrate your work on a poster display. Present your title prominently. Be sure to include the purpose of your project, your hypothesis, and the procedures followed as well as your data, results and conclusions. Take the time to develop an exhibit that is indicative of the effort you put into your research. Samples, demonstrations, models, experimental equipment, etc. should be exhibited where possible. These can be displayed on the table in front of your presentation board. See Project Guidelines for more information.



Can I bring animals to the Fair?

No.  You may not bring live animals to the Fair. You may use photographs on your presentation board. Live animals used in projects should, in all cases, be treated humanely and subjected to minimal stress. No project involving mistreated, injured, sick or dead animals will be allowed to exhibit at the Fair.

Can I have access to electricity at the Fair?

If you intend to use any electrical circuit (wall outlet or battery powered), you must indicate this when registering your project online.

Are there any restrictions to the kinds of chemicals I can bring to the Fair?

Review our Saftey Rules. You MUST NOT bring: explosive, flammable, corrosive or highly poisonous substances, armed rockets or their propellants, or cylinders or compressed gases into the exhibit area. All other substances must be shielded in such a way that maximum protection is provided for spectators, neighboring exhibits and yourself. If you intend to bring ANY chemicals at all to the Fair, you must indicate this when registering your project online.

What kinds of things could disqualify my project?

Projects will be scrutinized on the day of the Fair for compliance with Safety Rules, and may be disabled or even rejected due to violations.


Project Registration

How do I register my project?

Use the online Project Registration button in the Family Portal, which will be available in January.

If I have partners on my project do we both need to register?

Yes, each student must register separately. However, only the first student has to define the project - the others can simply join the already defined project.  We need to know how many students will be attending the Fair so we can order enough ribbons and other awards.

What if I need to change my project after I’ve registered it?

Go to the Project Registration button in the Family Portal to make any changes. 

Can I change my project category after I’ve registered it?

Go to the Project Registration button in the Family Portal to make any changes.

What if my project partner changes after I’ve registered it?

The partner that is dropping out of the registered project can go to the Project Registration button in the Family Portal and make the change.

What is the deadline for submitting my project registration?

The exact deadline varies per year and will be published on the website home page, but registration normally ends in mid-February.

Will I be allowed to enter the Fair if I forget to register my project?

You must register your project by the deadline - there are no exceptions. The Fair takes a lot of planning, including: space planning, project location assignments, judge assignments and times, Special Award assignments and times, and medal and ribbon counts.

What should I do if I am unable to attend the Fair, after I have registered my project?

Let us know as soon as possible, even the night before the Fair. Email Us!


This & That

Who should I contact if I have any questions?

Are there any websites that could help me?
Here are some suggestions. See Resources for some examples.