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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: Do I have to be present in person for Project Setup?

A: Ordinarily each student must attend for onsite registration and project setup.  This is also when students go through the project safety checks and get their pictures taken for their BASEF student badge.  If, however, a student is unable to attend project setup, then a fellow student (partner or friend), teacher, or parent may register and set up in their place.  The fully signed Consent Form must be brought, and all project display items must be set up and pass the safety check.

Q: Can I set up my Project on the morning of Judging Day?

A: No, this is never possible.  All projects must be set up and safety-checked the day before judging, and all students must register onsite and turn in their signed consent forms.  All projects not set up the day before judging will be declared "No Show" and disqualified.

Q: Do I have to be present in person for all elements of the Fair?

A: While we strongly encourage students to be present for all Fair activities - Project Setup, Activity Morning, Public Viewing, and the Awards Show, we understand that certain situations can prevent students from being able to attend at all these times.  However, all students must be present for the entirety of Judging afternoon (1pm to 4pm on Judging Day).  If a student misses a Judging interview they will be penalized with a significant deduction in the score for their project.

Q: Can we take down our project before 12:00 noon on Public Viewing Saturday?

A: Public Viewing (Saturday from 9am to Noon) is an important element of the Fair - it is the opportunity for parents, sponsors, press and media, and the public to see the projects and speak with the students.  While we hope to see all participating students present for public viewing, this is not mandatory.  However, projects cannot be taken down before 12:00 Noon Saturday.  If the student is not present to take down their project at Noon, they should arrange for the project to be taken down by a friend or teacher, or else the project boards will be disposed of.

Q: Why is the Media Release Mandatory on the Consent Form?  

A: BASEF is a regional, public science competition.  It is not run by school boards or post-secondary institutions.  BASEF has its own structure and organizing committee, it is volunteer run, and it is a registered Canadian Charity.  As a student competition it is similar to athletic sporting events and other regional and national competitions - participant names and results are published and covered by local and national media outlets.  Our Award Show is open to the public and we encourage media and sponsors to share the successes of BASEF students, just as they would with high level sporting event.  Information that is published regarding each participant includes their full name, school, grade, project title, project description, city, photograph, awards won if any, and sometimes video clips.  It is not possible to participate at BASEF, or the National and International Fairs, without signing a Media Release and agreement with this policy. 

Q: Is it possible for a Grade 6 student to participate?

A: We have seen many excellent, high level Science Fair projects from Grades 5 and 6.  Unfortunately, BASEF Rules, and the rules of Youth Science Canada and the Canada-Wide National Fair, do not permit students from earlier than Grade 7 in participating and competing at BASEF.

Q: If I live and/or go to school outside of BASEF's catchment, can I still compete at BASEF?

A: Our participation rule requires that each student that competes at BASEF either goes to school in our catchment, or has their home address in our catchment.  Our catchment is currently Hamilton, Halton, Haldimand, Norfolk, Brant County, and Six Nations.  In a pairs project, one of the students must meet this requirement.  In cases where students are able to participate in multiple regional fairs, special rules will apply, for instance you may only be considered for a Canada-Wide trip award at the first fair you compete in.  If you live or go to school outside our catchment, we strongly recommend you contact us in advance to ensure that you qualify for participation at BASEF.

Q: Can I enter a project this year that improves on my project from last year?

A: A student may not present a project identical to a previous year's project at BASEF, but an improved project may be entered. However only new research completed since the last BASEF fair may be displayed on the project board. Any continuing research must document substantial expansion of investigation and students will be judged on the current year's work only. If you are entering a project which is a continuation of previous years work, you must complete a Continuation Projects Form, and submit it with your project registration.

Q: As a high school student, is my project automatically considered for an International Fair trip award?

A: High School projects at BASEF are automatically eligible for a trip award to the International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF), though there are certain restrictions. It is also possible for students to apply to Youth Science Canada's "Team Canada" competition to win an ISEF trip award, although that may prevent them from winning an ISEF trip through the BASEF competition. More details are on our ISEF Competition page.