2021 VIRTUAL PROJECT GUIDELINES (2022 will be in-person)

Pages below refer to the GSEF Virtual Project Guidelines PDF

  • REQUIRED MATERIALS for all projects:

    A. Exhibit

    The Exhibit replaces the physical poster display used during in-person fairs. Instructions for Exhibits are provided on pages 3-5.
    Exhibitors must select one of two format options and follow the requirements for the selected format. The format options are:

    Option 1: Digital Board

    1. The Digital Board must be a single PDF document limited to one (1) page that is 48” in width x 36” in height. The board should be modeled after a traditional “in-person” science fair exhibit and include elements such as problem, hypothesis, methods, etc.
    2. The Digital Board must be created in PowerPoint or similar software on a 48” x 36” slide. The slide must be converted to PDF using Adobe Acrobat or a free online conversion tool (such as the Adobe Convert PowerPoint to PDF tool).
    3. The Digital Board must NOT include any animations, videos, demonstrations, or active hyperlinks.
    4. All text must be easily readable when viewing the PDF at 50% zoom or higher on a standard laptop/computer screen. The smallest allowable font size of body text is 16 pt, and 20 pt font or larger is recommended. Exception: A smaller font size, down to 10 pt, may be used for figure captions or photo credits. 
    5. The page background color should be a light color that does not hinder readability.
    6. Text color should be predominantly dark to support readability.
    7. All Digital Board elements must adhere to the GSEF Display & Safety Regulations (page 8).

    Option 2: Presentation Document

    1. The Presentation Document must be a single PDF document limited to no more than 12 pages.
    2. The page size must be set to American standard 11” x 8½” and in Landscape (horizontal) orientation.
    3. The Digital Board must NOT include any animations, videos, demonstrations, or active hyperlinks. The document must NOT have instructions to open in “full screen mode.” Eliminating this mode automatically precludes page transitions and embedded videos or animations, so do not attempt to include these in your Presentation Document.
    4. The page background color should be a light color that does not hinder readability.
    5. Text color must be predominantly dark to support readability.
    6. All text must be easily readable when viewing the entire page in full on a standard laptop/computer screen. The smallest allowable font size of body text is 16 pt, and 18 pt font is recommended. Exception: A smaller font size, down to 10 pt, may be used for figure captions or photo credits.
    7. Page titles should all be the same size and larger than headings within each page, and headings should be larger than body text.
    8. All Presentation Document elements must adhere to the GSEF Display & Safety Regulations (page 8)
      Three suggested templates demonstrating the recommended content, organization, and order of components for Exhibits, regardless of format, are provided on pages 4-5.

    Recommendations for both format options:

    • Do not use non-standard fonts or colors to “stand out from the crowd” or to be entertaining. It is recommended that you use a standard, easily readable font such as Arial, Calibri, Helvetica or Century Gothic.
    • Headings should all be the same size and larger than body text. Body text should use a common font style and size. Similarly, heading text should use a common font style and size. There is no recommendation for style relation between body and heading text.
    • Avoid long expository paragraphs. State your points succinctly.
    • Use bullets to set out individual points of interest. Use numbered lists when the ordering of points of interest is important(e.g., instructions to be followed in order, or items needing a reference anchor for citation elsewhere in the Exhibit).
    • If you have access to software that will allow you to set the Initial View of the PDF, it is recommended that the PDF document be set to open with magnification “Fit Page” so that the entire page is visible at the same time. To do this, open the PDF and go to File > Properties > Initial View > Magnification: Fit Page. (Not all software will allow this setting to be changed.)

    The templates, based on project type, are:

    • Template I: Science Projects (page 4)
    • Template II: Engineering Projects (page 5)
    • Template III: Mathematics/Computer Science Projects (page 5)

    B. Summary Video (3 minute maximum)

    The Summary Video provides a general overview of the project and should have the “layman” as its target audience. While judges
    will have access to the video, the primary focus of their review will be the Exhibit; for this reason, it is recommended that exhibitors
    do not include key information in the Summary Video that is not also provided in the Exhibit. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube
    and set as Unlisted (not Public or Private) and Safe for Kids (see page 7 for instructions).

    SUMMARY VIDEO Requirements (page 6)

    1. Videos must not exceed three minutes in length.
    2. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube. Exhibitors will be required to provide the YouTube video URL.
    3. Team projects may stitch videos together, but the total video length may not exceed three minutes. Team projects are not required to have all team members speak during the video, although the speaker(s) should briefly describe contributions by each team member. 
    4. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube by an adult, or, at minimum, by the student with adult supervision. Once the video is uploaded and the student has the link, the student can submit their own project via the online form.
    5. Videos must be published as Unlisted (not Public or Private) and set as Safe for Kids (see How To’s on page 7).
    6. Videos must be clearly titled with the student/Team Leader’s last name and the project title submitted to GSEF.
    7. Limit video editing; the video should be one continuous take, with the exception of team project videos that have been stitched together, not to exceed three minutes in total length. No animations or graphics.
    8. Videos should be reasonably free of distractions such as a muffled audio, shaky camera, or poor lighting. Backgrounds should be simple and neutral. 
    9. Videos must adhere to the GSEF Display & Safety Regulations (page 8). 

     

  • Additional OPTIONAL materials:

    All judges will have access to these optional materials, just as they would at an exhibitor’s booth at an in-person fair, but it is advised that key information be provided in the Exhibit and that these materials be considered supplemental.

    C. Video Demonstration/Simulation/Animation (1 minute maximum)

    If a project is best explained by showing a demonstration, simulation or animation, you may include a short video. Maximum 60
    seconds, although 15-30 seconds is preferred. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube and set as Unlisted (not Public or Private) and Safe for Kids (see page 7 for instructions).

    D. Research Paper

    GSEF does not require any project to include a research paper. However, many exhibitors have completed such a paper through the research process 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, though judges are not required to review it.

    E. Lab Notebook Excerpt

    GSEF does not require any project to submit a laboratory notebook / log book. However, many exhibitors have this record of their
    research timeline and process and typically have it available at their booth. A student may upload a PDF of up to 4 pages of a lab
    notebook / log book to provide evidence of its use, but it is strongly advised that exhibitors DO NOT share the notebook in totality
    to protect their intellectual property.