Read these science safety rules and general considerations carefully!


Fairs have science safety rules and general regulations regarding many areas. One slip could cost you a winning ribbon.

This is by no means a complete list of science safety rules and special considerations. You need to check with your science fair or school sponsor for specific guidelines for your science fair before beginning your project. Many science fairs will require a special permission form for these types of projects.

Fire (including candles and combustion)

You must have adult supervision. Science fairs won't make an exception on this one. Make sure you follow all science safety rules regarding fire in general as well.

Chemicals (including household chemicals)

Once again, you must have adult supervision. If you do use chemicals, read directions and follow them to the letter! Some common household chemicals can be very dangerous if misused. Follow proper science safety rules!

Sharp items (including blades, cutters, knives, saws and scissors)

Not to sound like a broken record, but you must have adult supervision on this one as well as a good dose of common sense. Make sure you follow all safety procedures regarding sharp instruments.


Hopefully your plant won't require adult supervision (if it does, get a different plant!) Make sure you use only known types of plants. Some science fairs will disqualify you if you use plants that are poisonous (leave poison ivy alone!!!) or are an endangered species. It's best to buy or grow your own.

Firearms (including BB, soft air, paint-ball, handguns, rifles and shotguns)

Yep! You guessed it...must have adult supervision. Make sure to follow all normal science safety rules. And make sure to follow all legal guidelines-age limits, licenses, use, etc...

It would be a bad thing to get arrested at the science fair for illegal fire arms. So make sure you know the rules!!! And just so you can't say we didn't warn you, some science fairs do not allow these types of projects at all.

In vertebrate animals (including insects, worms, mollusks, spiders, slugs...)

Just like plants use only known types. So it's best to make sure what you're collecting. If at all possible, raise or purchase the slimy little critters for these projects.

Vertebrate animals (amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles)

Many science fairs are pretty strict on these ones. Some don't even allow these types of projects at all. As with anything potentially harmful, you must have adult supervision. Make sure to follow all science safety rules given to you regarding such entries.

And you'll want to follow all legal guidelines as well. There are federal and state laws regulating animal experimentation. You may have to have documented oversight from a professional (veterinarian, conservation officer, forestry service officer, non-family breeder or National club officer.) And make sure you also have documentation that no live animal has been harmed for any experimental purposes.

Human Beings

The rules here are strict as well. Some science fairs do not allow these types of projects at all because they include "human experimentation." If allowed, this type of project must have adult supervision. Follow all safety procedures (make sure Uncle Jeff isn't allergic to corn products before he samples your popcorn experiment!)

As with any experimentation follow all legal guidelines. There are federal and state laws regulating human experimentation as well. Very strict laws oversee all human experimentation, but those regarding experimentation on minors (under 18) are even stricter.

If allowed, have documented oversight from a professional (physician, dietitian, psychologist, or personal trainer depending on the type of project.) Surveys and taste tests may seem harmless, but are included in under the "human experimentation" laws. A permission form may be required (and is recommended) for all participants. The good news is, many health professionals will gladly help you with such a project if this type of project is allowed by your science fair.

As we said before, always check your science fair's guidelines first before choosing a project.

And (we can't say it enough) make sure to have adult supervision no matter what project you do.

Don't forget...

All science safety rules and considerations are important to the judges! Follow them to the letter! Don't skimp on this part. I could hurt your chances.

But most of all...

Have fun with your science fair project!

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