Science Fair

Science Fair

Utica College Regional Science Fair

The 43rd Annual Utica College Regional Fair* (2022) 

Application Deadline:  TBA

Fair Events: TBA

Given the ongoing pandemic, we are currently discussing our plans for the 2022 Regional Fair. Please check this website frequently where will continue to provide updated information about our 2022 Fair. Thank you for your patience as we navigate our plans under these current, and continuing, conditions. 

Please contact the Fair Director, Dr. Jessica Thomas, directly at (315) 792-3755 or by email at with any questions.

International Affiliation:

We are proudly affiliated with and sanctioned by the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), which is supported by the Society for Science.  ISEF has been been the guiding body of science fairs since 1980.  Our rules and regulations are guided by our affiliation.


1. In accordance with the 2022 Regeneron ISEF rules, 
  • Each participant is allowed to enter only one project to our Regional Fair.
  • More rules TBA as they are released by ISEF. 
2. Public and private schools in Oneida, Herkimer, Lewis, and Otsego counties can each endorse up to ten (10) junior level (grades 7-8) projects and ten (10) senior level (grades 9-12) projects to compete in the Regional Fair.  It is strongly recommended that students place as either winners or runners-up at their school's local science fair to compete in our Regional Fair. If your school does not host a science fair or if you are homeschooled, please contact the Fair Director, at (315) 792-3755 or about eligibility.

3. Senior Level projects may include no more than one (1) student participant. Individual projects and team projects consisting of no more than two (2) students are welcome at the Junior Level.

4. Only students in the Senior Level are eligible to compete at the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).  Our Regional Fair supports participation of our Senior Level Grand Champion at the international level. (Note that our ISEF participant must not have reached age 20 on or before May 1 preceding ISEF per the ISEF rules.)

Rules and Regulations:

Our Regional Fair follows the International Science and Engineering (ISEF) Rules and Regulations, which can be found in the ISEF Rulebook linked below and at

ISEF Rulebook-PDF version

ISEF Rulebook-HTML version

Reviewing student research plans and completing ISEF paperwork:
  • Please have all applicants and advisors carefully read and adhere to the rules in the ISEF Rule Book and application forms.   Since all Senior Level participants in the Regional Fair are potential ISEF participants, they must adhere to these requirements or they could be disqualified from the Regional Fair.
  • Participants are required to complete all necessary ISEF forms and to obtain all necessary signatures (see more information below under "Applications").
  • Please pay particular attention to Senior Level projects that require SRC or IRB approval before experimentation begins. Projects that may require prior approval are projects that involve human participants, vertebrate animals, and potentially hazardous biological agents. Specific attention should be made to Approval Form (1B) (see forms under "Applications" below) that requires additional paperwork completion and signatures before experimentation begins for these projects. To determine if a project involving these subjects/reagents needs approval before experimentation, please read the relevant sections in the ISEF Rule Book under “Human Participants Rules”, “Vertebrate Rules”, or “Potentially Hazardous Biological (PHBA) Rules”. Please contact us with questions or concerns about this requirement.
  • Your local fair should maintain its own Scientific Review Committee (SRC) or Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the purpose of reviewing student research plans and completing ISEF paperwork.  If your school does not have SRC/IRB resources or if you have questions or concerns about these requirements or paperwork, please contact the Fair Director at (315) 792-3755 or email

Virtual Format and Schedule/Deadlines


Below is a general timeline of our 2021 virtual events including relevant deadlines to submit participant and project material. Judging will occur asynchronously. In other words, judges assigned to your project will use the
required presentation materials that you submit to score your project. Judges will not meet synchronously (live) with participants for judging of regular, special, or grand prize awards. However, we are planning several synchronous, online (live!) events including opening remarks, a keynote speech, and an awards ceremony to celebrate our shared love of science and YOUR hard work and accomplishments! 

Wednesday, March 17 by 11:59pm
Deadline to submit applications and all required ISEF forms through our online fair management system.

Friday, March 19
Application and ISEF form review completed by Fair personnel and project acceptance emails sent to participants.

Tuesday, March 23 by 12pm (noon)
Deadline to upload required presentation materials to our online fair management system. Materials will be “locked” preventing further modifications to submitted materials.

Deadline to self-nominate for Special Awards in zFairs profile.

Display and Safety inspections begin by Fair personnel. Participants will be contacted via email if there are any issues to address. Participants must resolve the issue within 24 hours of notification.

Thursday, March 25-Saturday, March 27
Asynchronous judging occurs for regular judging (1-4th prize in each category at each level), grand prizes at each level, and special awards.

Saturday, March 27, 10-11am EST
Synchronous, online (LIVE!): Opening remarks and keynote speech
We are very proud and excited to announce that our keynote speech will be given by UC alumna Dr. Amanda Saravia-Butler, Ph.D. '09.  Dr. Butler is a Science Lead at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA.  In addition, she is leading an international COVID-19 research team.  

This event is open to Fair participants including students and their parents/guardians, teachers, project mentors, judges, and committee members.

The event will occur via Zoom and requires pre-registration. Zoom registrants must have a registered email account with zFairs for their Zoom event registration to be accepted. Please contact us directly if you believe the event is open to you but you do not have a zFairs account so we can process your Zoom event registration.

To register, please click on the following link. Upon registration, a Zoom joining link will be emailed to you within 24 hours of registering:

Tuesday, March 30, 5-6pm EST
Synchronous, online (LIVE!): Awards ceremony
During this event, we will announce our 1-4th prize recipients in each category and at each level, our special award recipients, and our Grand Prize recipients.

This event is open to Fair participants including students and their parents/guardians, teachers, project mentors, judges, and committee members.

The event will occur via Zoom and requires pre-registration. Zoom registrants must have a registered email account with zFairs for their Zoom event registration to be accepted. Please contact us directly if you believe the event is open to you but you do not have a zFairs account so we can process your Zoom event registration.

To register, please click on the following link. Upon registration, a Zoom joining link will be emailed to you within 24 hours of registering:

Presentation Materials


click here to download a list of presentation materials that participants are required to submit to our online fair management system for judging.  Detailed instructions and guidelines are given. 



We have transitioned to using an online fair management system hosted by zFairs!  Our zFairs site will guide you through the required application, forms, and presentation materials that you will need to submit to our zFairs site to compete in our Regional Fair. We cannot accept paper copies of application materials.  Please contact us for help with preparing electronic forms (see more information below.)

Application Deadline:  Wednesday, March 17, 2021 by 11:59pm
In fairness to all participants, we will not accept applications submitted after the deadline.  Applications submitted after the deadline do not allow us time to request additional information or clarification.  Please submit applications as early as possible so that we have adequate time to request additional information or clarification and you have time to respond. 

Please be sure that applicants submit all forms and signatures required for their projects.  If there are any questions about the required forms and signatures, please contact us as soon as possible. Under the rules fo ISEF, we must refuse any project submitted without ALL of the required forms and signatures.

To register for our fair:
  1. Confirm your eligibility.
  2. Student applicants should contact us at to request a zFairs account.  Each applicant (including each junior level team member) will need to create an account in order to apply to our fair through our zFairs site.  Please indicate your school and teacher in your request.  Once a student creates a zFairs account, they will then upload their application materials.  If teachers prefer, they may create their own teacher's zFair account by contacting us and they can subsequently register each of their student applicants for a zFairs account.  Registered teachers also have the ability to upload materials for each of their students.  Teachers or student applicants may complete and update the applicant's fair application and submit required materials in their respective zFair accounts.  Either way, it is encouraged that teachers register themselves first as student applicants will need to select their teacher during registration.
  3. Complete your zFairs registration and fair application.  During the registration and application process, you will provide your contact, school, and project information.  You will also answer a series of questions that will determine the ISEF forms that you are required to submit to apply to our fair.  The forms will be available in your account or they are linked below.  Please read the "ISEF Forms" section below for more information about completing the forms.  Submit your completed forms in PDF format to the applicants zFairs account.
  4. Read the important information in the "Student's Main" tab of your zFairs account, including how to self-nominate for special awards.
  5. Upon receipt, our SRC committee will review your completed application and forms. You will then receive an email indicating if your project has been accepted to compete in our fair.  Further information will follow.
We continue to require submission of all applicable ISEF forms (
click here for forms) for participants at both the Junior and Senior Levels. Please see the ISEF Rulebook for which forms to complete.  The ISEF Rules Wizard
is a helpful tool to identify the forms required for each project and our online fair management system (zFairs) will similarly help you to identify the ISEF forms required for your project.  Please contact us with questions.
All required forms, which are fillable PDFs, for your project will be submitted as PDFs to our online fair management site after you register on the site.

Project Categories (required for registration)

Physical Science
Earth Science
Physics & Astronomy

Natural Science
Animal Science
Behavioral & Social Science
Biomedical and Health Sciences
Cellular & Molecular Biology
Environmental Sciences
Plant Sciences
Translational Medical Science

Math, Engineering, and Computer Science
Biomedical Engineering
Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Electrical Engineering
Embedded Systems
Energy: Sustainable Materials and Design
Engineering Mechanics
Environmental Engineering
Materials Science
Robotics and Intelligent Machines
Systems Software

The Utica College Regional Science Fair supports our Senior Level Grand Champion to compete in the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), which will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, between May 8 and 13. Regeneron ISEF will be held as a hybrid event with a judged competition and distribution of Grand and Special awards for in-person and virtual finalists.  Details about the international fair requirements and covered expenses will be shared with our winner after awards are announced.

Please visit the Virtual Regeneron ISEF page for more information at:

ISEF Society 2021

*Our Regional Fair may be subject to cancellation. We hope this is not the case. However, we must be aware in the current and dynamic times for anything unexpected to happen. 

Contact Us

Jessica H. Thomas, Ph.D.

Jessica H. Thomas, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
(315) 792-3057

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