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 Who Can Enter the Elementary School Science Fair Competition?

All students from grades K-5 in our seven-county region are invited to enter the science fair competition. Students compete for trips, cash prizes, and awards. 

Elementary School Rules

Before experimentation begins, the Montana Region II Science and Engineering Fair Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Scientific Review Committee (SRC) must review and approve most projects involving human participants; vertebrate animals; potentially hazardous biological agents; and hazardous chemicals, activities, or devices. 


Submit the following form prior to project start:  Elementary Assessment of Risk & Project Approval


Note: If a project involves the testing of a student designed invention, prototype, or concept by a human, an IRB review and approval may be required prior to experimentation.  

Please expect three to five working days for the local IRB/SRC to review your submission. 

Please review the following ISEF Rules:


Project Display Rules

Maximum Size of Project:

  • Depth (front to back): 30 inches
  • Width (side to side): 48 inches 
  • Height (floor to top): 108 inches (assuming a table 36" high)

In line with ISEF Safety Rules, displays at the fair may not include the following:

  1. Living organisms, including plants
  2. Glass
  3. Soil, sand, rock, cement and/or waste samples, even if permanently encased in a slab of acrylic
  4. Taxidermy specimens or parts
  5. Preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals
  6. Human or animal food 
  7. Human/animal parts or body fluids (for example, blood, urine)
  8. Plant materials (living, dead, or preserved) that are in their raw, unprocessed, or non-manufactured state 
  9. All chemicals including water. Absolutely no liquids can be utilized in the Project Display. 
  10. All hazardous substances or devices (Example: poisons, drugs, firearms, weapons, ammunition, reloading devices, grease/oil and sublimating solids such as dry ice)
  11. Items that may have contained or been in contact with hazardous chemicals (Exception: Item may be permitted if professionally cleaned and document for such cleaning is available). Filters (including microbial) may not be displayed unless the Display & Safety Committee can reasonably determine that the device was cleaned or was never used (please include receipts in your notebooks and/or logbooks). 
  12. Sharp items (for example, syringes, needles, pipettes, knives)
  13. Flames and highly flammable materials 
  14. Batteries with open-top cells or wet cells
  15. Drones or any flight-capable apparatus unless the propulsion power source is removed
  16. 3D Printers unless the power source is removed
  17. Inadequately insulated apparatus capable of producing dangerous temperatures are not permitted
  18. Any apparatus with belts, pulleys, chains, or moving parts with tension or pinch points that are not appropriately shielded
  19. Any display items that are deemed distracting (i.e. sounds, lights, odors, etc.)
  20. Personal items or packaging materials stored underneath the booth
  21. Any apparatus deemed unsafe by the Scientific Review Committee, the Display and Safety Committee, or Society for Science & the Public (Example: large vacuum tubes or dangerous ray-generating devices, empty tanks that previously contained combustible liquids or gases, pressurized tanks, etc.

Tips/Ideas for Elementary Science Fair Projects

There is a myriad of websites available to help students get started on their science fair projects. Below is just a small list of links. Explore!

Science Buddies - Tips for Success

Science Fair Fun

Science Buddies - Ideas by Grade

NASA Climate Kids - 10 Easy Projects

Science Kids


Simply Circle - 4th Grade 

Scholastic - 40 Cool Science Fair Projects

Home Science Tools

Business Insider

 All Science Fair Projects

 Left Brain, Craft Brain

This Grandma is Fun 

Discovery Channel STEM Education

Kids Online Learning-Science, Technology & More! Engineering Games & Projects

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Contact Information:

Leanne Frost

Dr. Leanne Frost
Great Falls College MSU
2100 16th Avenue South
Great Falls, MT 59405


Institutional Review Board

Leanne Frost, Ed.D. 
General Studies Division Director

Brenda Canine, Ph.D.  
Biology Faculty

Daniel Casmier, Ph.D.  
Chemistry Faculty

Elfriede Neber, M.S.  
Behavioral Science Faculty

Russel Motschenbacher, M.S.N.
Nursing Program Director/Faculty


Scientific Review Committee

Leanne Frost, Ed.D.
General Studies Division Director

Brenda Canine, Ph.D.  
Biology Faculty

Daniel Casmier, Ph.D.  
Chemistry Faculty

Raimund Hahn, M.S.
Registered Professional Geologist