Information

Important Dates & Times

not specified
Friday February 21, 2020 at 11:59 PM
Friday March 06, 2020 at 12:00 AM
Sunday March 08, 2020 at 12:00 AM
Saturday March 07, 2020 at 8:00 AM
Sunday March 08, 2020 at 10:00 AM

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ACSEF Rules and Eligibility

Questions send email to fair director at directoracsef@gmail.com. You may also phone our voice mail 925-353-4414  leave a message following the instructions given in the voice mail.

ACSEF follows the International Science Fair Rules.

In three rule areas ACSEF has a more stringent set of rules beyond the ISEF rules.

ACSEF Additional rules for:

1. Projects using human subjects: Human Subjects may not be asked to ingest foods of any type or stimulant inducing food, drinks, inhalants or any type of medications without proper medical supervision and/or may not be given food or drink items as a reward for participation.

2. Projects using vertebrate animals in a manner that will manipulate their behavioir, habitat or nutrition:  If you plan to use vertebrate animals in the manner described then the project must be monitored by a veterinarian (procedure,materials,weight loss and general health during experiment) or performed at a college or professional lab (Regulated Research Institute - RRI)  and under the supervision of a qualified scientist/lab mentor.

3. Projects using vertebrate animals that will result in eithanasia of the animals for the purpose of obtaining tissue or results:  If you plan to use vertebrate animals in the manner described then the project must be performed at a college or professional lab  (Regulated Research Institute - RRI) under the supervision of a qualified scientist/lab mentor. No exceptions!

Student Participant Eligibility

>General Student Eligibility To Participate At ACSEF 2020

A) Students younger than 20 years old who attend school or are homeschooled in Alameda County in grades 6–12 are eligible to attend ACSEF providing they meet all appropriate eligibility descriptions.

B) Student projects must meet Minimum Quality Standards  and must NOT be on the Projects to Avoid list or fall into the projects to avoid criteria.

C) Students who attend school in Alameda County, and who complete their projects at a Registered Research Institution -RRI (college or professional lab) in another locale are eligible to enter 

D) Homeschooled students who attend home school located in Alameda County are eligible to enter, even if they participate in online classes from other locales.

E) Projects can be entered as an individual or team of 2 or 3 students if they have not competed with this same project in any other regional, county or state ISEF-affiliated fair within 12 months of ACSEF (such as Santa Clara, GGSF, Contra Costa, CSEF). *Note ask ACSEF fair director if unsure of project eligibility.

A combined mixed county team of 2 or 3 students may compete at ACSEF providing one member of the team attends school in Alameda County  - example one student from Contra Costa County, Santa Clara etc. + a student from Alameda County. 

ACSEF does not accept projects from another county unless they are teamed with an Alameda county student. The project may only compete at one ISEF affiliated fair of one of its members, but not at multiple regional/county science fairs.  

F) Team entries—A team of two or three students may enter one team project. 

All projects will be judged for scientific merit using the same criteria regardless of the number of individuals preparing the project. Maximum allowable team members is 3.

G) Students may participate in only one project. If a student is a member of a team and also has his/her own individual project to enter - they must decide upon being a member of the team or removing themselves from the team to participate as an individual only. 

H).Individual entries—A student may enter one project only as an individual.

I) Students (team or individual) may present work for their project in ONE category. (2020 categories). The project work must include no more than 12 months of continuous research ahead of the start  date of ACSEF (3/2019-3/2020). This does not include second year studies deemed a continuation project (*see definition of continuation project at this link).

J) All students in grades 6-12 that attend any Alameda County homeschool, public, charter or private school are required to read each statement provided below ( k#1-9 ) to determine and personalize their next steps.

K)  Do any of these statements describe your project or school? - Yes or No?  ALL STUDENTS MUST READ :

** 1. My/our project is from a homeschool, public, charter, or private school that DOES NOT hold a school science fair nor use a selection committee for qualifying projects that can move on to ACSEF.

** 2. My/our project will be mentored by an adult holding an advanced degree (MS, PhD or 3+ years on the job experience in the area of my research) and is not my school science teacher. This also includes projects performed at regulated research institutions - RRI (college or professional lab) that was mentored by a lab scientist.

**  3. My/our project will be a continuation of a previous year's research. Link to explanation of what constitutes a continuation project: https://student.societyforscience.org/rules-all-projects#Continu

** 4 .My/our project will use humans taking surveys or performing mental or physical tests or tasks or be used to test my/our engineered device, prototype, app etc.. Link to Human subject rules: https://student.societyforscience.org/human-participants ACSEF has the right to have more stringent rules than ISEF - At ACSEF :

Human Subjects may not be asked to ingest foods of any type or stimulant inducing food, drinks, inhalants or any type of medications without proper medical supervision and/or may not be given food or drink items as a reward for participation.

** 5. My/our project will use human or vertebrate animal bodily fluids or tissues. Link to Potentially Hazardous Biological Agent rules: https://student.societyforscience.org/potentially-hazardous-biological-agents   

** 6. My/our project will use vertebrate animals in a manner that manipulates their behavior, habitat, or nutrition. ACSEF has the right to have more stringent rules than ISEF - at ACSEF:

If you plan to use vertebrate animals in the manner described then the project must be monitored by a veterinarian (procedure,materials,weight loss and general health during experiment) or performed at a college or professional lab (Regulated Research Institute - RRI)  and under the supervision of a qualified scientist/lab mentor.  Link to Vertebrate Animal rules: https://student.societyforscience.org/vertebrate-animals 

** 7. My/our project will result in euthanasia of vertebrate animals for the purpose of obtaining tissue or results. ACSEF has the right to have more stringent rules than ISEF therefore at ACSEF if you plan to use vertebrate animals in the manner described then the project must be performed at a college or professional lab  (Regulated Research Institute - RRI) under the supervision of a qualified scientist/lab mentor. No exceptions! Link to Vertebrate Animal rules: https://student.societyforscience.org/vertebrate-animals 

** 8. My/our project will use microbes (bacteria, fungi, etc.) in culturing (growing microbes on agar or other solids or in liquid etc.) experiments.

If you or an adult working with you on this project are NOT well educated on safety protocol working with microbes then we strongly suggest that you select a non vertebrate organism possibly terrestrial invertebrates such as nematodes and insects or freshwater and marine life including planarians, crustaceans, molluscs, and many others for your research study or use computer modeling%u200B instead of microbes%u200B.

*NOTE ALL MICROBE CULTURING MUST BE DONE AT A SCHOOL LAB under the guidance of a science teacher or at A COLLEGE OR PROFESSIONAL LAB - RRI under the guidance of a trained mentor.  Furthermore - MICROBE CULTURING IS NOT ALLOWED AT HOME.  Here is a list of Microorganisms for education deemed BSL-1 .

Link to Potentially Hazardous Biological Agent Rules ** Pay attention to the rules & those listing microbes that are exempt from SRC pre- experimental approval.  https://student.societyforscience.org/potentially-hazardous-biological-agents 

**9. My/our project will use one or more of the following: 

a)  uses recombinant DNA (rDNA)

b)  culturing or engineering of clinically significant multi drug resistant organisms (MDROs)

c)  culturing of human or animal waste

d)  genome editing studies that include alteration of germ line cells, insertion of gene drives, or use of rapid trait development systems (RTDS).

Link: Note: When at this link: Scroll to look for Additional Rules for Projects Involving Recombinant DNA (rDNA) Technologies.  https://student.societyforscience.org/potentially-hazardous-biological-agents 

>L) IF YOU ANSWERED “YES” TO ONE OR MORE OF THE 9 STATEMENTS ABOVE  - You are required to submit a project proposal to ACSEF's SRC/IRB for approval before beginning your experiment. Please go to Section 2 in the ACSEF Handbook pgs 6-9 and follow instructions.

>M) IF YOU ANSWERED “NO” TO EACH STATEMENT 1K#1-9 - You  may begin your project with the approval of your adult project supervisor (teacher, parent or other qualified mentor) who will oversee the safety of the project as it concerns you, others and the environment .  Please go to Section 3 in the ACSEF Handbook pgs 10-13 and follow instructions. 

 

 

 

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 DID YOU KNOW?

  • ACSEF is a nonprofit 501(C)(3) public charity that runs entirely on donations and grants?     
  • If you appreciate the opportunities and guidance ACSEF offers students of Alameda County & you want to see ACSEF continue year after year, please consider becoming a Patron.
  • You can support ACSEF with a donation via PayPal at the link shown below and write it off on your taxes.  
  • Alternately make a check payable to ACSEF and mail to: 

Lou Groner, ACSEF Treasurer 24583 Diamond Ridge Dr. Hayward, CA 94544. 

  • You will be recognized in the 2020 participant booklet, at the awards ceremony March 6th and Fair website http://acsef.org  after March 8th for your patronage in addition to the tax benefits a donation can offer.

Become A Patron of ACSEF 

 

Synopsys ACSEF is affiliated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world's largest pre-college celebration of high school science competition and the California State Science Fair (CSSF), which is California's most elite science competition for middle and high school student projects, and the national Broadcom Masters competition for the top 10% of middle school research projects from each affiliated fair throughout the country - projects focus on originality.

Our mission is to support the next generation of scientists and engineers.

The Fair provides an opportunity for local Alameda County students to showcase their science and engineering savvy at a regional, statewide, national and international level. ACSEF provides a forum for stimulating student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) and an avenue for educators to fulfill the Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Grade 6-12 students educated within Alameda County from home school, charter, public, private and parochial schools are eligible to participate in the fair held annually at its new home Chabot College, Hayward.

The origin of ACSEF was a vision supported by Intel and founding director Patti Carothers to create an International Science Fair (ISEF) affiliated fair in Alameda County. Alameda County, at the time, was one of the largest counties in California without an ISEF affiliated science fair. Through affiliation with ISEF, students become eligible to compete for a space to attend and compete at the international level and national Broadcom Masters Rising Star competition. 

Steps were taken starting in 2011 to form a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit public charity organization for funding the fair and then to create a county-wide event supported by Intel and later by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory at the title sponsor. Currently, ACSEF is still supported by LLNL and the title sponsor is the Synopsys Outreach Foundation..

ACSEF launched its first science fair in 2012 at Chabot College after a year of planning, obtaining supporting sponsors and forming an organizing board. ACSEF fully supports STEM education, the Next Generation of Science Standards and has helped to improve science in the classrooms through its school outreach Science Fair 101 workshops available to teachers and students from all parts of Alameda County and the Title 1 school participation incentive programs. 

We are steadily growing in participation! In our inaugural year, 2012 close to 250 students from county school districts participated. In 2018 over 700 students and over 200 judges participated at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, Pleasanton, CA. Not only has the number of participants grown but so has the quality of projects.

ACSEF encourages middle and high school students who attend school or are homeschooled in the cities & towns of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Niles, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Sunol, and Union City to participate in the ANNUAL ACSEF at their first home at Chabot College, Hayward, CA.

The ACSEF founding director Patti Carothers, and the energetic and dedicated Organizing Board members including the Scientific Review Committee, is available throughout the summer and school year to offer advice and guidance to students and teachers as they begin to think about project topics and research.

ACSEF organizing board is proud to be a part of this broader reaching county-wide science fair. We are excited to bring the opportunity for middle and high school students and teachers in the county to become involved in science and engineering research projects.

We welcome the opportunity of partnership with agencies within the county to encourage increased hands-on science for underserved students.

ACSEF is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization - Tax ID # 45-1800245. We welcome and require your support to continue providing this opportunity to the students from Alameda County. We welcome your interest and participation as a volunteer, judge or as a sponsor to HELP us keep offering this county-wide science, engineering, and technology event year after year.

Locate our Become a Patron Donate button on each of our website pages http://acsef.org to easily donate through PayPal or you can mail a check made out to ACSEF. Print your F/L name in the memo line and mail to ACSEF c/o Patti Carothers 3996 Mt. Rainier Ct., Pleasanton, CA 94588. We will provide a tax-deductable receipt along with our thank you note!

Any amount $25 and higher is tax deductable and applies toward our IRS requirement that 1/3 of our funding is coming from broad public support required to maintain our nonprofit status. What does this mean? It means that we will continue offering the science fair as long as we have nonprofit status. If that is removed the fair will shut down.

Please check this link to find out how you can help.

Questions send email to fair director at directoracsef@gmail.com. You may also phone our voice mail 925-353-4414 to leave a message following the instructions given in the voice mail.

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Full Schedule Day 3 -  Sunday - Public Day Activities & Award Ceremony

Questions send email to fair director at directoracsef@gmail.com. You may also phone our voice mail 925-353-4414  leave a message following the instructions given in the voice mail.

 

10:00 am - 2:00 pm Public Day activities and booths for young and old COME GET YOUR BRAIN ON!

 

ACSEF publicity photos & short video interviews will randomly be obtained throughout this time frame.

 

9:45 am - 12:30 pm -  Student Participants must be at their displays sharing your research projects with visitors, fair sponsors and donors.

10:00 am - 12:30 pm - *People’s Choice judging will take place.  Must be present to qualify. *People’s Choice Awards will be announced at the Awards Ceremony later today.

 

Student Participant Attire: Dress to impress. Wear Lanyard + ID Badge + ACSEF lapel Pin. 

 

What to bring checklist:

__1. $3 for parking - Lot B or any student lot. -Map & Directions

__2. Wear lanyard + ID badge + ACSEF lapel pin, Dress to Impress

__3. Money for lunch (food trucks will be available with several options including vegetarian) 

 

 

12:30 pm - Student Participants are now free to leave their display area. 

                 - Take these items with you when you leave the building: laptops, tablets, phones, backpacks.  

 

                 - Check out other participant displays and the public day Maker’s Fair booths.

*Security will be at each door. They will not allow any display items to leave the building until after the award ceremony.

 

Lunch  on your own (Food Trucks) located in the same location as yesterday.

 

2:30 pm - All participants, parents/guardians, teachers and guests - Make your way to the PAC for Award Ceremony pre-show photo presentation of the past 2 days at ACSEF.

- Location: Building 1300 - The Performing Arts Center (PAC).  Map & Directions

 

Student participant seating arrangements:

Middle School Students - Sit in marked rows at/near the front of the stage on left side facing the stage

High School Students - Sit in marked rows at/near the front of the stage on right side facing the stage

 

** Note: Unruly, noisy talking, or any interrupting behavior on the part of participants will not be tolerated. You will be asked to leave the ceremony and escorted out. You’ll need to make personal arrangements to pick up your awards & display materials at the convenience of ACSEF staff at a later date. 

 

Parent/Guardians/guests seating arrangements - Sit in unmarked rows on main level and balcony. 

We are not able to mail awards to individuals due to the cost.

Students who miss the award ceremony will be notified when they can pick up their awards at a later date to be determined.

No one other than student participants responding to their names being announced may enter the stage area. 

Student Participants listen to the announcements and look for your name & project ID on the screens.

 

3:00 pm - 5:30 pm - Awards Ceremony 

 

Official ACSEF photos - Photos will be taken on stage. 

Order of Awards:

a) Special Awards up to 40+ awards that have been provided by national, state and local companies plus other entities including public choice, sponsors and donors. 

b) Category Awards in this order:

Middle School 4th place in each category

High School 4th place in each category

Middle School 3rd place in each category

High School 3rd place in each category

Middle School 2nd place in each category

High School 2nd place in each category

Middle School 1st place in each category

High School 1st place in each category

c) Middle School Nominees for National Broadcom Masters** Must attend: Mandatory post award ceremony meeting.See below

d) California Science & Engineering Fair Middle School and High School Alternates followed by Middle School and High School Qualified Attendee Awards **Must attend: Mandatory post award ceremony meeting.See below

e) Middle School Grand Award (2 projects) followed by High School International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) Awards (6 projects) **Must attend: Mandatory post award ceremony meeting. See below

 

Questions regarding judging or awards contact the Directors of Judging at judge.acsef@gmail.com 

Questions regarding special awards contact the Special Awards Director at acsef.awards@gmail.com 

 

5:45 pm to 6:30 pm  - Display Removal.  We regret that we cannot store any display boards etc. that are left behind. These will be disposed of tonight during clean up.

 

Questions and Lost & Found items send email to fair director at directoracsef@gmail.com

Emails must contain: your project ID, Participants first and last name & description of the lost item. 

 

**5:30 pm - 6:15 pm MANDATORY MEETING

For students receiving these awards: 

1. Broadcom Masters Nomination Packet middle school students 

2. California Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF) Qualified and Alternate awardees Middle and High school 

3. High School & Middle School Grand Award Winners  

 

Seating for post awards meeting: Left side facing the stage 

 - Students rows A-G

- Parent/Guardians rows H-M

* Discussing next steps, applications and travel arrangements if applicable

* Very important – Time urgent information will be discussed!

 

ACSEF directors will:

  1. Discuss next steps per award

  2. Hand out registration information for next competitions

  3. Distribute a signed certified copy of the application packet you mailed to ACSEF Director. This signed certified application or specific portions may be needed by the next level competition for registration.   

Q/A follows.

After the meeting please remove your display items from the gyms.  Fair personnel will be there to open the doors for this group of participants only up until 7:00 pm. 

 

Questions send email to fair director at directoracsef@gmail.com. You may also phone our voice mail 925-353-4414  leave a message following the instructions given in the voice mail.

 

 

 

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Fair Weekend

Friday March 6, 2020 - Project display set up (3:30 pm - 9:00 pm) *See full Day 1 schedule below

Saturday March 7, 2020 - Judging Interviews of all projects (Round One 9 am-12:15 & Round Two 1:45 - 3:00 pm) *see full Day 2 schedule below

Sunday March 8, 2020 - Public Day Activities & Award Ceremony (10:00 am - 5:30 pm) *see full Day 3 schedule below in Details For Day to Day activities - noting specific times student researchers must be present vs free time on their own.

For Full Details go to the Fair Weekend Schedule

Questions send email to fair director at directoracsef@gmail.com. You may also phone our voice mail 925-353-4414  leave a message following the instructions given in the voice mail.

Animal/Human Biomedical Sciences
Animal/Human Biomedical Sciences (AHBS) - Including - Animal genetics, ornithology, entomology, animal ecology, paleontology, cytology, histology, animal physiology, invertebrates. The study of disease and health of humans and animals, Dentistry, pharmacology, pathology, Ophthalmology, nutrition, sanitation, dermatology, allergies, speech and hearing etc..
Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology
Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology (BMMB) - Including - Biology of microorganisms - bacteriology, virology, fungi, bacteria, yeast, etc. The study of Biochemistry including the chemical properties and processes of biological substances made by living organisms. The study of Molecular Biology including the organization and molecular basis of inheritance and protein synthesis (includes bioinformatics, DNA, RNA, proteins, etc.)
Energy, Environmental, Earth Sciences
Energy, Environmental and Earth Sciences (EEES) - Including - The study of energy and transportation. Aerodynamics, Alternative Fuels, Fossil Fuel Energy, Vehicle Development, Renewable Energies, etc. The study of Geology, mineralogy, physiographic, oceanography, meteorology, seismology, geography and the study of pollution sources and their control, ecology, recycling, acid rain etc.
Human, Animal Behavioral Science
Human and Animal Behavioral Science (HABS) - Including - The study of human & animal behavior and relationships. Psychology, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, learning, perception, public opinion surveys, effects of stress, condition responses, etc.
Mathematics, Computer Sciences
Mathematics and Computer Sciences (MTCS) – Including - Development and application of numerical computations, theories, principles and laws governing energy, calculus, geometry, abstract algebra, number theory, statistics, complex analysis and probability. Includes computer programming, computers in general etc.
Mechanical Engineering and Instruments
Mechanical Engineering and Instruments (MENG) - Including - Technology projects that directly apply scientific principles and/or practical uses. Civil, mechanical, manufacturing, aeronautical, chemical, electrical, sound, automotive, heating and refrigerating, transportation, environmental engineering, etc. Includes circuits, internet of things, micro-controllers, networking and data communication, optic sensors, signals, etc.
Physics and Astronomy
Physics and Astronomy (PHAS) – Including - studies dealing with matter and energy and the way they act on each other including heat, light, electricity, and sound. Includes solid state, optics, acoustics, superconductivity, fluid and gas dynamics, thermodynamics, magnetism, quantum mechanics, biophysics and states of matter.
Plant Sciences
Plant Sciences (PLNT) - Includes - The study of plant life. Agriculture, agronomy, horticulture, forestry, plant taxonomy, plant physiology, plant pathology, plant genetics, hydroponics, algae, etc.
Reaction and Solution Chemistry
Reaction and Solution Chemistry (RSCH) - Includes - The study of the composition of matter and laws governing it. Physical chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, materials, plastics, fuels, metallurgy, soil chemistry, etc.
Robotics and Intelligent Machines
Robotics and Intelligent Machines (ROIM) - Includes - Biomechanics, Cognitive Systems, AI, Control theory, Robot Kinematics, Machine Learning etc.
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