Getting Started

Participation Eligibility: Students in grades 9-12 who attend public, private, or home schools in Missouri: Crawford, Franklin, Jefferson, and Washington Counties; and in Illinois: Brown County are eligible to enter a SCIENCE project through their teacher or parents/legal guardian.

CLICK HERE to register a 9-12 GRADE SCIENCE PROJECT for the Mastodon Fair

The theme of this year’s event is sustainability. Please review the Special Competitions for complete details.

Whether you’re a returning student, or are just getting started, there are several things you’ll want to think about as you begin to plan your science fair project.

First, things to consider:

  • Do you want an Individual or a Group (up to 3 students) project?
  • What are your scientific interests? See our complete list of categories.
  • What question or problem would you like to address? (Original projects or benefits to society make the best projects).
  • Does your experiment fall within the exhibit rules?

Scientific Process Part I – Write a Research Plan for your experiment:

  • Experiment – What are you intending to do?
  • Hypothesis – What idea, relationship or model will you be testing?
  • Procedure – What steps are involved?
  • Materials – What all will you need?
  • Complete all required ISEF forms and documentation:
    • [download id=”20″],
    • [download id=”21″],
    • [download id=”22″],
      follow the research plan instructions attached to Form 1a, and complete any additional forms required by Form 1 depending on your project.

Visit the ISEF “Rules Wizard” website and follow the directions to determine what additional forms may be required.  Feel free to contact the Mastodon Fair Science Director at for further assistance.


Before you begin your experimentation be sure to complete all of your forms, get the necessary signatures, and submit your documentation to the Mastodon Fair for approval.

Scientific Process Part II – Begin your experimentation:

  • Set-up the experiment or conduct your observations.
  • Make notations for controls, knowns, and unknowns.
  • Document your experiment with pictures.
  • Record your data and observations in a logbook.

Scientific Process Part III – Analyzing your results and drawing conclusions:

  • Are your results consistent with the hypothesis?
  • Write an abstract – a summary of your experiment and results

Presenting your experiment at the Science Fair: