2014 Windsor

Countdown to CWSF

May 10 to May 17

2014 Windsor

January 16
April 27
April 30
May 10
Finalists, delegates and judges: Register here


Click above to select your role

Within the National Science Fair Program, the Canada-Wide Science Fair constitutes the national championship round, where finalists from Regional Science Fairs across the country meet and compete.

In bringing Canada’s top young scientists together, the CWSF aims to accomplish two primary goals: to help participants benchmark their scientific and technological achievements against those of peers and to create a positive scientific and social experience for all the young people involved. A secondary goal is to expose other students in the CWSF’s geographic area to peer role models – the best young science and technology minds in the country.

The CWSF takes place in May in a different Canadian city each year. Youth Science Canada-affiliated Regional Science Fairs apply to host the CWSF up to four years in advance.

50 Years of CWSF











CWSF 2014 Host Committee members at CWSF 2013 in Lethbridge, AlbertaThe Windsor Regional Science, Technology, and Engineering Fair (WRSTEF) has partnered with Youth Science Canada to bring the annual Canada-Wide Science Fair to Windsor, Ontario from May 10 to 17, 2014. Co-chairs Jill Bundun, Eileen Topliffe and Michel Larocque are very excited. “This has been a dream in the planning for a number of years and we are honoured to be awarded this opportunity.”

The co-chairs added, “Many Canadians are not aware of what we offer in terms of our educational institutions, industry strengths, and of course, the great tourism and hospitality of Canada's most southerly community. And as a bonus, Windsor has the best in traditional and halal pizza in Canada!”

Approximately 1,000 participants will attend, including 500 of Canada’s top young scientists, 200 adult chaperones, and over 300 professionals who will judge the projects. This is a phenomenal opportunity to showcase the region of Windsor and Essex County to the finalists, delegates and VIPs from coast to coast to coast, who will experience the beauty, history, and culture of the region. The exhibit hall and accommodations will be at the University of Windsor, with the opening and awards banquets at Caesar's Windsor and the St. Clair Centre for the Arts.

The host committee is seeking sponsorship partners and support; science, engineering, and health sciences professionals and experts to judge; and enthusiastic volunteers to help. People will be amazed by the science being done by Canadian youth!

For more information on partnerships, judging, and volunteering, contact the host committee.

Photo (left to right): Dr. Edwin Tam, Chief Judge, Wanda Juricic, Volunteer Chair, Michel Larocque, CWSF Co-Chair, Michele Moscicki, Registration Chair, Dr. Donovan Thomas, Deputy Chief Judge, Jill Bundun, CWSF Co-Chair, Eileen Topliffe, CWSF Co-Chair (absent)

From the CWSF 2014 Windsor Host Committee...
We are pleased and proud to welcome the 53rd edition of the Canada-Wide Science Fair to Windsor, Ontario, May 10-17, 2014. Approximately 500 of Canada’s top young scientists from grades 7 to 12 and CÉGEP will have the honour of representing their regional science fair at this exciting event, with the opportunity to share in awards, prizes and scholarships that may very well shape their futures. Beyond showcasing their projects, students will:
  • SHARE a week with other Canadian students who are also interested in science and technology;
  • MEET new friends from across Canada;
  • INTERACT with scientists and engineers who work here in Southwestern Ontario and lower Michigan; 
  • DISCOVER the wonders and beauty of Windsor-Essex;
  • EXPLORE all that the University of Windsor and St-Clair College has to offer;
  • WELCOME visitors in the Exhibit Hall including students and teachers from Windsor and area schools, as well as Southwestern Ontarians with an interest in science;
  • ENCOURAGE others to build upon their curiosity about science and technology, and inspire the pursuit of scientific and technological solutions to the challenges that face the world;
  • ATTEND ceremonies, DANCE their hearts out, EXPERIENCE cultural activities and some of the world-class attractions unique to this region.
We’re building upon the CWSF tradition of excellence to create an exciting week-long event for participants and delegates alike. Meanwhile, we wish all participants an abundance of inspiration and dedication as projects are prepared for regional fairs across Canada with the ultimate goal of being selected for the Canada-Wide Science Fair.
Good luck! Hope to see you in Windsor, Ontario for CWSF 2014!
- Jill Bundun, Eileen Topliffe, Michel Larocque, CWSF 2014 Host Committee Co-Chairs,

Saturday, May 10 2014

Time Event Location
07:30 am - 09:00 am Breakfast CAW Commons and Marketplace
09:00 am - 11:00 pm Arrivals & Registration (All Day) Vanier Hall
12:00 pm - 01:30 pm Lunch CAW Commons and Marketplace
01:00 pm - 08:30 pm Campus Tours (schedule) Vanier Hall
01:00 pm - 08:30 pm Orientation (30 min - schedule) Toldo 100, Health Education Centre
05:00 pm - 07:00 pm Dinner CAW Commons and Marketplace
07:00 pm - 09:00 pm Project Setup St Denis Field House
08:30 pm - 10:00 pm Meet & Greet Activities Winclare Ballroom

Sunday, May 11 2014

Time Event Location
07:00 am - 09:00 am Breakfast CAW Commons and Marketplace
07:00 am - 12:00 pm Project Setup St Denis Field House
09:00 am - 12:00 pm Campus Tours (schedule) Vanier Hall
09:00 am - 12:00 pm Orientation (30 min - schedule) Toldo 100 Heath Education Centre
12:00 pm - 01:30 pm Lunch CAW Commons and Marketplace
02:00 pm - 04:30 pm Public Viewing St Denis Field House
05:00 pm - 07:00 pm Dinner CAW Commons and Marketplace
07:00 pm - 09:00 pm Opening Ceremonies St Denis Field House
09:00 pm - 10:00 pm Finalists & Delegates Lounges Winclare Ballroom

Monday, May 12 2014

Time Event Location
07:00 am - 09:00 am Breakfast CAW Commons and Marketplace
09:00 am - 12:00 pm Finalists interaction activity St Denis Field House
12:00 pm - 01:00 pm Lunch CAW Commons and Marketplace
01:00 pm - 05:00 pm Campus Science Investigation (CSI) Discovery Day  CAW Lobby
05:00 pm - 07:00 pm Dinner CAW Commons and Marketplace
07:00 pm - 10:00 pm Finalists & Delegates Lounges Winclare Ballroom

Tuesday, May 13 2014

Time Event Location
07:00 am - 09:00 am Breakfast CAW Commons and Marketplace
09:00 am - 12:30 pm Project Judging (dress up) St Denis Field House
12:30 pm - 02:00 pm Lunch CAW Commons and Marketplace
02:00 pm - 05:30 pm Project Judging (dress up) St Denis Field House
05:30 pm - 07:30 pm Dinner CAW Commons and Marketplace
07:00 pm - 10:00 pm Finalists & Delegates Lounges Winclare Ballroom

Wednesday, May 14 2014

Time Event Location
07:00 am - 09:00 am Breakfast CAW Commons and Marketplace
09:00 am - 10:00 pm Tour day and free evening  

Thursday, May 15 2014

Time Event Location
07:00 am - 09:00 am Breakfast CAW Commons and Marketplace
09:00 am - 12:00 pm School & VIP Tours/Public Viewing St Denis Field House
12:00 pm - 01:30 pm Lunch CAW Commons and Marketplace
02:00 pm - 02:45 pm Transport to Award Ceremony Vanier Hall
03:00 pm - 05:00 pm Award Ceremony (dress up) St. Claire College Centre for the Arts
05:00 pm - 06:00 pm Free Time, Photos, Media Event St. Claire College Centre for the Arts
06:00 pm - 07:30 pm Awards Banquet St. Claire College Centre for the Arts
07:30 pm - 10:30 pm Dance St. Claire College Centre for the Arts
09:30 pm - 10:30 pm Transport to Campus  

Friday, May 16 2014

Time Event Location
07:00 am - 09:00 am Breakfast CAW Commons and Marketplace
09:00 am - 12:00 pm School Tours/Public Viewing St Denis Field House
12:00 pm - 01:30 pm Lunch CAW Commons and Marketplace
01:30 pm - 03:00 pm Project Take-down St Denis Field House
05:00 pm - 06:00 pm Transportation  
06:00 pm - 09:00 pm Great Sunparlour Sendoff Riverfront Plaza
08:30 pm Transport to Campuus  

Saturday, May 17 2014

Time Event Location
04:00 am - 11:00 am Departures Vanier Hall
06:00 am - 09:00 am Breakfast CAW Commons and Marketplace


General CWSF Orientation 

Saturday, 4:45 pm & 8:00 pm 
Sunday, 1:30 pm
Health Education Centre, Toldo 100
Please attend the CWSF Orientation session. Your region will be assigned to a day/time, based on your arrival time in Windosr.

Campus Tours

Saturday, 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 2:00 pm & 3:00 pm 
Sunday, 10:00 am, 11:00 am
Vanier Hall
Finalists and delegates will explore the campus on a walking tour.  Tours will present the essential CWSF facilities in the various buildings leading to St-Denis Centre Fieldhouse (where the exhibit hall is located). Tours will leave from the lobby of the Vanier Hall. 

Finalist & Delegate Lounge

Saturday, 8:30 pm -10:00 pm - Meet & Greet
Winclare Ballroom
Doors open at 8:30 pm and the Pin Bingo activity starts at 9:00 pm, so don’t forget to bring your pins. Afterwards, we will have a “Graffiti” session! 
Standard stations will also be open and available to check out: board and card games, computers and video games, and sports equipment and balls to take outside in nice weather. Snacks will be provided.
Come join us for a fun interactive evening. 
Sunday, 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Winclare Ballroom
Finalists and delegates will have time to wind down after the excitement of the Opening Ceremonies. The standard stations will be open, such as board games, card games, video games, books, and sports equipment and balls to take outside.

Monday, 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm 
Winclare Ballroom

A special evening is planned – stay tune.  Snacks provided.

Tuesday, 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Winclare Ballroom
We know CWSF finalists have many talents beyond being awesome scientists! We want to hear you SING – solos, duets, group numbers are all welcome at CWSF Idol.
The usual activities (board games, video games, and sports equipment and balls to take outside) will be available. Snacks provided. 

Finalists Exhibit Hall Activity: Intimate and Interactive

Monday, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Exhibit Hall - St Denis Field House
Finalists will get an exclusive chance to view projects, interact with sponsors, meet their Ambassadors, and network with other finalists in the first ever, “Intimate and Interactive” activity.

Campus Science Investigation (CSI) Discovery Day 

Monday, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm CAW Lobby

Participants will choose two hands-on activities from several sessions offered by some of the many departments on campus at the University of Windsor as well as St. Clair College. Session topics will range from cancer research, physics, mathematics, chemistry, engineering, water research, and many more. Full detailed listing will be available at registration onsite, and choices will be made upon arrival. 
On Monday, you will meet your group leader in CAW Lobby at 1:00 pm and proceed to your workshop for a 1:30pm start.

The Great Sunparlour Sendoff

Friday, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Riverfront Plaza 
The evening will begin with everyone travelling by bus to the Riverfront Plaza where you will enjoy some of Windsor's famous pizza, music, entertainment and games.  The plaza is part of a continuous ribbon of parkland that runs from the Ambassador Bridge to Hiram Walker Distilleries, a distance of nearly six kilometers.  Enjoy our beautiful waterfront while you mingle with friends.  If you wish, you may walk back along the riverfront to the university campus, a distance of 2.5 km.   Bus transportation will also be available. 



Opening Ceremonies

Sunday, 7:30 pm (St Denis Field House)

Participants will receive a welcome unique to Windsor, as we are Canada's fourth most diverse community. You will be astounded by Windsor's rich cultural experience!

As part of the evening’s festivities, Microsoft Canada will present their second Microsoft Canada Alumni Award to a CWSF alumnus who best personifies excellence in innovation, science and technology in their chosen field. Who will be the recipient? We’ll find out as we kick off this exciting week.


Explore Windsor – Tour Day

Cash for meals will be provided for lunch and dinner. Delegates will receive funds for their region on Tuesday. The local host team has organized two distinct programs:
Wednesday, 9:30am – 3:00pm
Limited Availability - An all-day tour to Point Pelee National Park and Fort Malden Historic Site. Visit the Southern-most point of Canada along Lake Erie. From there travel to the historic area of Amherstburg and experience Fort Malden. Visit www.pc.gc.ca 
The Regional Science Fair Coordinator must email the Windsor Host Committee to indicate their interest in this limited tour:  cwsf2014@wrstef.ca  
Explore Windsor at your leisure.  With your CWSF Badge you can ride Transit Windsor Free on Tour Day - Wednesday!
Free tour activities include: 
  1. Geocaching - go to geocaching.com. There are several coordinates around the University, sculpture garden, and around the city. Happy caching!
  2. Art Gallery of Windsor – FREE Admission artgalleryofwindsor.com
  3. Windsor’s Community Museum – Donations accepted citywindsor.ca
  4. Windsor Sculpture Park – FREE Admission and tours available. A nice walk along the riverfront citywindsor.ca
  5. Olde Walkerville District – Visit the beautiful Willistead Park, see the manor where Hiram Walker lived. Great little shops walkervilledistrict.com.
  6. Ojibway Nature Centre – FREE Admission. A tranquil place to explore nature ojibway.ca
  7. VIA Italia District and Erie St. – A cultural dream street. Dine in authentic restaurants, buy some Italian bake goods, or grab a cappuccino at one of the many outdoor cafes. viaitalia.com
  8. Windsor Crossing Outlet Mall – An outdoor mall that has over 50 brand-name outlet stores windsorcrossing.com 
  9. Devonshire Mall – At over 175 stores, it is by far the largest mall in Windsor and Southwestern Ontario. Cineplex-Odeon Theatres are located here as well.  devonshiremall.com 
  10. Downtown Windsor – Shop and walk along Ouellette Ave starting at the river. Several restaurants to choose from to eat. downtownwindsor.ca
Paid Tour Options ($)
  1. Amherstburg Cruise – $39.82pp/$27.88 child (plus taxes) – Windsor/Detroit Sightseeing Boat Tour - $26.55pp/$18.55 child (plus taxes) Windsor River Cruises - windsorrivercruises.com
  2. Adventure Bay WaterPark – Windsor’s newest attraction. General Admission: $15 all day. For available times, visit  adventurebay.ca FREE, limited admission after 4pm.  Please email the Windsor Host Committee if you are interested in this free after 4pm activity cwsf2014@wrstef.ca
The Awards Ceremony will be held at the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts, Chrysler Theatre, 201 Riverside Drive West, Windsor on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm.
Tickets for the Awards Ceremony will be available to parents and visitors on a first-come, first-served basis starting May 1. 
Tickets - $10 per person - Ordering in person or by telephone: 519-252-6579
Tickets - $11 per person - Ordering online: www.chryslertheatre.com

If you are planning on attending the awards ceremony, you may reserve a room at our hotel partner Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton at 1-800-HAMPTON and request the group rate SCI.

Following the Awards Ceremony, CWSF registered participants will move to the Canadian Club Ballroom at the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts, to enjoy a formal sit-down dinner. 
The celebration will continue following dinner, where participants will enjoy a dance and other fun activities, all the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts. 
Transportation will be provided to/from St. Clair College Centre for the Arts. 
The Exhibit Hall will be in the St. Denis Field House at the University of Windsor. 
The exhibit hall is about a 10 minute walk from the dining hall/residences. Plan to bring your comfortable shoes.
Admission to the Exhibit Hall is restricted to those with CWSF ID, from the start (Saturday, May 10) to the end of the fair (Friday May 16). The only exception is during scheduled public/school viewing.
Project Set-up:
The exhibit hall is open for set-up on Saturday, May 10 (7:00 to 9:00 pm) and Sunday, May 12 (7:00 am to 12:00 pm):
  • A CWSF display unit, including a preprinted header sign with the project title is provided for each project.
  • Use of the CWSF display unit is mandatory - do not bring a backboard of any kind.
  • Details of the display unit are available under Projects - Display
  • Approved adhesives will be provided and must be used - no other adhesives may be used.
  • Each CWSF display unit will have access to one AC outlet.
  • Wireless Internet will be available in the exhibit hall.
When you arrive in the Exhibit Hall:
  • Go to your assigned project number.
  • Each display unit will be supplied with adhesives (e.g., Velcro squares).
  • If you need basic tools (e.g., scissors), or additional adhesives, go to the Tool booth.
  • If you need technical/computer assistance, go to the Information booth.
  • Once your project is completely set up, take any packing materials to the trash area or back to your room. (Packing materials cannot be stored at your display.)
  • Follow the procedure for the Project Safety-Check.
 Note: No display materials may be added after the project has been approved.
Project Take-down - Friday, May 16 (1:00 pm to 4:00 pm):
A check-out system will be in place for project take-down. This is to ensure that all project materials and adhesives have been completely removed from the display units. Further details will be available on site.
The University of Windsor offers comfortable non-smoking accommodations. CWSF Registered Participants (delegates and finalists) will be housed in MacDonald Hall, Cartier Hall and Laurier Hall. 
Room amenities included: 
- Bed linens (pillow, sheets and blankets), towels, soap and shampoo 
- Wireless internet access 
Accommodations for finalists and delegates will be “shared” (i.e. there will be 2 persons per bedroom). 
Finalists and delegates will be assigned to rooms based on gender. Roommates can be selected through the online registration system.  Finalists who cannot be grouped with others from their own region may be matched with finalists from other regions in the same residence area as their own group.
All food service (breakfast, lunch and dinner), except banquets and off-site meals, will be provided on campus.
CAW Commons and Marketplace will be the main CWSF dining facility for all participants. 
Participants will enjoy nutritious, well-balanced meals in a comfortable atmosphere. We will work closely with food services to ensure that all dietary restrictions are provided, including vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal, as well as allergies and other restrictions. 
Please include all dietary needs on your registration form.
What will the weather be like in Windsor in May?
Average temperatures in May range from 15° to 25°C. Be prepared for rain by packing a raincoat, umbrella and comfortable walking shoes. It can become very hot and humid so pack accordingly. 
Will there be vegetarian food?
Yes, the caterers are fully prepared for vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal and other food needs.
Will there be security for the projects?
Yes, there is 24-hour security provided in the Exhibit Hall.
Are parents able to attend the Canada-Wide Science Fair events?
Parents and the general public are invited to visit the exhibits during public viewing. See "Public Viewing" for details.
Tickets for the Awards Ceremony will be available for parents and the general public on a first-come, first-served basis. See "Awards Ceremony" for details.
Will there be buses running between events during the week?
Most events will take place on campus. Participants will be bussed to offsite events such as the banquets and awards ceremony.
Is the site wheelchair-accessible?
Yes. Campus buildings are fully accessible: however, please indicate any requirements in the "Special Needs" area during online registration.
Can I choose my roommates in residence?
Yes. Your Regional Coordinator can match you with a roommate of the same gender from your region in the online registration system. Finalists who cannot be grouped with others from their own region may be matched with finalists from other regions in the same residence area as your own group.
Can I have my own room in residence?
No. All accommodations for finalists and delegates will be "shared" (i.e., there will be 2 persons per bedroom). Finalists will be assigned to rooms based on gender, as will delegates.
Will I be able to call home?
Yes. There are phones in the student residence buildings. We recommend that you bring a calling card for long distance calls. Participants are encouraged to phone home regularly. Cell phone etiquette is encouraged at all times.
Will there be Internet access during the CWSF?
Yes, wireless Internet will be available on campus, including the exhibit hall and residence rooms.
What if I need a computer for my project display?
Finalists must make their own arrangements for any equipment.
Do regions have to send a delegate of each gender if the region has male & female finalists?
No. While this is preferred for groups with more than five finalists, the residences and activities will be organized to ensure adequate supervision for both genders. Regional Delegates will share this responsibility.
What do I need to bring?
Most of the week is casual and comfortable walking shoes are recommended however, many finalists choose to "dress up" for judging. The awards ceremony and banquet are designated as “dress-up” activities, which usually means a suit or jacket and tie for men and a dress or skirt/blouse or suit for women. Floor length dresses are not recommended.
Project materials and supplies
  • All materials and equipment for your project, carefully packed to meet airline or shipping regulations. Please note that the new project display system will be used.
  • Supplies needed to set up the project must be placed in checked baggage only – Airport security will confiscate tools in hand luggage.
  • Backup digital files for your display materials (just in case), data/logbook and extra copies of the Project Report.
  • Materials needed to repack the display materials.
Personal Items
For air travelers 12 years of age or older:
  • One piece of valid government issued photo ID that shows name, date of birth and gender, or;
  • Two pieces of valid government issued ID (without photo), one of which shows name, date of birth and gender.
  • Reference: Government of Canada - Identity Screen Regulations
Note: The name on the identification must match the “legal name” in the CWSF online registration system, which will appear on the boarding pass.
  • Money for personal expenses; a “calling card” or change for long distance calls at pay phones.
  • Dress clothes for the Awards Ceremony/Banquet; business attire for judging; casual clothes for other occasions; comfortable shoes for walking and active tours.
  • One towel will be provided; however, an additional “beach” towel is recommended, especially if you plan to visit the Max Bell Aquatic Centre.
  • Health card and personal identification (see above for air travelers).
  • Light rain gear; comfortable footwear; a warm sweater, jacket or windbreaker.
  • Swimwear and gym clothes for activities.
  • Personal toiletries and required medications; Gravol for motion sickness on aircraft, trains, buses or boats.
  • Musical instruments and other performance items can be brought if you’d like to share your talents in lounge areas.
  • Reading material, games or other quiet activities for between judging interviews.
  • Camera, alarm clock, cell phone and charging devices.
  • Regional fair pins or other items for trading.
What does CWSF registration include?
CWSF registration includes all activities and events, as well as:
  • accommodation
  • meals
  • tours
  • local transportation
Travel to Windsor, Ontario is provided for regional participants (finalists, delegates, and support adults) through the CWSF Equalized Travel Plan.
Incidental costs incurred by participants (souvenirs, phone calls, purchased snacks, etc.) or regions (activities in addition to the scheduled program) are not included.
IB Exams
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program World Office rules state that IB candidates must write their exams at their home school. In recent years, this has meant that an IB candidate selected for the CWSF had to choose between the CWSF and writing his/ her IB exams.
Recently however, several CWSF finalists have been successful in securing an exception to this ruling, based on the fact that the CWSF is an "international event."
Section A9.5.4 of the Special Circumstances and Arrangements section of the IB Guidelines, which are only accessible to a school's IB coordinator (i.e., at the finalist's school), states that a student may write his/her IB exam(s) at another location if the exam scheduling conflicts with "an event of international significance" in which the student is participating. It goes on to specify that the event must have participants from two or more countries other than the host country. The CWSF qualifies under this provision, as we welcome participants from Australia, Mexico, and Taiwan.
Finalists with an IB exam or exams during the CWSF - except judging day - are encouraged to submit a Change of Venue for Exams. Finalists must be present for the full judging day (Tuesday) to be eligible for CWSF awards.
The CWSF finalist, together with his/her school IB Coordinator, must submit a Change of Venue for Exams request, citing "conflict with an event of international significance." If the request is successful, the IB office, in collaboration with the school's IB coordinator, will arrange to send the exam(s) to an IB school in the CWSF host community, where the finalist writes the exam(s) under their supervision.
Please note that Youth Science Canada has no involvement with, or influence over the success of these requests. Finalists - and their school's IB Coordinator - are urged to submit Change of Venue for Exams requests as early as possible to ensure the greatest probability of success.

If you have won a place on your regional (or provincial) team to attend the Canada- Wide Science Fair (CWSF) - congratulations!

You will be joining 500 top young scientists from across Canada for a week that will be extremely busy, with activities including project set up and safety checks, judging, ceremonies, tours and social events. There is very little unstructured or “free” time.

Be sure to celebrate this achievement, but remember that this honour comes with certain expectations and responsibilities.

You (and a parent/guardian if you are under 18) are required to sign the CWSF Permission and Release Form acknowledging that you have read and agree to abide by the Youth Science Canada Code of Conduct (Policy 1.5.1) and policy on Academic Integrity (Policy 1.5.5), and to be governed by the Youth Science Canada policies on Discipline (Policy 1.5.2) and Appeals (Policy 1.5.3). Violation of these standards of conduct can result in a CWSF participant being disqualified and/or sent home at his or her own expense.

The CWSF is a great experience and adventure, and it’s fun, too. Thank you in advance for agreeing to meet the above expectations.

Youth Science Canada Code of Conduct

The Youth Science Canada Code of Conduct requires all CWSF participants to:

  • Maintain and enhance the dignity and self-esteem of CWSF participants.
  • Demonstrate respect for individuals regardless of gender, ethnic or racial origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religion, political belief, disability or economic status.
  • Direct comments or criticism appropriately and avoid public criticism of finalists, judges, delegates, alternate delegates, host committee members, volunteers, guests, staff and members of Youth Science Canada, among others.
  • Demonstrate ethical conduct and practices.
  • Abstain from the non-medical use of drugs.
  • Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes harassment, that is, comment or conduct, directed toward an individual or group, that is offensive, abusive, racist, sexist, degrading or malicious.
  • Refrain from any behaviour that constitutes sexual harassment, that is, unwelcome sexual advances or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.
  • Comply at all times with Youth Science Canada and CWSF policies, rules and regulations.

In addition, the Code specifically requires CWSF finalists to:

Support and cooperate with every member of their Regional team.

  • Adhere to the expectations set out in writing for them by their delegate(s).
  • Attend and participate in all activities, tours and events that are part of the CWSF.
  • Be punctual at all CWSF activities and events.
  • Attend their displays at all times during the period that the CWSF is open to the public.
  • Ensure that their delegate knows at all times where they are and with whom.
  • Obtain their delegate’s explicit permission before leaving the group.
  • Respect all curfews explained to them by their delegate.
  • Get sufficient sleep.
  • Understand the consequences of serious misbehaviour as described in Youth Science Canada's Discipline (Policy 1.5.2).
  • Respect academic integrity as described in Youth Science Canada's Academic Integrity (Policy 1.5.5).

The Code also specifies that CWSF finalists shall not:

  • Visit any areas declared off limits.
  • Engage in any activity that will bring the moral tone of the CWSF into disrepute.
  • Buy, possess, consume or distribute alcohol or illegal substances and materials (including drugs).

Any finalist who experiences any incident that he or she feels is unwelcome, inappropriate or in violation of the Code of Conduct or Academic Integrity policies should report the matter immediately to their Regional Science Fair delegate or to a CWSF Host Committee member. You can be assured that any complaint will be investigated immediately.

Additional CWSF requirements


Finalists are required to complete the online CWSF registration process, including the uploading of a Project Report and the completion of a Project Abstract and Biography by midnight (local time) at the end of April 30.Finalists are required to complete the online CWSF registration process, including the uploading of a Project Report and the completion of a Project Abstract and Biography by midnight (local time) at the end of April 30.

Travel & Attendance

Finalists are required to travel to/from the CWSF, be present for the entire week and stay in residence with their regional/ provincial team. Late arrivals or early departures, regardless of the reason, may only be requested by the finalist’s Regional Coordinator and require the written permission of the chair of the Youth Science Canada National Science Fair Committee.


Disqualification may occur prior to or at any time during and after the CWSF for violations of the Youth Science Canada Code of Conduct, Academic Integrity policy or the CWSF policies governing the safety and ethics of student research and project displays. Any finalist disqualified after the fair will forfeit all prizes and monies awarded to him or her. Appeals are governed by theYouth Science Canada Appeals (Policy 1.5.3).

When Sir Isaac Newton wrote, “If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants,” he was being generous, but he was also being truthful. Good science builds on the work of others and explicitly acknowledges their work.

Youth Science Canada affirms that the pursuit of truth is grounded in certain core values, including diligence, civility and honesty. One of the most important traditions in the scientific community goes hand in hand with honesty, and that is the tradition of academic integrity. Scientists build on others’ achievements. They must be able to trust the integrity of the published literature they build on.

Students want to work in communities where competition is fair, integrity is respected and cheating is not tolerated. Students have significant responsibility to help protect and promote the highest standards of academic integrity. They are expected to respect the best values of their teachers, mentors and parents, and these values include a full commitment to academic integrity. At all science fairs, but particularly at the Canada-Wide Science Fair, students are required to present work that is the result of their own efforts. All assistance received from others must be acknowledged, and all written material that draws on the work of others must be accompanied by appropriate references.

Failure to follow the rules of academic integrity almost always results in disqualification at the CWSF. Specific examples of violations include:

  • Plagiarism – presenting the work of others as your own without acknowledging the source. In this case, “work” means scientific results, conceptual development of a topic and substantive formulation or reformulation of a problem. This includes work done by a family member or a mentor. Information on how to properly cite references can be found in CWSF Project Report (Policy
  • Fabricating or falsifying data
  • Forging signatures
  • Fabricating or falsifying registration information
  • Entering a project that is either derived from a previous CWSF project, or a continuation or revision of a previous project by the student (or by another), without documentation of the previous work

Students rightly expect their academic work to be fairly and fully assessed. Youth Science Canada will ensure that judging at the CWSF is of the highest professional and ethical standards, without bias or conflict of interest.

Youth Science Canada also works with affiliated regions and other partners to achieve the highest possible standards of judging at all levels of science fairs.

CWSF participants must read the full Youth Science Canada policies: Academic Integrity (Policy1.5.5), Code of Conduct (Policy1.5.1) and Discipline (Policy1.5.2)– before signing the CWSF Permission and Release form or attending the CWSF.

Mentors may be scientists, teachers, parents or, sometimes, other students. When a mentor works with a student in any setting, he or she should always keep in mind that the project is the student’s and not the mentor’s. The mentor’s job is threefold: to assist students in the gathering of background information, to teach students the techniques they will need to test their project’s purpose or hypothesis, and to ensure the safety of all concerned throughout the project.

It is the student’s role, and not the mentor’s, to conceive the project’s specific topic. All data taking must be the student’s own, unless the student does not represent it as his or her own and credits the actual data taker properly. Similarly, analysis of the data is also exclusively the student’s responsibility. When mentors usurp these responsibilities, they deprive students of valuable learning experiences. Boundary crossing of this kind also works to undermine the esteemed ethical values of science fairs in general. Mentors should instead seek to provide solid models for their students, scientifically and ethically.*

Some feel that mentorship confers an unfair advantage on science fair projects. Regional science fairs must be sensitive to these concerns and ensure that judging focuses on students’ scientific thought, understanding and creativity. Some projects involving the use of sophisticated or expensive equipment and exotic materials are scientifically simple and less creative than projects using more common materials. Judges can be unduly impressed by sophisticated equipment or materials and may need guidance to look beyond these to evaluate what science the student has actually done.

Mentorship Guidelines

  • The science fair project is the student’s work. The mentor’s role is to provide advice and guidance, not to take charge of the project.
  • A mentor’s time is valuable. The student should be punctual and prepared to make valuable use of his or her time with the mentor.
  • If a student is working in the mentor’s lab, then he or she must be given the safety rules and necessary safety training.
  • For the protection of the mentor and the student, all meetings should be held in the presence of others during business hours, at the student’s school in the presence of a teacher or staff member, or at another location with a parent or guardian present.
  • Students must take the initiative to contact the mentor and make all arrangements, such as transportation, meeting times, provision of supplies, etc.
  • The student is responsible for doing all of his or her own work except where safety or regulations prohibit this.
All projects are required to declare whether the project involved a mentor and if yes, answer a few questions about the role of the mentor and his/her role in the project.
*Adapted from the ethics statement of the Massachusetts State Science Fair, 2005

Every project at the CWSF uses the same display unit - an aluminum frame with two white vertical panels, a triangular table, and a header sign pre-printed with the project title and finalist name(s). Use of the CWSF display unit is mandatory - do not bring a backboard of any kind.

The dimensions of the CWSF display unit (accurate to 1cm) are shown on the left below. The diagram on the right illustrates how standard paper pages fit on a display panel when arranged in a grid. Click each image to download a PDF file suitable for printing.

Display Requirements

The following information provides a summary of the display requirements. Finalists, delegates, parents, and Regional Coordinators are urged to review the CWSF Project Displays policy in detail when preparing CWSF display materials and before signing the CWSF Permission and Release Form. Some items accepted for display at a Regional Science Fair may not be permitted at the CWSF.

Before being approved for competition at the CWSF, each project must pass an inspection to ensure that the material on display complies with the CWSF Project Displays policy.

Once the project has been approved, no display materials may be added.

Presentation Materials

Presentation materials must be attached to the white display panels above the table, and may overlap from one panel to the other. Materials may not be attached to the display unit frame, including the header sign.

Adhesives for affixing presentation materials to the display panels will be supplied; no other adhesives may be used. At the end of the CWSF, display panels must be returned to their original condition, with all project materials and adhesives removed.

Although we will have sufficient tape for all participants, you may wish to bring your own supply of 3M Scotch 110 Heavy Duty Mounting Tape, as pictured, which is available in 1.9m rolls at Staples and Home Depot.

Presentation information including text, graphics, photographs and other data on the display panels must be printed on bond paper (laser, inkjet, or standard copier), or photographic paper. Laminated paper is permissible, but discouraged due to the environmental impact.

Construction paper, Bristol board and papers listed above may be used to outline or border presentation information or to add small decorative elements to the display panels.

If you are preparing a large-format poster, Staples will print a 24 x 36 inch page for about $30. A local municipal office, engineering or architecture firm, land surveyor, or university might be able to print a large poster at lower cost.

Finalists are encouraged to bring a USB drive with the files for their presentation materials saved as PDF files.

Display Materials

Papers presented on the table must be secured in a binder, Duo-tang, presentation folder, plastic sleeve or other appropriate enclosure.

Other display materials must comply with the CWSF Project Displays policy, which includes detailed rules for: fire safety; electrical safety; structural and mechanical safety; chemical safety; biohazards; human subjects; animals & animal parts; firearms; and hazardous materials and equipment.

Computers, tablets, and other electronic devices that comply with electrical safety requirements may be used as display materials. Finalists should remove all valuables from their display when the exhibit hall is closed.

A project may be granted additional space to display an innovation that exceeds the capacity of the display unit table. This request must be made by the Regional Coordinator to the Youth Science Canada Zone Representative. The final authority for approval rests with the National Science Fair Committee Chair.

Display Equipment and Damage

Although every effort will be made to prevent damage to exhibits, Youth Science Canada, the Host Committee or other sponsoring organizations or cooperating groups accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to any exhibit or part thereof.

I've been to the CWSF before. How will displays at CWSF 2014 be different?

In previous years, finalists brought their own backboard or used a rental board. Click the link to download a CWSF 2014 Comparison PDF document for more details on the differences.

Under Project Safety, you are asked whether your project involved the use of humans or animals (vertebrate or invertebrate). Your answers to these questions determine which forms are required in the Project Forms area.
Please note: If your project did not involve human participants or animals, no project forms are required.

Form 4.1A (Humans Low Risk)is required if your project involved the use of human subjects and the project meets the criteria for low risk, as defined in Youth Science Canada Policy - [Participation of Humans in Research - Low Risk] (i.e., the project involves a survey of attitudes and beliefs, skill tests, or observations of behaviour withthe participants’ consent where there is minimal risk to the participant).

Form 4.1B (Humans Significant Risk)is required if your project involved the use of human subjects in an experiment involving significant risk, but the project does not meet the criteria for low risk as defined in Youth Science Canada Policy - [Participation of Humans in Research - Significant Risk].

Form 4.1C (Animals)is required if your project involved any use of animals or animal parts. Refer to Youth Science Canada Policy 4.1.2 - [Use of Animals in Research] for details.

All required forms must be downloaded and completed using the free Adobe Reader software. After the form has been filled out on the computer, it should be saved and then uploaded to the online registration system.

To upload the saved form, go to the "Project Forms" area and then click the "Browse" button below the red “No file uploaded” message bar. Locate and select the saved form,and then click “Open” to confirm your selection. (If you have done this correctly, text showing the file location will appear in the box to the left of the "Browse" button.) Finally, click the "Save and Upload Forms" button to upload the file.

After any project form has been saved and uploaded, it must be printed and then signed as required. Bring the signed form(s) to the CWSF as they will be verified during the Safety Check. Unlike previous years, these project forms should not be faxed or mailed in advance of the CWSF.

Youth Science Canada has policies governing the use of human participants, animals (vertebrate and invertebrate) and animal parts in research by young scientists (elementary and secondary school students). Ideally these policies are consulted prior to beginning work on the project; however, even if they have not been, they define what is acceptable at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.

Use of Human Subjects

Participation of Humans in Research - Low Risk

All human participants in scientific research must give Informed Consent, which comprises consent, confidentiality and the right to withdraw. Class surveys of attitudes, beliefs or skill tests, such as “Do my classmates remember better if they read while listening to jazz or hip hop?” may be termed Low Risk, as defined in the Participation of Humans in Research - Low Risk policy.

For Low Risk projects, completion of the simple Participation of Humans - Low Risk (Form 4.1A) is required. Approval by the student’s adult supervisor is usually sufficient to ensure that the appropriate ethical issues have been addressed. Be aware, however, that not all such surveys are low risk. For example, a survey to measure the Body Mass Index of class members could affect participants’ self-esteem and would therefore be classified as Significant Risk.

Participation of Humans in Research - High Risk

The Participation of Humans in Research - Significant Risk policy establishes what constitutes a drug and specifies that drugs and invasive procedures may only be used in a science project experiment under the direction of a qualified Scientific Supervisor.

Effective October, 2010, sensory food projects (i.e., those designed only to assess the sensory characteristics of a food or drink), within certain restrictions (e.g., not involving "energy drinks"), are the only ingestion projects considered to be low risk. Significant risk ingestion projects are only allowed at the CWSF if carried out under professional supervision at a laboratory with its own internal Ethics Review Committee, such asa university or hospital laboratory. Projects in which human participants, including the student researcher, are required to consume a substance or apply a substance to the skin must be carefully reviewed for compliance with the indicated Humans in Research policies before any testing begins.

All projects involving human participants in ways other than surveys and skill tests are considered Significant Risk. For Significant Risk projects, the more detailed Participation of Humans - Significant Risk Approval (Form 4.1B) must be completed, and the indicated approval procedures must be followed.

Use of Animals (Vertebrate and Invertebrate)

All experimental care and use of animals in Canada is subject to the requirements of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), a national, peer-review organization founded in Ottawa in 1968. CCAC documentation states: “Youth Science Canada, amongst its responsibilities, regulates animal experimentation in science fairs.”

Research using vertebrate animals for science fair projects may only be carried out in one of four ways:

  • Observations
  • Behavioural studies with positive rewards, without any stress involved
  • Any project carried out in a university, medical or industrial laboratory and approved by the appropriate Scientific Review Board
  • Experiments on embryos - These experiments are subject to the same rules that apply to the animal producing the embryos. Studies of mammalian embryos are restricted to observation without intervention with drugs or other chemicals.
  • Research involving cephalopods (cuttlefish, nautilus, octopus, squid, etc.) must follow the same rules as for vertebrates above. Research on all other invertebrate animals is presently unrestricted, except that the project must have some scientific or educational merit and be judged to be ethical.

The Use of Animals in Research policy establishes what constitutes a drug and specifies that drugs may only be used in a science project experiment under the direction of a qualified Scientific Supervisor.

Form 4.1C Animals - Approval is used to ensure that the appropriate review of projects involving animals has taken place.

A reminder

Each Youth Science Canada-affiliated region is expected to set up a Regional Science Fair Ethics Committee- even if it’s a committee of only one person - who will undertake to become knowledgeable in the rules and ethical issues surrounding student research.

The Principles of Mentoring

When participating in a mentoring relationship, Youth Science Canada asks that all mentors and mentees review these guidelines, in order to develop a rewarding, beneficial relationship for all who are involved.

Youth Science Canada is dedicated to nurturing the scientific impulse, creativity, and dedication amongst Canadian youth - encouraging them to develop scientific and technical knowledge and skills through project-based science. We are inspired by the potential of Canada’s youth to improve the world through science and we make programs and resources to help realize that potential. We recognize that mentorship from those established in the Canadian scientific community can provide an enriching relationship for youth engaged in project-based science, adding to knowledge and experience.

A mentor is a teacher, guide, or advisor who works with an individual who is developing their scientific knowledge and expertise, providing support, insight, and resources from their own scientific background and experience. Mentors encourage and empower youth involved in project-based science to help them succeed and discover their own abilities and passions in a supportive, non-judgemental manner. Mentors provide an environment in which youth may learn and grow, whether that be in a laboratory setting, or virtual communication.

Mentors benefit from their participation by raising their academic and community profile and developing a relationship with a member of Canada’s youth.

It is the student’s role, and not the mentor’s, to conceive the project’s specific topic. All data taking must be the student’s own, unless the student does not represent it as his or her own and credits the actual data taker properly. Similarly, analysis of the data, the write-up of the project, and any public presentation of thereof are also exclusively the student’s responsibility. A student undertaking a mentored project has the responsibility to disclose that her/his project was mentored and by whom.

Responsibilities of Mentors and Mentees:

  • Treat your mentor or mentee with respect at all times;
  • Commit sufficient time and effort towards your mentorship. Set clear expectations for each other;
  • Always communicate in a truthful manner;
  • Do not accept/offer any kind of payment for your mentoring relationship
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the mentoring relationship
  • Read and respect Youth Science Canada's Academic Integrity Policy.

Responsibility of Mentors:

  • Support and encourage the goals of your mentee - be enthusiastic and share your love of science;
  • Encourage your mentee to maintain high scientific and ethical standards;
  • Provide advice, guidance, and access to facilities or equipment not otherwise available to your mentee where possible;
  • Ensure that your mentee is an active participant;
  • Avoid the intent or appearance of unethical or compromising practice in communications, actions, and relationships;
  • Maintain the confidentiality of all ideas, products, and materials that a mentee has, or may develop. Do not use any ideas, products, or materials from your mentee in order to further your academic, business, or financial career;
  • Acknowledge any conflicts of interest relative to competitions involving the project to your mentee;
  • Do not make inquiries regarding the decisions made by judges in competitions in which the project is entered;
  • Refer your mentee to Youth Science Canada for issues or questions that you feel unqualified to answer;
  • Always maintain a professional relationship with your mentee.
  • For the protection of the mentor and the student, all meetings should be held in the presence of others during business hours, at the student’s school in the presence of a teacher or staff member, or at another location with a parent or guardian present.

Responsibility of Mentees:

  • Clearly communicate your goals and needs for your project to your mentor;
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the mentoring relationship;
  • Communicate regularly and openly with your mentor;
  • Complete any tasks you have agreed to do with your mentor in a timely manner; Maintain the confidentiality of all ideas, products, and materials that your mentor has, or may develop.
  • Hold all sensitive scientific information provided through the relationship with your mentor in strict confidence.
  • Always maintain a professional relationship with your mentor.

Each project requires a Project Report of no more than five pages plus an appendix of no more than two extra pages for the references and bibliography. This report comprises a concise summary of the project using a scientific writing style, selecting only what is important and stating it in a concise way. Graphs, diagrams and charts may be included, but not the raw data or observations. The report is submitted online as a PDF document, as part of the registration process


A complete Project Report includes the following subtitles and sections:

  1. Background: how the project came to be.
  2. Purpose: why the project was conducted and what was hoped to be achieved.
  3. Hypothesis: proposition to be tested, if applicable.
  4. Procedure: a brief outline of the materials and methods used.
  5. Results or Observations: a summary of the results of the experiment, innovationor study.
  6. Conclusions: what can be concluded from the results and why it is important.
  7. Earlier Work: If an earlier version of the project was submitted in a previous year, the finalist must highlight the changes and additional work done.
  8. Acknowledgements: recognition of those individuals, institutions and businesses that provided significant assistance in the form of guidance, materials, financial support and/or facilities for this work.
  9. References: Detailed references are mandatory for any specific literature referred to in the text of the report. Key sources used in the development of the project must be referred to in the text and listed in an appendix (“References”), using a format consistent with that accepted in the scientific peer-reviewed literature. Author, title, source publication, volume, date and page numbers must be given. Any use of quotations from references must be clearly identified.
  10. Bibliography: Significant sources consulted but not specifically referred to in the report must be mentioned (volumes, articles, audio-visuals, documents, web sites with dates of access, interviews, etc.).

Some variation is permitted for innovation and study projects that do not follow an experimental protocol.


The formatof the report will be a maximum of five letter-sized (8.5 x 11 inches) pages as a PDF file. An appendix of an additional two pages is allowed, containing the References and Bibliography. Any additional material will be discarded and will not be distributed to judges. Text shall be in 12-point Times, Arial or equivalent type, double-spaced with margins of 1 inch (2.5 cm) all around. Page 1 shall have the project title and finalist name(s) at the top. A footer in 8-point type is required on each page containing the date, finalist name(s) and project title as well as the page number.

Here is an example:

"15 April 2010 - Jane Doe: The Generic Project - Page 1 of 5"


As is the case with manuscripts submitted for publication in the scientific literature, project reports must be written in good, grammatical English. Composition style, appropriate vocabulary, correct verb tense use, agreement of verbs and their subject nouns in number, and correct punctuation all contribute to the acceptability of the report. Indeed, lack of attention to these writing requirements for project reports may result in the downgrading of the project.


Respectable scientific work for international consumption is recorded using Système international (SI) units, which must be used throughout. Correct abbreviations for units must be used.

Measurements and uncertainty

Most physical measurements have uncertainty. Students should be aware of the concepts of accuracy, precision and uncertainty in measurements, and the methods scientists use to represent them. Data are expected to have the correct number of significant figures, and graphs should have appropriate error bars.

Graphs, Charts and Maps

Captions, labels on axes and legends must be accurate and legible.

The ability to communicate scientific work clearly and succinctly is an important skill; therefore, the five-page limit is strictly adhered to, regardless of the type or complexity of the project.

It is strongly recommended that someone from your regional organization check each project report for length, clarity, completeness and compliance with the formatting requirements.

A copy of the Project Report is provided to each CWSF judge before he/she sees the project or interviews the finalist(s). Not only does the report account for 10 percent of the project evaluation, it is the first encounter a judge has with the project. A concise, well-written report that is free of spelling and grammatical errors makes a good first impression.

Complete details of the elements and requirements of the Project Report may be found in Youth Science Canada policy, CWSF Project Report.

Saving the report as a PDF

The Project Report is submitted electronically as part of the online CWSF registration process. It must first be saved as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file, which preserves the appearance of your document regardless of which computer it is viewed on.

Please note: PDF is the only acceptable format for Project Reports.

PDF documents can be made from any document created in Microsoft Word, Works, Publisher, WordPerfect, Pages or any other application you would use to write a report. There are many different ways to create a PDF file from your report document. Here are a few:

  • Use Adobe Acrobat Professional, available for Windows and Macintosh.
  • Open the document and select Print > Save as PDF on any Macintosh computer running Mac OS X.
  • Download the free CutePDF Writer (Windows only) and use it to convert your file.
  • Go to Adobeand click “Try it for Free” to sign up and create up to five Adobe PDF files for free.
  • Enter “convert to PDF” into your favourite search engine. You’ll find several other free offers for online conversion services.
  • Get the local computer expert to do it for you. Your region should be able to help you with this process.

Fire Safety

The Host Committee will ensure that fire extinguishers of proper size and rating are available in the exhibit area and will establish an exhibit hall layout that minimizes long rows to reduce the possibility of flame spread.

Operation of an open flame, candle, torch or any other heating device is not permitted. Smoking is not permitted in the exhibit area.

Packing material shall not be stored under tables.

Electrical Safety

All AC electrical equipment used in your display must have a functional three-wire plug with ground or be CSA approved. Extension cords, power bars and lighting must be CSA approved.

Electrical cords shall have a three-wire conductor with ground and must be CSA approved and in good repair.

Any modification to an electrical device negates the CSA approval, and that device must not be used. Dry cells (Alkaline, NiCad, NiMH, LiIon, etc.) and sealed lead-acid batteries (gel cells) may be used. Wet cell batteries are not permitted.

Electrical devices constructed by finalists must comply with the following requirements to be approved for display. As they cannot be CSA approved, these devices may only be connected and operated during judging.

  • Electrical devices must be protected by a non-combustible enclosure.
  • An insulating grommet is required at the point where electrical service enters an enclosure.
  • Electrical devices shall use as low a voltage as possible.
  • The electric current must be limited so as not to cause any danger or discomfort if the terminals are touched.
  • A pilot light must be used to indicate when power is on.

Structural and Mechanical Safety

Exhibits must be sturdy, self-supporting and sufficiently stable to prevent accidental tipping.

Sharp edges or corners of prisms, mirrors, enclosures and glass or metal plates that may be contacted by the public must be removed or protected to prevent injury.

Dangerous moving parts such as belts, gears, pulleys and blades must be provided with a guard to prevent access to the moving parts.

An in-running nip hazard of any part of a motor, device or thing that may be a danger shall be guarded to prevent contact with the pinch point.

A certificate of safety inspection must be displayed if a project involves the construction or use of a boiler or pressure vessel with a capacity greater than 42.5 litres or operated at a pressure greater than 103 kilopascals. Evidence of inspection by an engineer with certification in boilers and pressure vessels should be displayed when the project involves any finalist- constructed pressure vessel, regardless of size or pressure. Such vessels may be displayed but must not be pressurized at any time.

Compressed gas cylinders shall not be displayed.

Moving exhibits (e.g., radio-controlled vehicles, robots) shall be restricted to the regulation display space. The Host Committee may, at its discretion, provide an area to safely demonstrate projects that require more than the regulation display space.

Chemical Safety

The following materials shall not be displayed:

  • Flammable, toxic or dangerous chemicals
  • Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications

Photographs or empty packages of prohibited materials may be displayed.

The display of chemicals is discouraged; however, other substances can be used to simulate chemicals for display purposes:

  • Table salt can be used to simulate many chemicals, such as ammonium nitrate.
  • Water can represent alcohol, ether and many other liquids. Molasses can be used to simulate petroleum products.
  • When chemicals are simulated, they should be identified with the name of the substance they represent, preceded by the word “simulated.” Any WHMIS labels (supplier or workplace) should be attached to show understanding of safe work practices.

The total quantity of liquids displayed at a project shall not exceed 1 litre. Photographs and/or video should be used to demonstrate processes requiring larger quantities of liquid.


The following materials shall not be displayed:

  • Biological toxins
  • Cell or tissue samples including blood and blood products, except on sealed microscope slides, which may be displayed
  • Plants or plant tissue
  • Soil containing organic material
  • Cultures – Photographs or simulated cultures may be used.

Projects are required to pass a safety check before they can be displayed at the CWSF. The safety check involves an inspection based on a Safety Checklist. Once all items on the checklist are approved, a safety check sticker will be applied to your project’s table sign.

  1. Set up your project in the assigned space, including all items and materials that you plan to display during judging and public viewing. Store all packing materials in the assigned area for your region. Once your setup is complete, inform your delegate that you are ready for a safety check. Your delegate must be available if required.
  2. Proceed to the safety check area and obtain the Safety Checklist for your project.
  3. Wait in the designated area with your Safety Checklist until a safety inspector (red vest) greets you.
  4. Introduce yourself, hand your form to the inspector, and bring him/her to your project.
  5. The initial inspection should only involve the finalist(s) and the inspector. The inspector’s job is to ensure that your project passes the safety check. If all aspects of your project comply with the safety requirements, the inspection will proceed smoothly and the inspector will place a safety check sticker on your project’s table sign.
  6. If a safety concern is identified, the inspector may suggest a minor change. Your delegate will be consulted before any change is made. If the change can be made quickly, your project will be approved and the inspector will place a safety check sticker on your project’s table sign.
  7. For more serious or complex safety issues, a member of the National Science Fair Committee may be consulted. If extra time is required to make the necessary changes, your Safety Checklist will be returned to the safety check area by the inspector. After the required changes are made, return to the safety check area to obtain your checklist and wait for an inspector who will complete the safety check process and then place a safety check sticker on your project’s table sign.

Note: For questions related to project safety at the CWSF, the Chair of the National Science Fair Committee has the final authority.

Stepping Up Guide - Improving Your Project

Stepping Up is a guide for students who have completed a science fair project and competed at a regional or Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF). It is intended to help these students take their project to the next level - to compete for a CWSF medal or a place on Team Canada-ISEF.

The guide is written by alumni of the Canada Wide Science Fair and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Lia D'Abate, Lisa-Marie Assenza, Arif Ali Awan, Tahbit Chowdhury, Jean-Philippe Demers, Eden Full, Cherry Gao, Aaron Hakim, Taneille Johnson, Kartik Madiraju, Nadia Novikova, Mubdi Rahman, Natalie Raso, Nikhita Singh, and Kari Vierimaa) and is a project of Youth Science Canada through its SMARTS and Alumni initiatives. We graciously thank the Conseil de développement du loisir scientifique for their assistance with the translation of this guide into French.

To get started with the guide, choose any of the sections below, or click the "Getting Started with Stepping Up" for more detailed information!

Stepping Up Guide





Questions from finalists and answers from the judging committee. After watching the 3 videos and reading the answers to questions from finalists, if you still have a question, please fill out our Q&A form and come back here in 48 hours for an answer. 


The Questions will appear in bold

The answers from the judging committee will be underneath. We are looking forward to answering all your judging questions!

Question: How many judges will I get on judging day? 

You will see 4 judges in the morning for Excellence Awards. In the afternoon, the number of judges you will see will depend on if you have self-nominated for any Interdisciplinary Awards - you can self-nominate for up to 3. If you do nominate yourself for Interdisciplinary Awards, you will see 2 judges for each award. You will get a schedule on Judging Day that tells you when the Excellence and Interdisciplinary Award judges are coming. You may also see judges who come to see you for Special Awards or Challenge Awards, but this is not scheduled.


The purpose of the CWSF Awards is to reward outstanding scientific and technological achievement and excellence by Canada’s young scientists at the national level and to recognize those national finalists at the Canada-Wide Science Fair whose achievement places them above the rest.

Rigorous judging standards ensure all projects are assessed critically and fairly. All are judged on the following criteria (Judge's Marking Form):

  • Scientific Thought
  • Originality and Creativity
  • Communication

Over 400 judges from University, the public and private sectors, sponsors and regional science fair partners across Ontario volunteer their time to judge the science on display at the CWSF.

Awards include the Special, Interdisciplinary, Challenge, Excellence (medals),and Grand Awards, with nearly $1 million presented as cash, scholarships, travel and other prizes!

Judging Policy

Youth Science Canada, with its National Judging Committee (NJC), establishes the criteria for awards, sets the judging standards, oversees selection of the CWSF Chief Judge, recruits award sponsors and organizes the presentation of the awards.

The CWSF Chief Judge recruits and trains judges, coordinates the judging process and selects the Special, Interdisciplinary, Challenge, and Excellence Award recipients. A special Youth Science Canada panel selects the Grand Award recipients from the gold medal winners.

Awards are assigned to the best eligible project on the basis of ranking projects relative to others at the current CWSF.

Award recipients are selected based on the quality of their projects and presentations. Neither formal nor informal selection criteria based on gender or ethnocultural heritage are permitted in the National Awards Program or at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.

Judging Process

Special Awards

These awards are for outstanding projects that meet specific criteria within a particular aspect of science and often reflect the special interests of the sponsoring foundations, companies and professional associations. All Special Awards are cash prizes: $500 for Junior, $750 for Intermediate and $1,000 for Senior.

Self-nomination is not required for these awards. Interviews for these awards are unscheduled, and students may or may not see a judge for one of these awards.

View Special Awards

Interdisciplinary Awards

Interdisciplinary Awards are open to all projects in the appropriate grade category and include cash awards, trips, summer internships and other prizes for outstanding projects that meet specific criteria established by the sponsor(s).

Self-nomination is a commitment to accept the award as offered. If you plan to nominate your project for a travel or summer experience award, be sure you do so only after careful consideration and with parent/guardian approval.

Please note: Certain Interdisciplinary Awards involve travel and a commitment to be away from home for an extended period of time, to travel to another country and/or to live in unfamiliar surroundings. All travel involves an element of risk. Foreign Affairs Canada provides advice to international travellers through their website.

Interdisciplinary Awards judges spend approximately 10 minutes with each project. Judges expect to hear a brief (5 minute) summary of the project and why it deserves the award, followed by time for questions.

Self-nomination is required; judges will only consider projects that the finalists have nominated for these awards in the online registration system. The list includes all available Interdisciplinary Awards. A project may be nominated for up to three Interdisciplinary awards. Only those awards for which a project is eligible will appear in the Interdisciplinary Awards area of the CWSF online registration system.

View Interdisciplinary Awards

Challenge Awards

Challenge Awards recognize the top project in each of the 7 Canada-Wide Youth Science Challenges in each grade category. The seven Canada-Wide Youth Science Challenges – Discovery, Energy, Environment, Health, Information, Innovation and Resources – focus on issues that are important to Canadian youth, the future of their country and their world. They are meant to inspire students to exercise their curiosity and creativity by answering a question or solving a problem by doing a science project.

At the CWSF, 3 prizes are awarded - junior ($500), intermediate ($750) and senior ($1,000) - for the best project that addresses each challenge.

During registration, finalists identify the challenge best addressed by their project. Interviews for these awards are unscheduled, and students may or may not see a judge for one of these awards.

View Challenge Awards.

Excellence Awards

Excellence Awards (CWSF medals) recognize science and technology excellence. The judging is a relative process, with medals awarded based on the ranking of consensus scores for each project within a grade category. A total of 70 medals is available in each grade category - junior, intermediate, and senior:

  • 10 Gold Medals (including $700 cash)
  • 20 Silver Medals (including $300 cash)
  • 40 Bronze Medals (including $100 cash)

All medals are normally awarded as judged; however, the awarding of a gold medal requires that the following minimum standard be attained:

  • The project demonstrates Level 3 or 4 of Scientific Thought (see Judge’s Marking Sheet).
  • Analysis and conclusions are appropriate and based on the data;
  • The project demonstrates some knowledge of the relevant background and theory; and
  • The project contains no glaring or significant errors.

Each judging team is assigned a specific group of projects in the same grade category. Normally, four different judges evaluate each project. Judging is a three-step process:

First, judges read the Project Reports in advance and, on the evening before judging, view the projects without the finalists being present.

On judging day, each of the four judges meets with the finalist(s) for about 20-minutes. Judges expect to spend approximately 10 minutes hearing a presentation about the project, followed by 10 minutes for questions.

After the finalists have left the exhibit area for the day, each judging team meets to discuss each project and assign a consensus score based on the project level and relative merit of each project. After these scores are compiled, representatives of each judging team within a grade category meet to review the ranked scores and determine the Excellence (medal) and Challenge Award recipients. This step involves considerable discussion among the judges and may require additional viewing of projects without the finalists present. Sponsor representatives may work with the category teams at this time to select the recipients of Special Awards.


Several universities provide scholarships to medal winners at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.

View scholarships.

Grand Awards

The Grand Awards include two Platinum Awards and the Best Project Award, which are presented to the top three projects at the CWSF - best junior, intermediate, and senior. All gold medalists are automatically considered for the Grand Awards.

Each of the two Platinum Awards includes $5,000 cash and a crystal presentation award.

The Best Project Award includes $10,000 cash and a crystal presentation award, making it one of the most valuable and prestigious awards for youth in Canada.

A special panel of Youth Science Canada appointed judges selects the Grand Award recipients.

The list below includes all available Interdisciplinary Awards. A project may be nominated for up to three Interdisciplinary awards. Only those awards for which a project is eligible will appear in the Interdisciplinary Awards area of the CWSF online registration system.

The three rows below each award - Junior, Intermediate and Senior - indicate whether the award is available to projects in that category. "N/A" indicates that the award is not open to that category.


The Actuarial Foundation of Canada Award

Sponsor: The Actuarial Foundation of Canada

An outstanding project that demonstrates effective use of one or more of mathematics, database manipulation and statistical analysis, combined with written and oral communication skills and creativity to investigate or solve a complex problem. Preference may be given to projects that quantify potential losses or design creative ways to manage or reduce the likelihood or impact of undesirable events.

Junior: $500 cash and certificate

Intermediate: $750 cash and certificate

Senior: $1,000 cash and certificate


Australian National Youth Science Forum Award

Sponsor: National Youth Science Forum Australia

The Australian delegation to the CWSF selects three grade 10/secondary 4 Canadian finalists to invite to the 12-day National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) at the Australian National University in Canberra in January 2015. All expenses within Australia are covered by the NYSF, but as part of the program, participants are expected to raise the funds to cover their travel. The NYSF focuses on encouraging the achievement of excellence and the development of communication and interpersonal skills for careers in science, engineering and technology. It also fosters discussion of and interest in major national and global issues and emphasizes the importance of maintaining continuing active interests in sport, arts and music.

Junior: N/A

Intermediate: Invitation to participate in the Australian National Youth Science Forum in January 2015

Senior: N/A


BlackBerry Smartphone App Development Award

Sponsor: BlackBerry

An outstanding app built using PhoneGap or Appcelerator that meets the BlackBerry 10 UI guidelines. This means the app is eligible for the Built For BlackBerry certification and can also be easily deployed to other platforms (Android OS and iOS).

Junior:  $500 cash and certificate plus a BlackBerry 10 smartphone

Intermediate:  $750 cash and certificate plus a BlackBerry 10 smartphone

Senior:  $1,000 cash and certificate plus a BlackBerry 10 smartphone

*In addition to the above, winners of this award will also get the chance to have some one-on-one mentorship time with a BlackBerry app development expert.


Canadian Stockholm Junior Water Prize

Sponsor: Canadian WEF Member Associations, the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association, and Xylem Canada

Outstanding senior projects related to one or more of: water and wastewater quality, water resource-management, water projection, water treatment or wastewater treatment. Up to three projects selected at the CWSF will be invited to submit an essay summary of their projects. One winning project will then be chosen to represent Canada at the Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition. The two runner-up projects will each receive a $300 cash prize.

Junior: N/A

Intermediate: N/A

Senior: One all expense paid trip to Stockholm, Sweden, August 31 – September 5, 2013, for the student(s) of the winning project to represent Canada at the International Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition.


International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Award

Sponsor: Local organizing committee of IGARSS 2014

An outstanding project related to one of the themes of the IGARSS 2014 Conference (http://igarss2014.com/TechnicalProgram.asp).

Two finalists in either the Intermediate or Senior categories will be selected to present their project(s) in a poster session at the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2014) in Quebec City from July 13-18, 2014. The award includes room and board and travel expenses to and from the conference. The award will be given either to two individual projects, or one group project. Information about the conference is available at: http://igarss2014.com.

Junior:  N/A

Intermediate: Two finalists in either the Intermediate or Senior categories will be selected to present their project(s) in a poster session at the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2014) in Quebec City from July 13-18, 2014. The award includes room and board and travel expenses to and from the conference. The award will be given either to two individual projects, or one group project. Information about the conference is available at: http://igarss2014.com).

Senior: Two finalists in either the Intermediate or Senior categories will be selected to present their project(s) in a poster session at the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2014) in Quebec City from July 13-18, 2014. The award includes room and board and travel expenses to and from the conference. The award will be given either to two individual projects, or one group project. Information about the conference is available at: http://igarss2014.com).


International Summer School for Young Physicists Award

Sponsor: Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

An outstanding senior finalist who demonstrates a keen interest and a strong aptitude in both physics and mathematics. The finalist’s project need not be in the area of physics. The chosen finalist must be fluent in both written and spoken English.

The award consists of a full scholarship to participate in the International Summer School for Young Physicists 2014 (ISSYP 2014) from July 13-26, an intensive two week enrichment program that will introduce students to the fascinating picture of our universe as seen through the eyes of contemporary physicists: from the bizarre quantum world of atoms and subatomic particles to black holes, warped spacetime and the expanding universe. Students will also interact with professional physicists at Perimeter Institute in small group mentoring sessions, participate in field trips to leading experimental science laboratories, and forge new friendships with like minded young people from around the world. The scholarship includes room and board and travel expenses to and from the Institute.

Junior: N/A

Intermediate: N/A

Senior: Full scholarship to participate in the International Summer School for Young Physicists 2014 from July 13-26 at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario. Total value $3,500.


The Manning Innovation Achievement Awards

Sponsor: Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation

Outstanding senior innovation projects selected on the basis of ingenuity, originality, development and potential benefits. Manning Award judges may, depending upon the number of self-nominations, focus their interview time on a shortened list of projects that appear most applicable to the Manning Innovation Award criteria.

Junior: N/A

Intermediate: N/A

Senior: Eight projects will each receive a $500 cash award. Four of these Manning Innovation Achievement Award winners will also be announced as winners of $4,000 Manning Young Canadian Innovation Awards (to be presented at a later date).


Renewable Energy Award

Sponsor: Ontario Power Generation

An outstanding project related to both energy and air quality with a demonstrated interest in environmental stewardship.

Junior: $500 cash and certificate

Intermediate: $750 cash and certificate

Senior: $1,000 cash and certificate


S.M. Blair Family Foundation Award

Sponsor: S.M. Blair Family Foundation

A project that merits application for a patent.

According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office: "In order to be eligible for a patent, your invention must meet three basic criteria:

  1. The invention must show novelty (be the first in the world).
  2. It must show utility (be functional and operative).
  3. It must show inventive ingenuity and not be obvious to someone skilled in that area."

The invention can be a product (for example, a door lock), a composition (for example, a chemical composition used in lubricants for door locks), an apparatus (for example, a machine for making door locks), a process (for example, a method for making door locks), or an improvement on any of these.

A patent is granted only for the physical embodiment of an idea (for example, the description of a possible door lock) or for a process that produces something tangible or that can be sold. You cannot patent a scientific principle, an abstract theorem, an idea, some methods of doing business, or a computer program per se.

Fast fact: Ninety percent of patents are for improvements to existing patented inventions!

You can search over two million Canadian patents from the past 75 years at the Canadian Patents Database:


Junior: $500 cash and certificate

Intermediate: $750 cash and certificate

Senior: $1,000 cash and certificate


Statistical Society of Canada and Biostatistics Section Award

Sponsor: Statistical Society of Canada and Biostatistics Section

An outstanding intermediate project in statistical theory, or one that makes use of sound statistical techniques in study design, data analysis and data presentation.

Junior: N/A

Intermediate: $750 cash and certificate

Senior: N/A


Statistical Society of Canada Award

Sponsor: Statistical Society of Canada

An outstanding senior project in statistical theory, or one that makes use of sound statistical techniques in study design, data analysis and data presentation.

Junior: N/A

Intermediate: N/A

Senior: $1,000 cash and certificate


Toronto Research Chemicals - Weizmann Canada Award for Scientific Achievement

Sponsor: Toronto Research Chemicals and Weizmann Canada

An outstanding senior finalist. The finalist must be in his/her final year of high school or Cégep in Quebec.

Please note: The Weizmann Institute program is conducted in English; therefore, all participants must be fluent in English. Single projects only.

Junior: N/A

Intermediate: N/A

Senior: The scholarship provides for participation in the summer science program at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, including registration fee and return airfare (Toronto-Israel-Toronto). The dates of the Weizmann summer science program are July 1-30, 2014. Total scholarship value $4,700.


University of Ottawa Undergraduate Research Scholarship (URS)

Sponsor: University of Ottawa

An outstanding Senior project by a finalist (or finalists) in grade 11 or grade 12 (Secondary V, CÉGEP I or CÉGEP II in Quebec) who is admissible to pursue university studies in science at uOttawa. In the case of a team project, each finalist will be eligible to receive a scholarship.

The University of Ottawa will provide the recipient or recipients with more detailed information during the days following the Canada-Wide Science Fair.

The recipient will work with scientists and take part in important scientific discoveries during two consecutive summers. In the summer preceding the first year of studies in an undergraduate program at the Faculty of Science, University of Ottawa, the recipient will earn $3,750 as a research assistant to one of the world class professors. By succeeding in the first year of studies, the research experience will be extended to a second summer, during which he/she will earn $6,250.

Junior:  N/A

Intermediate:  N/A

Senior:  $10,000 award ($3,750 + $6,250)

Youth Science Canada has identified seven challenges, known as the Canada-Wide Youth Science Challenges, which focus on issues that are important to Canada’s youth, the future of our country and our world. They reflect the growing trend in current Canadian science, technology and innovation to focus on specific multi- and interdisciplinary global, national and provincial issues.

Youth Science Canada’s Challenges are meant to inspire youth to exercise their curiosity and creativity by doing a project that addresses one of these Challenges:

Discovery Sponsor: Youth Science Canada Create new fundamental knowledge based on your curiosity by asking a question and using the techniques of scientific inquiry to develop an answer.

Energy Sponsor: Youth Science Canada Improve our use of current energy sources, enable the transition to alternative energy sources, or reduce our energy footprint.

Environment Sponsor: Youth Science Canada Reduce our impact on, improve our understanding of, and ensure the quality of water, air, soil, and the diversity of living things.

Health Sponsor: Canadian Institutes for Health Research Increase our understanding of the human body, or apply science and technology to improve health, control disease, or support an aging population.

Information Sponsor: Youth Science Canada Enhance communication and our use of information using digital and networking technologies, or applications of new media.

Innovation Sponsor: BlackBerry Combine scientific principles with your creativity to develop a new material, structure, device, or system to solve a problem or improve an existing solution.

Resources Sponsor: Youth Science Canada Develop better ways to use our natural resources that provide sustainable sources of food, products, or prosperity.

At the CWSF, 3 prizes are awarded - junior ($500), intermediate ($750) and senior ($1,000) - for the best project that addresses each challenge.

The choice of Challenge is determined by the Finalist in consultation with the Delegate.  The choice of Challenge has relatively minor consequences, because the only award based on the Challenge selected is a single cash award.   The medals are not awarded based on the Challenge selected, and neither are the Interdisciplinary nor Special Awards.


Online Registration, Awards Program, Sponsors and General Inquiries
  • Toll-free: 866-341-0040 ext. 230 (Lori Murray)
  • Toll-free fax: 866-613-2542
  • E-mail: info@youthscience.ca or lori.murray@youthscience.ca
CWSF Event/Logistics
  • Toll-free: 866-341-0040 ext. 233 (Liette Philippe)
  • Toll-free fax: 866-613-2542
  • E-mail: liette.philippe@youthscience.ca
  • Toll-free: 866-341-0040 ext. 230 (Brad McCabe, Executive Director)
  • Toll-free fax: 866-613-2542
  • E-mail: brad.mccabe@youthscience.ca
Travel Inquiries
Participants should check with their region’s CWSF Team coordinator regarding travel information. He/she receives regular updates from the Youth Science Canada Equalized Travel Plan Coordinator.

Windsor Regional Science, Technology and Engineering Fair (WRSTEF)
  • CWSF office: TDB
  • Email: cwsf2014@wrstef.ca
  • Emergency on-campus: University of Windsor Campus Police - 519-253-3000 ext 1234