Display Regulations


Maximum Size of Project

Depth (front to back): 30 inches or 76 centimeters
Width (side to side): 48 inches or 122 centimeters
Height (floor to top): 108 inches or 274 centimeters

Please be aware when ordering posters that the mechanism that supports the poster should conform to the maximum size limitations stated above.

  • All projects must not require support other than a table for display

  • All project materials and support mechanisms must fit within the project dimensions.

  • At the Intel ISEF, fair-provided tables will not exceed a height of 36 inches (91 centimeters).

  • If a table is used it becomes part of the project and must not exceed the allowed dimensions.

  • When not being demonstrated, all component must be returned to the project and must fit within allowable dimensions.


Display Content

The display must reflect only the work conducted by the finalist. Minimal reference to mentor’s or other researcher’s work must only reflect background information or be used to clarify differences between the exhibitor’s and others’ work.



Photograph/Image Display Requirements

Any photograph/visual image/chart/table and/or graph is allowed if:

  1. It is not deemed offensive or inappropriate (which includes images/photographs showing invertebrate or vertebrate animals/humans in surgical, necrotizing or dissection situations).

  2. It has a credit line of origin (“Photograph taken by...”or “Image taken from...” or “Graph/Chart/Table taken from…”). (If all images, etc. being displayed were taken or created by the finalist or are from the same source, one credit line prominently and vertically displayed on the backboard/poster or tabletop is sufficient.)

  3. It is from the Internet, magazine, newspaper, journal, etc., and a credit line is attached. (If all photographs, etc. are from the same source, one credit prominently and vertically displayed is sufficient.)

  4. It is a photograph or visual depiction of the finalist.


Safety Regulations


Items/Materials Not Allowed at Project Display

  1. Living animals

  2. Soil, sand, rock, cement and/or waste samples.

  3. Taxidermy specimens or parts

  4. Preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals

  5. Human or animal food as part of the exhibitor demonstration of the project.

  6. Human/animal parts or body fluids (for example, blood, urine)

  7. All chemicals including water (Projects may not use water in any form in a demonstration)

  8. All hazardous substances or devices (Example: poisons, drugs, firearms, weapons, ammunition, reloading devices, and lasers)

  9. Items that may have contained or been in contact with hazardous chemicals

  10. 3-D Printers

  11. Dry ice or other sublimating solids

  12. Sharp items (for example, syringes, needles, pipettes, knives)

  13. Flames or highly flammable materials (including magnified light sources). A Fresnel Lens cannot be used in conjunction with a light source - it becomes an open flame. 

  14. Batteries with open-top cells or wet cells

  15. Glass or glass objects unless deemed to be an integral and necessary part of the project (for example, glass that is an integral part of a commercial product such as a computer screen)

  16. Any apparatus deemed unsafe by the Organizers.


Electrical Regulations

  1. Science Outside the White House provides no electrical power. If your display requires electricity, plan to supply your own battery power.

  2. Electrical devices must be protectively enclosed. Any enclosure must be non-combustible. All external non-current carrying metal parts must be grounded.

  3. Energized wiring, switches, and metal parts must have adequate insulation and over-current safety devices (such as fuses) and must be inaccessible to anyone other than the exhibitor. Exposed electrical equipment or metal that possibly may be energized must be shielded with a non-conducting material or with a grounded metal box to prevent accidental contact.

  4. Decorative lighting or illumination is discouraged. If used, lighting must be as low a voltage as possible and must be LED lighting that does not generate heat. Light bulbs are prohibited. When student is not at the exhibit, all electrical power must be disconnected, or power bars must be switched off.

  5. When student is not at exhibit, all electrical power must be disconnected, or power bars must be switched off. 

  6. An insulating grommet is required at the point where any wire or cable enters any enclosure.

  7. No exposed live circuits over 36 volts are allowed.

  8. There must be an accessible, clearly visible on/off switch or other means of quickly disconnecting from the 120 or 220 Volt power source.


Laser Requirements

Any Class 1 or Class 2 lasers, along with only Class 3A or 3R lasers, are allowed to be used provided an exhibitor avoids indiscriminate exposure to judges, or visitors (except if passed through magnifying optics such as microscopes and telescopes, in which case they may not be used). No other lasers may be used or displayed. 

  1. Any laser must be labeled by the manufacturer so that power output can be inspected. Lasers without labels will NOT be "cleared."

  2. LED's that consume over 1 watt, unless they are in a commercial light bulb/fixture or otherwise shielded, will not be allowed.

  3. Lasers will be confiscated with no warning if not used in a safe manner.


Other Safety Regulations

  1. Any inadequately insulated apparatus producing extreme temperatures that may cause physical burns is not allowed.

  2. Any apparatus with unshielded belts, pulleys, chains, or moving parts with tension or pinch points must be for display only.

  3. Science Outside the White House Organizers reserve the right to remove any project for safety reasons or to protect the integrity of the Intel ISEF and its rules and regulations.

  4. Project sounds, lights, odors, or any other display items must not be distracting. Exceptions to this rule may be permitted for judging demonstrations. Approval must be given prior to judging.

  5. Projects can be continued under the table BUT this area is not to be used for storage. No personal items or packaging materials may be stored underneath the booth.


*Adapted from the International Science and Engineering Fair Student Display regulations

Display and Safety Regulations