Photo of students presented science fair projects in gymnasium

The 2020 East Central Indiana Regional Science Fair will take place Saturday, February 15, 2020 at Ball State University.

The ECI Science Fair is looking for judges

If you are interested in serving as a science fair judge, please fill out the judge application form.

The fair is designed to stimulate active interest in the sciences and recognize the work of young scientists. Top projects from classroom, school or district science fairs qualify for the Regional Science Fair. To find out more about your local science fair, contact your teacher.


The deadline for registration is January 31, 2020. This deadline is important to allow us to plan spaces, certificates, judges and other resources before the fair.

Registration will take place through the Science Education Foundation of Indiana website. See Registration Rules below for instructions and more information.

Registration and exhibits will take place in Ball Gymnasium and the awards ceremony will take place in Emens Auditorium. Check out the schedule of events for fair day below.

A $10 per student nonrefundable processing fee must mailed by January 31, 2020. The processing fees can be paid by cash or check to the East Central Indiana Regional Science Fair (we can no longer accept credit card payments). Payments can be brought to CL 121 or mailed to (please do not plan to pay the day of the fair):

Ball State University
East Central Indiana Regional Science Fair
c/o Melissa Schafstall
Department of Biology, CL 121
Muncie, IN 47306-0560 

Contact Us

For more information and for all questions, please email

Need directions? View our campus map with optional navigation via Google Maps.



Saturday, February 15, 2020.

Ball Gymnasium 
7:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. — Registration and exhibition setup
8 a.m. to 9 a.m. — Public viewing (exhibits open to the public)
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. — Judging (exhibits open only to participants and judges)
10:45 a.m. — Elementary Division students are dismissed
11 a.m. — Junior and Senior Division students are dismissed
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. — Judging (exhibits open only to judges)
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. — Public viewing (exhibits again open to the public)
1 p.m. to 2 p.m. — Take down exhibits

The Science Fair Committee, cooperating groups, sponsors and Ball State University assume no responsibility for loss or damage to any exhibit or part thereof, although reasonable care will be provided for protection of each exhibit.

Emens Auditorium
2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. — Science demonstrations and presentations
2:30 p.m. — Awards ceremony

After the awards ceremony, the East Central Indiana Regional Science Fair will conclude.

Registration Rules

  • Experimental projects in any field of science or mathematics are acceptable.
  • Projects should be experiments with data, not just demonstrations.
  • Students must be in grades 3 through 12 and from any of the following counties in order to participate: Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Grant, Henry, Howard, Jay, Madison, Randolph, Rush, Tipton, Union, or Wayne counties.
  • Students applying to attend the regional fair should be winners from local (classroom, school, or district) fairs. If a student attends a school that does not hold a local fair, or a student is home-schooled, the student may complete a project under the guidance of an adult sponsor (usually a teacher and/or administrator) and apply to attend the Regional Science Fair.
    o In each of grades 3 through 4, there is a limit of three exhibitors per school.
    o In each of grades 5 through 12, there are no limits on the number of exhibitors per school.
  • Teachers, once you have students who will be attending the Regional Science Fair, visit the Science Education Foundation of Indiana website to create your teacher account and register your participating students.
  • On the SEFI website, please do not select ‘Yes’ for your students attending the Regional Fair as this locks them out from making changes to their application. Instead, send us an email at with a list of students attending the Regional Fair, and we will select ‘Yes’ for attending students after the registration deadline.
  • Teachers and students, all registration forms must be submitted to the Science Education Foundation of Indiana website by Friday, January 31, 2020. See the Application Instructions document and the Packets and Forms section for information on which forms must be submitted for each participant.
  • A $10 nonrefundable processing fee must be in our hands by January 31, 2020. The processing fees can be paid by cash or check to the East Central Indiana Regional Science Fair (we can no longer accept credit card payments). Payments can be brought to CL 121 or mailed to (please do not plan to pay the day of the fair):

              Ball State University
              East Central Indiana Regional Science Fair
              c/o Melissa Schafstall
              Department of Biology, CL 121
              Muncie, IN 47306-0560


  • Elementary Divisions: Grades 3 & 4
  • Junior Division: Grades 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Senior Division: Grades 9, 10, 11, 12


Participants should select the best category for their project from the ones appearing on the registration website (also listed below). Please note that the categories have changed to reflect changes at the state and international science fairs. Click on the link to take you to the subcategories and their descriptions.

Animal Sciences (AS) – This category includes all aspects of animals and animal life, animal life cycles, and animal interactions with one another or with their environment. Examples of investigations included in this category would involve the study of the structure, physiology, development, and classification of animals, animal ecology, animal husbandry, entomology, ichthyology, ornithology, and herpetology, as well as the study of animals at the cellular and molecular level which would include cytology, histology, and cellular physiology.

Behavioral and Social Sciences (BE) – The science or study of the thought processes and behavior of humans and other animals in their interactions with the environment studied through observational and experimental methods.

Biochemistry (BI) – The study of the chemical basis of processes occurring in living organisms, including the processes by which these substances enter into, or are formed in, the organisms and react with each other and the environment.

Biomedical and Health Sciences (BM) – This category focuses on studies specifically designed to address issues of human health and disease. It includes studies on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention or epidemiology of disease and other damage to the human body or mental systems. Includes studies of normal functioning and may investigate internal as well as external factors such as feedback mechanisms, stress or environmental impact on human health and disease.

Chemistry (CH) – Studies exploring the science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter not involving biochemical systems.

Computer Science (CS) – Studies that primarily focus on the discipline and techniques of computer science and mathematics as they relate to biological systems. This includes the development and application of data-analytical and theoretical methods, mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques to the study of biological, behavior, and social systems.

Earth and Environmental Science (EA) – Studies of the environment and its effect on organisms/systems, including investigations of biological processes such as growth and life span, as well as studies of Earth systems and their evolution.

Engineering (EN) – Studies that focus on the science and engineering that involve movement or structure.  The movement can be by the apparatus or the movement can affect the apparatus.  Can also include studies that engineer or develop processes and infrastructure to solve environmental problems in the supply of water, the disposal of waste, or the control of pollution.

Mathematics (MA) – The study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols. The deductive study of numbers, geometry, and various abstract constructs, or structures.

Microbiology (MI) – The study of micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, prokaryotes, and simple eukaryotes as well as antimicrobial and antibiotic substances.

Physics and Astronomy (PH) – Physics is the science of matter and energy and of interactions between the two. Astronomy is the study of anything in the universe beyond the Earth.

Plant Sciences (PS) – Studies of plants and how they live, including structure, physiology, development, and classification. Includes plant cultivation, development, ecology, genetics and plant breeding, pathology, physiology, systematics and evolution.

Robotics and Embedded Systems (RO) – Studies in which the use of machine intelligence is paramount to reducing the reliance on human intervention.


Packets and Forms for Elementary and Junior Divisions
EMSR Packet
Junior Division Form

Packets and Forms for Senior Division
Senior Division Help and ISEF Checklist
ISEF Packet in English
ISEF Packet in Spanish
Form 1: Sponsor Checklist
Form 1A: Student Checklist
Form 1B: Approvals
Form 1C: Regulated Research Institution
Form 2: Qualified Scientist
Form 3: Risk Assessment
Form 4: Human Participants
Form 4 Supplement: Sample Human Informed Consent Form
Form 5A and 5B: Vertebrate Animals
Form 6A: Biological Agents
Form 6B: Vertebrate Tissues
Form 7: Continuing Projects

Useful Websites

Intel Sciences and Engineering Fair Website
Science Education Foundation of Indiana Website

Participants are responsible for the proper care of live plants and animals during their projects. Forms must be completed and signed by the Scientific Review Committee before living vertebrate animals can be used. Failure to have proper forms completed and signed prior to the undertaking of a project has led to disqualification of excellent projects in the past.

Exhibit Rules

  • On Saturday, February 15, 2020, exhibitors will bring their exhibits to Ball Gymnasium on the Ball State University campus beginning at 7:15 a.m. EST and must have them set up by 8:45 a.m.
  • All exhibits of participants in grades 3 through 12 need to display an abstract with their project at the Regional Science Fair. An abstract is a summary that is completed after the project is finished, which states the purpose, hypothesis, procedures, and conclusions of the project. Abstracts must fit on one page and be less than 250 words.
  • From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., judges will evaluate the exhibits. Students should be with their exhibit from 9 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. for the elementary division and from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. for junior and senior divisions. Scoring will be on work done by exhibitors, not on the value of accessory equipment at the exhibit. Criteria for judging will be based on scientific thought, skill, thoroughness, clarity, and creative ability.
  • Exhibits must be confined to a table or floor space of 76cm deep (front to back), 122cm wide (side to side), and 274cm high (floor to top). Oversized exhibits will be disqualified.
  • No wall space will be available for support.
  • No nails, screws, etc. can be used to attach project to tables or floor space.
  • Construction must be durable.
  • Movable parts must be firmly attached and safe.
  • Electricity (110 volts) will be available, but no gas or water will be available. You must indicate on your registration that you need electricity. All switches and cords for 110-volt operation must be of approved variety. Cords must be six or more feet long and have the popular style of parallel plug.
  • No plants, plant parts, soils, containers filled with water, or food may be exhibited.
  • No live animals may be exhibited.
  • No dangerous chemicals (acids, strong bases, model volcano with ammonia dichromate) may be exhibited.
  • No open flames, combustibles, or explosives may be exhibited.
  • No portable chairs are allowed (due to fire code).

Top Projects

  • For the Elementary Division, there are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and honorable mentions awards given.
  • For the Junior Division and the Senior Division, the top three projects and honorable mention awards are given in each category.
  • Ten participants in the Junior Division and up to ten participants the Senior Division are chosen to move on to the Hoosier Science and Engineering Fair.

Potential Specialty Awards 

Awards may vary from year to year.

  • SCIENCE YEARBOOK - The East Central Indiana Regional Science Fair award goes to the best two overall exhibits in the elementary grade division.
  • NATIONAL OCEANIC & ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION AWARD - Presented to the student whose research has demonstrated the Principles and Technical Innovations that offer the greatest potential for an improved understanding of Earth’s dynamic processes.
  • SIGMA XI - THE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH SOCIETY - A certificate and a solar robot is awarded to 2 Elementary Division exhibitors for scientific imagination in the Physical Sciences.
  • THE AMERICAN PHYSICOLOGICAL SOCIETY (APS) STUDENT AWARD - The American Physiological Society (APS) is a nonprofit devoted to fostering education, scientific research, and dissemination of information in the physiological sciences. The National headquarters of the Society is based in Bethesda, Maryland, on the campus of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).This award is provided by the APS for K-12 students with the best physiology-related research projects at local, regional, and national science fairs, including Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Judged and presented by local APS members.
  • PURDUE SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE AWARD - A certificate is awarded to the elementary, junior, and senior division winners for a project that relates to food, agriculture, or natural resources.A senior winner will receive a certificate and a monetary award.
  • PRE-VET AND ANIMAL WELFARE SOCITEY AWARD - The BSU Pre-vet and Wildlife Society presents this award to recognize an elementary or middle school project that shows exemplary science related to Animal Welfare or Zoology.
  • DEPARTMENT OF NATUAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, BSU - The B.S.U. Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Management offers a plaque to the best overall exhibitor in Junior and Senior Environmental project.
  • BOTANY AWARD, BSU - The Ball State University Department of Biology offers a certificate and a plant kit to the best botanical project in each division (senior, junior, and elementary).
  • THE RICOH SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AWARD - Presented to the senior division student whose research has demonstrated the principles and technical innovations that offer the greatest potential for sustainable development.The winner will receive a certificate and is eligible to enter a drawing to win a Ricoh digital camera.
  • GENIUS OLYMPIAD SCIENCE & ART AWARD - A certificate and an invitation to attend the International High School Science and Art Project Competition is awarded to 2 senior division students whose projects research solutions to the environmental challenges of today in hopes of achieving a sustainable and clean world for tomorrow.
  • ASU WALTON SUSTAINABILITY SOLUTIONS INITIATIVES - ASU Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives is pleased to recognize two high school projects in grades 9, 10, 11 or 12 (ages 15-20) who seek innovative solutions to humanity’s most challenging problems.Recognized students will receive a certificate and will be nominated to enter for the Grand Prize, a trip to Arizona for the 2016 Sustainability Solutions Festival.
  • UNITED STATES NAVY/MARINE CORPS AWARDS - Two senior exhibitors to be selected as first place Navy/Marine Corps Distinguished Achievement Award winners.Each winner will receive a letter of congratulations, a certificate, a medallion and a $50.00 gift certificate. Three junior exhibitors will receive a letter of congratulations, a certificate and a medallion.

Executive Committee

Gennifer Mager,Co-Director
Cassandra Martin, Co-Director
Melissa Schafstall, Science Fair Coordinator
Diane Kallmeyer, Assistant Judging Coordinator
Marie Kelly-Worden, Student Liaison

Support Staff

Angie Boyle
Lance Brand
Melissa Bucur
Jean Dinwiddie
Jordan Fruese
Huseyin Ergin
Dee Hoffman
Adam Kriska