2016 Intel ISEF Qualifying Info


The 2016 OC ISEF Judging will be held on March 19, 2016 at Beckman Center. Winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Phoenix, AZ and participate in the 2016 Intel ISEF Competition.



  • Application Deadline: Tuesday, March 8, 2016
  • Semifinalists Judging: Saturday, March 12, 2016
  • Semifinalist Notification: Tuesday, March 15, 2016
  • Finalists Judging: March 19, 2016 at Arnod and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Science and Engineering
    • 100 Academy Way, Irvine, CA 92614
  • 2016 Intel ISEF: May 8-13, 2016 in Phoenix, AZ.

NOTE: The semifinalists will be selected by a special OCSEF Judging Committee based on a reading of your submitted abstract. Students do not participate in-person.


For more information, visit the Intel ISEF Page.





Competing in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) goes far beyond simply displaying your project. Imagine meeting and competing with the top young scientists from around the country and the world. Being selected to display your science project at this level is evidence of an exceptionally high level of talent and commitment, and is recognized by the top colleges and universities around the country. All students in grade 9 - 12 are eligible for ISEF.


Selection Process

The OCSEF will hold an Intel ISEF qualifying competition through three rounds of ISEF qualifying competition:

  • Round 1: 30 Semifinalists - All students who submit a project to OCSEF will be considered. OCSEF will organize a special judging committee to review all research abstracts and select approximately 30 projects and recognize them as OC ISEF Semifinalists. Students DO NOT participate in-person.
  • Round 2: 10 Finalists - All semifinalists will be invited to exhibit their projects and be judged in-person by judging panels on the morning of March 19, 2016. At lunch, OCSEF will select 10 projects and recognize them as OC ISEF Finalists.
  • Round 3: 4 Winners - Each finalist will make a 15-minute presentation in front of all judges in the afternoon of March 19, 2016. OCSEF will select 4 projects as winners. The winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to participate in the 2015 Intel ISEF competition.

All semifinalists, finalists, and winners will be recognized at 2016 OCSEF Senior Division Award Ceremony held on April 17, 2016 from 12:00 - 1:30 pm at OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa, CA. The finalists are expected to make a presentation about their work at the OCSEF Excellence in STEM Award Ceremony on June 5, 2016.

Projects entered into the ISEF qualifying competition are also eligible for participation in OCSEF. Just like any other OCSEF project, you will still be able to compete for board awards, special awards, and the chance to continue on to the California State Science Fair. You get twice the fun, so work hard to meet the deadlines for the Intel ISEF, which are earlier than for OCSEF.

Go to https://student.societyforscience.org/intel-isef to learn about Intel ISEF and the rules, regulations, and guidelines for the upcoming fair.




Project Categories

For the list of Project Categories and Subcategories, go to the Intel ISEF Categories Page.





For a complete list of forms, including rules and guidelines, checklists, certification forms, and more, go to the Intel ISEF Forms Page.