STEM Research Fair Categories

Category Descriptions

These Category descriptions have been adapted from the Intel ISEF Handbook. Final project placement will be determined by the Scientific Review Committee.

1. Animal Sciences – Study of animal behavior, classification, development, pathology, taxonomy; animal ecology, animal genetics, animal husbandry, circadian rhythms, cytology, entomology, herpetology, histology, ichthyology, ornithology, paleontology, physiology, studies of invertebrates, etc.

2. Behavioral and Social Sciences – Human behavior, social and community relationships; anthropology, archaeology, circadian rhythms, educational testing, ethnology, learning, linguistics, perception, psychology, sociology, urban issues, etc.

3. Biochemistry – Chemistry of life processes; enzymes, food chemistry, hormones, metabolism, molecular biology, molecular genetics, photosynthesis, protein chemistry, etc.

4. Biomedical/ Health Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering – apply engineering principles to solve problems in medicine and biology. This is a field incorporates medical imaging, informatics, micro and nanosystems, prosthetics, medical devices, tissue engineering and genomics, drug delivery, and applications of signal processing and control

5. Chemistry – Study of nature and composition of matter and laws governing it; fuels; inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry (other than biochemistry), physical chemistry; materials, metallurgy, pesticides, plastics, soil chemistry, etc.

6. Cellular and Molecular Biology (NEW in 2021) – This is an interdisciplinary field that studies the structure, function, intracellular pathways, and formation of cells. Studies involve understanding life and cellular processes specifically at the molecular level.

7. Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (New in 2021) Bioinformatics and computational biology are two fields that have arisen from the growth of bioenterprise around the globe. BIO, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, predicts that advancements in biotechnology, bioinformatics, and computational biology will significantly assist the world as it faces the 21st century’s impending resource challenges.

8. Computer Science and System Software –Study and development of computer hardware; programming languages; networking and communications; robotics control systems; simulations/virtual reality or computations science (including data structures, encryption, coding and information theory); algorithms, artificial intelligence, data bases, graphics, software engineering, etc.

9. Earth & Environmental Science – Climatology, geography, geology, geophysics, meteorology, mineralogy, oceanography, paleontology, physiography, seismology, speleology, tectonics, etc.

10. Engineering: Electrical, Mechanical, and Robotics – Electrical & Mechanical – Computer engineering, controls, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, robot mechanics, solar electric generation, thermodynamics, etc.

11. Engineering: Energy, Materials, and Transport– Energy & Transport – Aerodynamics, Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering, alternative fuels, automotive & marine vehicle development, fossil fuel energy, heating & refrigeration, renewable energies, solar heating, wind energy, etc.

12. Mathematical Sciences – Science of numbers and their operations; algorithms, development of formal logical systems or various numerical and algebraic computations and the application of these principles; algebra, calculus, complex analysis, geometry, number theory, probability, statistics, etc.

13. Microbiology – Biology of microorganisms; antibiotics/microbials, bacterial genetics, bacteriology, fungi, molds, protozoology, virology, yeast, etc.

14. Physics & Astronomy – Theories, principles and laws governing energy and the effect of energy on matter; acoustics; atoms, molecules, nuclear, plasma, solids; biophysics; fluid and gas dynamics; instrumentation and electronics; magnetism; optics, lasers, masers; particle, quantum mechanics; semiconductors, solid state, superconductivity, thermodynamics; theoretical or computational astronomy, planetary science, etc.

15. Plant Sciences – Study of plant life; agriculture/agronomy, algae, circadian rhythms, ecology, forestry, horticulture, hydroponics, plant evolution, plant genetics, plant pathology, plant physiology, plant taxonomy, etc.

16. Product Testing/Consumer Science (JUNIOR DIVISION ONLY) – Quality control, comparison studies of product designs; using accepted scientific tests to obtain quantifiable results, etc.