Science and Engineering Fair

The North Museum Science and Engineering Fair (NMSEF) serves as Lancaster County’s only free, ISEF-affiliated science fair. Our fair is open to Lancaster County 7th – 12th grade students in public, private, or home schools. In 2019, we hosted over 300 student projects from over 30 schools.

Winners of the North Museum Science and Engineering Fair advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. ISEF 2020 will be held in Anaheim, CA on May 10th – 15th. 

How to Enter the Fair

The 2020 North Museum Science and Engineering Fair will take place on Thursday, March 12th, 2020 at Millersville University. Fair registration for students and parents has closed, and projects have all been submitted. If you are interested in participating in the next science fair (NMSEF 2021), please join us for our annual Kickoff Meeting in early September of 2020 here at the North Museum (400 College Ave, Lancaster, PA 17603). Date to be announced in the summer.

Please contact Tyler Barton (717-358-4371) with all questions concerning NMSEF 2020, or how to get involved in next year’s fair.


Important Dates to Remember for the 2019-2020 NMSEF
This is our official schedule of events for the 2020 NMSEF. This fall, the most important dates on here are Friday, Nov 1st (all project paperwork due to North Museum) and Monday, Nov 11th (Review night…all teachers/adult sponsors who can make this meeting should be there).

Safety and Display Guidelines
Curious about what is and what is not allowed in your project display for the fair? Use this handy checklist, or find even more details on the ISEF site:

Paperwork Overview
This powerpoint is a primer for navigating NMSEF forms.

NMSEF Entry Form (Cover Sheet)
Every project will include this sheet as the first page.

Rules Wizard
This tool will helps students determine which forms their project will require. Remember, in addition to a research plan with 5 sources, every project requires (at least) these forms: Entry Form (Cover Sheet), Form 1, Form 1a, Form 1b, Form 3.

ISEF Forms
Find all official ISEF Forms here, fully downloadable and fillable.

2020 ISEF Rule Book
Need details on rules and guidelines? Look at the rule book, and if you have any questions, please feel free to email Tyler Barton (

ISEF Category Descriptions
Not sure which category your student’s project falls under? Consider the descriptions on this page, and please don’t hesitate to email/call with questions and our SRC will find an answer for you.

Sample Template for Research Plan
Not sure what goes into a research plan? Reference this template. You can even save it and use this exact plan format. Note: this is not the only way to structure a research plan, and your students are not required to use this format.

Sample Projects
We have assembled three sample projects for you to use as examples:

How You Can Help!

Sponsor and support student scientists who are innovators changing the world for the better.

Attend the NMSEF each year for an event you won’t want to miss! The 2020 NMSEF will take place at Millersville University on March 12th, 2019.

Volunteer There are a zillion volunteer opportunities to pull off this massive event. Join in the fun and change the world.

View the list of category winners from the 2020 North Museum Science & Engineering Fair

View the list of category winners from the 2019 North Museum Science & Engineering Fair

View the list of category winners from the 2018 North Museum Science & Engineering Fair

Need inspiration for your science fair project?

Be a Judge For the Fair

The North Museum invites the community to be a part of this impressive competition by being a judge.  Interested professionals from science-related fields (retiree’s welcome!) should register to receive information about becoming a judge. We need all the help we can get to evaluate projects from over 22 science categories.  Use the link below and support this countywide, internationally affiliated competition! Training is provided and we promise you will be inspired by these impressive students!  NMSEF Judges Registration

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North Museum Science & Engineering Fair

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