Photo of students presented science fair projects in gymnasium

The 2024 East Central Indiana Regional Science Fair will be held February 24, 2024.

The East Central Indiana Regional Science 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 in East Central Indiana counties qualify for the regional fair. To find out more about your local science fair, contact your teacher.

Registration and Application

Registration will take place through the Science Education Foundation of Indiana System.

The deadline for registration to participate in the regional fair is Monday, February 5, 2024.

The deadline for project application and submission of all supporting materials is Monday, February 12, 2024. These deadlines are important so that we can plan volunteer needs and evaluate project applications. 

Application Fee

There is an application fee of $10.00. 

Send a check or money order made out to East Central Indiana Regional Science Fair to the following address:
Ball State University
Department of Biology
Attn: Melissa Schafstall
1600 West Ashland Avenue, FB 231
Muncie, IN 47306

Contact Us

For more information, please email

Registration Rules

Registration Rules

  • Eligibility is limited to students in grades 3 through 12 and from any of the following counties: Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Grant, Henry, Howard, Jay, Madison, Randolph, Rush, Tipton, Union, or Wayne counties.
  • Experimental projects in any field of science, engineering, or mathematics are acceptable. Projects must be experiments with data and not just demonstrations!
  • Students applying to attend the ECI Regional Science Fair should be winners from local (classroom, school, or district) fairs. There is a limit of three participants per school for each grades 3 and 4. There are no limits for grades 5 to 12.
    • 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 ECI Regional Science Fair.
  • Teachers and students, before beginning projects to be submitted to our regional fair, read and follow the correct rules packet for your division.           
    • The EMSR packet for Elementary and Junior division participants and the ISEF packet for Senior division participants can be found on the Instructional Documents and Links tab of this webpage!
  • Teachers, please visit the Science Education Foundation of Indiana system to create and/or access your teacher account as soon as you know you will be sending students to the ECI Regional Science Fair. 
    • As soon as you know which students you are sending to the regional fair but no later than Monday, February 5, 2024, enter students into the SEFI system to generate their accounts.
    • If you have a later fair, enter all students who might be sent to the regional fair into the SEFI system. As soon as you know who will attend, send us an email with the full names of those students.
  • Teachers and students, all information must be complete in and all forms must be submitted to the Science Education Foundation of Indiana System by Monday, February 12, 2024. 
    • Instructional documents can be found on the Instructional Documents and Links tab of this webpage!


2023 Winner Presentation


  • 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.

2023 Winner Presentation

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
Marie Kelly-Worden, Student Liaison

Support Staff

Lance Brand
Jordan Fruese
Adam Kriska