Elementary – Grades 3-5
Junior — Grades 6-8
Senior – Grades 9-12

Elementary Categories

The Elementary Division has individual and team projects (up to 3 team members). It is divided into five categories: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Physics and Mathematics, and Engineering/Technology to facilitate judging. All of the Elementary projects are considered as a group for awards. Awards for Elementary Projects are "Exemplary Project" plaque and Honorable Mention Medals.

Junior and Senior Categories

  • Biological Science A
  • Biological Science B
  • Chemistry
  • Earth/Environmental Science,
  • Physics and Mathematics
  • Technology
  • Engineering.

From one to three students can work on a single project. Each Regional Fair can nominate two entries from each of the seven categories for the state level NC Science and Engineering Fair.

Category Descriptions

Great care should be taken in selecting the category for competition that best matches the project. The following descriptions should be of assistance in making the most appropriate decisions. See detailed descriptions of the ISEF categories on the ISEF web site.

Biological Science A

  • Animal Sciences
  • Plant Sciences
  • Microbiology

Biological Science B

  • Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
  • Cellular & Molecular Biology
  • Biomedical and Health Sciences


  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry

Earth/Environmental Science

  • Earth & Environmental Sciences
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Energy:  Chemical and Physical

Physics & Mathematics

  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Mathematics


  • Computational Biology & Bioinformatics
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Material Science


  • Embedded Systems
  • Robotics & Intelligent Machines
  • Systems Software