A High-Level View of the Fair

Congratulations on your decision to support your child’s participation in BASEF!

All BASEF student participants are rewarded with an enriching experience. All BASEF student participants will have learned valuable communication skills, gained confidence in their abilities, and met lots of new people (like-minded peers, as well as judges involved in STEM fields, academia, and education).

BASEF awards cash prizes, awards, and scholarships. Top winners have the chance to win an expense-paid trip to either the national (CWSF) or international science fair (ISEF).

Why So Many Rules?

There are 3 main reasons for the rules:

Safety: Flammability, electrical, chemical, and biological hazards are not uncommon with projects. Safety rules and the inspection process exist to cut risk, ensure conformance with applicable laws, and ensure that participants, visitors, and our host are not exposed to unnecessary risks.

Progressing to the next level of competition: Both the national and international competitions have safety and ethics rules that must be followed. BASEF’s rules are aligned with these organizations. If your child wins a trip award then you know that they are eligible for these fairs.

Running a Successful Fair: Some rules exist in order to ensure that all participants are able to have a successful and safe learning experience.


Locations of Fair Activities?

Activity Morning:

Unfortunately, due to staffing constraints, there will not be an Activity Morning event in 2024.

Project setup, judging and public display

Hillfield Strathallan College gymnasium.

Awards Ceremony:

Awards Ceremony TBD

What Do I Do First?

Things to Do Before the Fair

First Things First: Is your child eligible?
  • They must be in grades 7 through 12.
  • They must live in Hamilton, Halton Region, Brant County, Six Nations, Haldimand, or Norfolk County. If you live outside this area check the YSC Fair Locator for a fair near you.
  • Projects may be done by one or two students. Larger team sizes are not allowed.
  • They must be under the age of 21 before June 1 of the fair year.

School affiliations are not a requirement. Students in public, private, or separate schools and homeschooled students are all welcome.

Step 2: Come up with a project idea and get started

There are many sources of ideas for projects – from class projects to personal experiences, to internet browsing. But the primary criterion is to find something your child is interested in.

After that, provide encouragement, support, and guidance as required. And remember, you may have to abandon the living room in March as project backboard design and assembly takes over.

Useful Links

For more details see:

Eligibility Rules

Detailed Schedule of Events

Upcoming events and deadlines

Campus map (This map is updated for each year’s fair)

BASEF Publications

Project Resources


Step 3: Register the Project

Register the project on time. There is an incredible amount of work to be done after the close of registration and there isn’t enough time to make exceptions to this rule.

You don’t have to have a completed project to register. But you will need a title and a precise description of what the project is about.

Registration start and end dates will be posted on the website in November or December.

What Happens at the Fair

The fair starts on a Thursday and goes through to the following Tuesday. But Sunday and Monday are paperwork days for the committee so you only need to understand what happens on four days.

For the dates of this year’s activities see the Calendar.

Day 1: Registration and Set-up

Date: Thursday, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Hillfield Strathallan College gym (the GYM)

Project set up occurs ONLY on Thursday from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

Projects not set up by 8:00 pm will be deemed as “no shows” and deleted from the judging process.


Parking instructions will be included closer to the start of the fair.

The process consists of four steps:

  1. Visit the registration desk to find your assigned display area in the gym.
  2. Set up the project.
  3. Have the project Safety Checked. A safety inspector will ensure that the project meets all safety guidelines. Students cannot leave until their project has passed their safety check.
  4. And you’re done.

Registration and project set-up usually take less than an hour. Be sure all of the safety rules and regulations regarding project size, display materials, and ethical guidelines have been followed. Complete details are available on the website Student pages.

Day 2: Afternoon Judging

Date: Friday, 12:45 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Hillfield Strathallan College gym (the GYM)

Students must be at their projects for judging between 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

Teachers and parents are not permitted on the gym floor after 12:45 pm. Judging starts promptly at 1:00 pm.

Typically, each student will be interviewed by at least four judges.

Student Pick-Up

Parking instructions will be included closer to the start of the fair.


Day 3: Public Viewing

Date: Saturday, 9:00 am – 12:00
Location: Hillfield Strathallan College gym (the GYM)

We ask that your children be at their projects in the gymnasium for Public Viewing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. Students will remove their projects at noon (no earlier), once Public Viewing is closed.
We strongly recommend that you attend the public viewing with your child. It will give you an opportunity to view all of the great projects on display, and to see your own child interacting with visitors.

Project Take-Down
Date: Saturday, noon – 12:15
Location: Hillfield Strathallan College gym (the GYM)

Students must pick up their projects between 12 noon and 12:15 pm. After this, projects will be removed from the gymnasium as the volunteer staff are busy returning the rental tables and chairs and college staff will be preparing the gym for college activities.

Day 4: The Awards Ceremony

Date: Tuesday, 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

(Doors open at 6:00 pm)

McIntyre Performing Arts Centre

Mohawk College
135 Fennell Ave W,
Hamilton, Ontario


Parking instructions will be included closer to the start of the fair.

Some Common Questions

Dress code

Neat and casual, with the emphasis on neatness. Remember, this is an opportunity for students to practice looking and sounding confident.

Food Allergies and Medical Issues

We ask that you remind the BASEF volunteers at the Registration Desk and throughout the fair of any food allergies or special medical issues that pertain to your children. BASEF should be considered a public facility regarding food allergies.

Wheelchair Accessibility

All areas used for the fair (gym and theatre) are wheelchair accessible.