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. Students will come away with the experience of meeting new people – both judges and other top students, learn valuable communication skills, and gain confidence in their abilities.

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).

Please Remember

The fair takes place while regular college classes are taking place. Therefore, as visitors, we need to minimize disruptions to college activities. This also means that resources, such as parking spaces and support personnel, are limited. Please respect Mohawk’s rules and staff.

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 to help run a successful fair.


Locations of Fair Activities?

Activity Morning:

Unfortunately, due to staffing constraints, there will not be an Activity Morning event in 2023.

Project setup, judging and public display

Mohwak College, Fennell Campus, David Braley Athletic & Recreation Centre gymnasium.

Awards Ceremony:

Awards Ceremony Tuesday, March 28th, 2023, at 7:00 p.m.

Mohwak College, Fennell Campus, McIntyre Performing Arts Centre

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 criteria 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 (Physical fairs only. 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.

The start and end dates are posted on the website in September or October. Registration opens around the first of February.

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: David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre (DBARC) (the GYM)

Project set up ONLY occurs 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.


Park in Lot P7. If you park in another lot you must pay.

Park, then carry your project into the Gym.

Do not stop in front of the gym as this is a fire route.

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. Get your memento photo ID badge and a goody bag 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.

Activity Morning provides students with a series of STEM-related presentations covering a variety of topics. Program details can be found on the BASEF website.

Afternoon Judging
Date: Friday, 12:45 pm – 4:00 pm

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

After Judging, at 4 pm, parents may park free in Lot P7 for 1 hour. You must pay in all other parking lots. Do not wait along the roadway at the DBARC Athletic Centre entrance; this is a fire route.

Regular parking rates apply during the day.

Day 3: Public Viewing

Date: Saturday, 9:00 am – 12:00
Location: David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre (DBARC) (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. At noon the students will remove their projects. Students may not remove their projects until after the Public Viewing.
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

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 Mohawk staff will return the gym to college activities.

Day 4: The Awards Ceremony

Date: Tuesday, 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Location: McIntyre Performing Arts Centre (the Theatre)


Evening parking for the Awards Ceremony is a flat rate of $6 after 5:00 p.m.

Theatre doors open at 6:00 pm.

The ceremony begins at 7:00 pm sharp.

The Awards Ceremony is the culmination of the Fair and where the student’s hard work is recognized. Many students will receive prizes recognizing their exceptional work and this provides an incentive to others to excel.

Come early, as seating is limited. If the theater reaches capacity, alternate seating or viewing opportunities will be provided. Details will be announced in the lobby if necessary. Students sit near the front of the theater while parents and guests sit further back. This allows winners to quickly get on stage. Seating will be labeled.

Note: Trip award winners and a parent are required to attend an information meeting immediately after the Awards Ceremony (approximately one hour).

There! Wasn’t that easy? Congratulations to you and your young scientists and engineers! Be sure to visit the BASEF website throughout the year. You’ll find project pictures and abstracts from last year’s fair, resource materials and important information about the next fair. Also, follow the BASEF winners at basef.ca as they compete at the national and international science fairs. Their progress can be found in “Team BASEF”, with links to Facebook and Twitter.

Some Common Questions

Dress code

Neat and casual, with the emphasis on neatness.

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.