Project Information

Grade 5-12 Projects

Projects by students in Grades 5 through 12 are classified in three ways : Project Type, Project Category and Project Challenge. See below for details.

Project Type

Students will be asked to identify their project type as either “Discovery” or “Innovation” for the purpose of evaluating the scientific thought portion of the judging.

Project Grade Categories

Grade 5-12 projects are classified by grade to inform the judges of the level of background expertise the student might reasonably be expected to have acquired in his/her schooling; however, students who prepare top quality projects often dramatically exceed the expectations of their school grade curriculum. Sci-Tech projects are an ideal opportunity for a student to demonstrate achievement at Level 4 in the Ontario Curriculum.

Toronto Science Fair is committed to recognizing excellence in project-based science and sending Toronto's best to the Canada-Wide Science Fair. Consequently, age/grade plays a minor role in our judging and selection process. However, at the Canada-Wide Science Fair, awards and judging are separated by grade category.

TSF categories are:

  • Elementary (grade 5 and 6)

  • Junior (grade 7 and 8)

  • Intermediate (grade 9 and 10)

  • Senior (grade 11 and 12)

Canada-Wide Science Fair categories are:

  • Junior (grade 7 and 8)

  • Intermediate (grade 9 and 10)

  • Senior (grade 11 and 12)


Projects will be divided into the following challenges:

  • Agriculture, Fisheries and Food - involves food security, sustainability or competitiveness in agriculture, fisheries or food production

  • Curiosity and Ingenuity - helps improve our understanding or address a problem in an area of STEM not covered by the other challenges

  • Digital Technology - helps improve our quality of life or transform existing products and services through digital devices, methods or systems.

  • Disease and Illness - enhances our diagnosis, treatment or understanding of disease, or the management of physical or mental illness.

  • Energy - helps improve our use of current energy sources, enable the transition to alternative energy sources, or reduce our energy footprint.

  • Environment and Climate Change - helps ensure the quality of water, air, soil or the diversity of living things, or manage the impact of climate change.

  • Health and Wellness - helps prevent disease or promote physical, social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, or intellectual wellbeing.

  • Natural Resources - helps ensure the sustainable management, use, reuse or recycling of Earth’s finite or renewable natural resource.

Tips for Success

How to Make your Project the Best it Can Be (PDF Format)

  • Keep a log book as you work on your project. This is a record of what you do and what you think and observe as your project takes shape. If you are chosen for the Canada Wide Science Fair, you will be asked to upload a few sample pages of this document. At the Toronto Regional Fair you display this book with your project.

  • Look over the judging form that will be used at our fair. See what the judges will be looking for with regard to Scientific Thought, Originality, experimental design, etc. Consider whether you can strengthen various parts of your project to meet these criteria of excellence. This year's form will be available in the new year.

  • Submit Ethics forms if required. If you are experimenting with human or animal subjects, there are special considerations with regard to ethics. There are specific forms that you will need to submit for animal experiments and ones involving human low risk and high risk experiments. Don’t forget that you need to get Informed Consent to experiment with human subjects, even yourself. If minors are involved, you need to seek parental consent.

  • Ensure that safety best practices are followed during experimentation. Seek help if you are not sure about safe experimental methods for your project. Work under adult supervision.

  • Make your project as thorough and complete as possible. Do more than one experimental trial. Double check that you have accounted for all important variables. Follow up on questions that present themselves as you work through the early stages of your project.

  • Use footnotes and create a bibliography. Acknowledge any information or ideas you take directly from any source. Copying and pasting blocks of text without saying where it came from is plagiarism. Significant examples of plagiarism can lead to disqualification. Master your topic sufficiently that you can express the ideas in your own words.

  • Use pictures in your display. Look for images that will help show what your project is all about. Take pictures with your Cell phone as you develop your project. Many of these may be just right as images to explain what you are doing and what you discovered.