Science fair projects from time to time will be mentored, or receive outside assistance. Mentors may be scientists, teachers, parents or, sometimes, other students. It is important to understand that mentorship is not at all discouraged; it can be a useful way for students to conduct research and gain knowledge pertaining to their project. Mentorship will not be considered an ‘unfair advantage’ as long as the following guidelines are strictly followed:
Always keep in mind that the project is the student’s and not the mentor’s. It is the student’s role, and not the mentor’s, to conceive the project’s specific topic.
All data taking and analysis of the data must be the student’s own, unless the student does not present it as his or her own and credits the actual data taker properly. When mentors take over these responsibilities, they deprive students of valuable learning experiences.
If a project has been mentored, it should be declared in the references and or bibliography in the accompanying project report/abstract.
The student must be knowledgeable in the subject/project, and can answer all questions about information they’ve presented in the project.