CWSF Project Displays

3. Programs
Policy Number:
Policy Section: 
CWSF Participation
Approved by: 
National Judging Committee, National Ethics & Safety Committee, Executive Director
Date Approved: 
Sat, Dec 13, 2003
Date Effective: 
Date Last Amended: 
Tue, Apr 17, 2018
Date of Next Review: 
Fri, Sep 7, 2018
Executive Director
Contact Email: 

1 Display Dimensions

CWSF Display Unit 1.1 Every project at the CWSF uses the same display unit - an aluminum frame with two white vertical panels, a triangular table, and a header sign pre-printed with the project title and finalist name(s). Use of the CWSF display unit is mandatory - do not bring a backboard of any kind. Click the image to download a PDF file suitable for printing.

The height of the display is 2.5m from the floor, with a triangular shelf provided at a standard table height of 0.76m (30 inches). Pre-printed headers will be provided for each participant on a 0.48m tall header panel attached across the top of the display area. The approximate dimensions are as follows: each panel is 0.95m wide, with the height of the display area being a maximum of 1.64m, with 1.26m available for an unobstructed viewing area. The total display area of the panels is 3.12 m2, with an unobstructed viewing display area of 2.39 m2. The total area of the triangular shelf is 0.45 m2

1.2 Presentation and prop material and all display equipment must fit entirely within the display dimensions. No portion of the display shall project into any aisle.The finalist may not hang any portion of the project, nor affix any posters, graphs, etc. off the display board, or from or to the walls or ceilings of the building in which the fair is housed.

1.3 A project may be granted additional space to display an innovation that exceeds the dimensions above by request from the Regional Coordinator to the CWSF Fair Director. The final authority for approval rests with the Executive Director.


2 Display Materials

2.1 Presentation information including text, graphics, photographs and other data on the display panels must be printed on bond paper (laser, inkjet, or standard copier), or photographic paper. Laminated paper is permissible, but discouraged due to the environmental impact.

2.2 Construction paper, Bristol board and papers listed in 2.1 may be used to outline or border presentation information or to add small decorative elements to the display panels.

2.3 Papers presented on the exhibit table must be secured in a binder, Duo-tang, presentation folder, plastic sleeve or other appropriate enclosure.

2.4 Toxic adhesives shall not be applied to project materials inside any building at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.

2.5 The display panels must be returned to their original condition, with all project materials and adhesives removed upon project takedown.

3. Fitting Posters to the Display Panels

CWSF Display Unit


The diagram on the left illustrates how standard paper pages fit on a display panel when arranged in a grid. Click the image to download a PDF file suitable for printing.


4 Affixing the Display Materials to the Panels

Scotch Tape4.1 3M Scotch 110 Heavy Duty Mounting Tape, as pictured, is the only adhesive allowed to attach the presentation materials to the white display panels above the table. The presentation materials may overlap from one panel to the other. Materials may not be attached to the display unit frame, including the header sign.

4.2 The adhesives for affixing presentation materials to the display panels will be supplied; no other adhesives may be used.

4.3 Although we will have sufficient tape for all participants, you may wish to bring your own supply, which is available in 1.9m rolls at Staples and Home Depot.

5 Fire Safety

5.1 Operation of an open flame, candle, torch or any other heating device is not permitted.

5.2 Smoking is not permitted in the exhibit area.

5.3 Packing material must be stored in the designated areas provided.

6 Electrical Safety

6.1 Electrical cords shall have a 3-wire conductor with ground and must be CSA approved and in good repair.

6.2 Power bars, lighting and other electrical devices shall be CSA approved.

6.3 Any modification to an electrical device negates the CSA approval and that device must not be used.

6.4 Dry cells (Alkaline, NiCad, NiMH, LiIon, etc.) and sealed lead-acid batteries (gel cells) may be used. Wet cell batteries are not permitted.

6.5 Electrical devices constructed by finalists must comply with the following requirements to be approved for display. As they cannot be CSA approved, these devices may only be connected and operated during judging.

  1. Electrical devices must be protected by a non-combustible enclosure.
  2. An insulating grommet is required at the point where electrical service enters an enclosure.
  3. Electrical devices shall use as low a voltage as possible.
  4. The electric current must be limited so as not to cause any danger or discomfort if the terminals are touched.
  5. A pilot light must be used to indicate when power is on.

7 Structural and Mechanical Safety

7.1 Sharp edges or corners of prisms, mirrors, enclosures and glass or metal plates that may be contacted by the public must be removed or protected to prevent injury.

7.2 Dangerous moving parts, such as belts, gears, pulleys and blades, must be provided with a guard to prevent access to the moving parts.

7.3 An in-running nip hazard of any part of a motor, device or thing that may be a danger shall be guarded to prevent contact with the pinch point.

7.4 A certificate of safety inspection must be displayed if a project involves the construction or use of a boiler or pressure vessel with a capacity greater than 42.5 litres or operated at a pressure greater than 103 kilopascals. Evidence of inspection by an engineer with certification in boilers and pressure vessels should be displayed when the project involves any finalist-constructed pressure vessel, regardless of size or pressure. Such vessels may be displayed, but must not be pressurized at any time.

7.5 Compressed gas cylinders shall not be displayed.

7.6 Moving exhibits (e.g., radio-controlled vehicles, robots) shall be restricted to the display space. The Host Committee may, at its discretion, provide an area to safely demonstrate projects that require more than the regulation display space.

8 Chemical Safety

8.1 The following materials shall not be displayed:

  1. Flammable, toxic or dangerous chemicals.
  2. Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.

8.2 Photographs or empty packages of prohibited materials may be displayed.

8.3 The display of chemicals is discouraged; however, other substances can be used to simulate chemicals for display purposes.

  1. Table salt can be used to simulate many chemicals, such as ammonium nitrate.
  2. Water can represent alcohol, ether and many other liquids.
  3. Molasses can be used to simulate petroleum products.

8.4 When chemicals are simulated, they should be identified with the name of the substance they represent, preceded by the word “simulated.” Any WHMIS labels for the chemical being simulated (supplier or workplace) should be attached to show understanding of safe work practices.

8.5 The total quantity of liquids displayed at a project shall not exceed 1 litre. Photographs and/or video should be used to demonstrate processes requiring larger quantities of liquid.

9 Biohazards

9.1 The following materials shall not be displayed:

  1. Biological toxins.
  2. Cell or tissue samples including blood and blood products, except on sealed microscope slides, which may be displayed.
  3. Plants or plant tissue.
  4. Soil containing organic material.
  5. Cultures - only photographs or simulated cultures may be used.

10 Human Subjects

10.1 The project display may include pictures of participants if prior permission has been obtained. Projects dealing with forensic science topics must preserve the anonymity of any human victims, and project displays must avoid sensational or gratuitous, macabre images.

11 Animals and Animal Parts

11.1 Live animals (microorganisms, non-vertebrate and vertebrate) shall not be displayed.

11.2 The only parts of vertebrate animals that may be displayed are those that are either naturally shed by an animal or parts properly prepared and preserved. For example, porcupine quills (safely contained), shed snake skin, feathers, tanned pelts and hides, antlers, hair samples, skeletons and skeletal parts are permissible, while cell and tissue samples are not, as indicated in 9.1-2).

11.3 Photographs of animals, animal parts or organs may be used on the display and in the Project Report; however, finalists and Regional Science Fair committees must be aware that other exhibitors and members of the public might find such photographs offensive. Finalists are encouraged to choose their photographs in accordance with the accepted norms of the community. Final decision regarding suitability rests with the Safety Check Coordinator and the Executive Director of YSC.

12 Firearms, Hazardous Materials and Equipment

12.1 Firearms (even if appropriately locked), ammunition, dangerous goods or explosives shall not be displayed. The manner in which such materials were used in a project may be conveyed through text, photos, video, computers or simulation.

12.2 Images of humans or animals that have been injured by the use of firearms or explosives shall not be displayed. Such images are deemed unsuitable for general public viewing and do not contribute to the scientific value of a project.

12.3 X-ray or hazardous radiation-producing equipment may not be displayed.

12.4 Radioisotopes or compounds containing radioisotopes at activities above normal background shall not be displayed.

12.5 Lasers will only be operated during judging.

13 Display Equipment and Damage

13.1 The finalist or his/her RSF must supply all presentation materials and display equipment.

13.2 Although every effort will be made to prevent damage to exhibit materials, Youth Science Canada, the Host Committee or other sponsoring organizations or co-operating groups will accept no responsibility for loss or damage to any exhibit or part thereof.

14 Infractions

14.1 Any exhibit infraction shall be pointed out to the delegate responsible for that finalist. Required changes shall be the delegate’s responsibility.