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What ISEF project category should I pick?

Postby crescentcavae » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:53 pm

Hi! So this past weekend I qualified for the Intel ISEF 2019. I won my grand prize at my regional fair in the Environmental Science category, and when I went to register for ISEF, I had to pick a category and subcategory in which to place my project in. My project is basically a solar cooking device that will help reduce deforestation and the rates of lung diseases in the global developing population. I'm not sure what qualifies as: earth and environmental science, environmental engineering, or engineering mechanics. I feel that if I choose environmental science it won't connect with the engineering part, and if I do engineering mechanics, it won't really connect with the environmental aspect of the project. And I'm not sure if environmental engineering applies to my project. I'm scared I won't pick the right category and I'll end up with the wrong judges. What category should I pick? Thank you!

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Re: What ISEF project category should I pick?

Postby MadelineB » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:16 pm

Congratulations on winning the grand prize in your category!

I understand your concern about choosing the most appropriate category!

Here's a link to the ISEF categories for 2019 (I'm sure you've been studying these!): ... categories

Looking at this guide for picking your category:
"Ask yourself the following questions to help in the selection of a category:
Who will be the most qualified to judge my project? What area of expertise is the most important for the judge to have? (For example, a medical background or an engineering background?)
What is the emphasis of my project? What characteristic of my project is the most innovative, unique or important? (For example, is it the application in medicine or the engineering of the machine? Is it inserting the proper gene or the method of computer mapping to demonstrate the results?)"

For your project, is the engineering of the solar cooking device the most unique part of your project? Or is your major contribution evaluating/analyzing the impact (reduction) in deforestation and/or lung disease?

If the engineering of the solar cooking device is the key component, I would suggest ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (Code: ENEV) which is described as:

Studies that engineer or develop processes and infrastructure to solve environmental problems in the supply of water, the disposal of waste, or the control of pollution.

On the other hand, if the focus of your project was the evaluation of the (?potential) reduction in deforestation and decrease in lung disease, then you might actually want to look at categories that focus on biomedical. If this is the focus, let us know so we can consider those types of categories! Hope this helps!

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