Student at project board

It’s time to show people the ins and outs of your research. We’ve put together a suite of ways to present your work. Each piece will help you organize your thoughts and better express your ideas to the judges. This year, all students will submit abstracts, posters, and videos online on the following dates. Scroll to learn more about each!

SCHEDULE for the 2024 MSSF

Saturday, March 23, 2024 | University of Maine

Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center, 75 Long Road, Orono

Click on the headings below for details.

Students should arrive at the Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center and have their displays set up by 8:30 am.

We’ll give students an overview of the day and set the stage for a great event. Students should have their posters set up by 8:30.

Half of the projects will be judged from 9:00 to 10:15. Students in round 1 should be at their posters during this time. Judges will approach students, who can describe their projects and then answer questions.

Judges get a chance to recharge while the second group of students sets up their displays and prepares for their judging round.

The remaining projects will be judged from 10:45 to 12:00. Students in round 2 should be at their posters during this time. Judges will approach students, who can describe their projects and then answer questions.

This is a good time to take down your posters and other display items.

UMaine volunteers will lead students to the dining halls and then show them around campus for tours of labs and other facilities. Get to know the campus and some of the amazing research done here!

We’ll gather to celebrate the day.

Students head home.

ABSTRACTS - Due March 1st

Abstracts are incredibly important! Your abstract is the first exposure a judge has to your project, so it should make a strong impression. An abstract is a short summary of your research, no longer than 250 words, written in paragraph form. It should include the most important aspects of your work that you would like to share with judges, including research methods, results, and why your research is important. You can access our short course on how to write your abstract. Make sure your abstract includes:

Purpose: An introductory statement providing background, namely the reason, for investigating the project topic.

Procedure: A brief overview of how the investigation was conducted, highlighting key points, and including methods and resources used.

Observations/Data/Results: Key results that lead directly to the conclusions you have drawn.

Conclusions: A short summary (1-2 sentences) which may include conclusive ideas, important applications, and implications of the research.

Submit your abstract by March 1st.

VIDEOS - Due March 14th

Videos are required this year. Upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo and set the visibility to Public or UnlistedIf you are doing a team project, only one person from your team needs to submit a video.

This presentation will help awards judges learn about your project, and gives you a chance to explain your process in lay person’s terms to anyone that would like to know more about your research at the competition. It should be a maximum of two minutes long. You are welcome to use one of the slide presentation templates below, but this is not required. We also have two great sample videos to give you an idea of how you could present your information. Many students use a video platform like Zoom where they can share their screen and record in one place. You will not be judged based on bells and whistles; focus primarily on content over flair.

Swetha Palaniappan: Microplastics

Emerson Harris: Customized Pointe Shoe Padding

Click on the image above to make a copy of the template in your Google Drive.


Your poster must be submitted as an image (PNG, JPG, GIF) by March 21. If you are doing a team project, only one person needs to submit your poster.

 There are many ways to format your MSSF poster, and the format will depend on the type of project you have done. We have a few rules for you to follow:

  • Posters must be no wider than 48” and no taller than 72”. The most common poster size at MSSF is 48” wide by 36” tall.
  • Posters must be free-standing on a table. We recommend a stiff poster board, either tri-fold or flat. If you are using a flat poster board, be sure to figure out how it will stand upright on the table. An easel that sits on the table is acceptable, but floor easels are not allowed.
  • You are welcome to bring props or a part of your project for demonstration purposes as long as they follow our display rules.

See below for two templates you can use for your poster. The Quad Chart, below left, is required for any project that advances to ISEF. However, students are encouraged to use the more traditional poster format, below right. Check out our online course on Presenting at MSSF for a deep-dive into making an effective poster.

Quad Chart

Traditional Poster

Click on the image to make a copy of the template in your Google Drive.