SJWP Eligibility and Entry Requirements

Overall Eligibility  State Competition Requirements  National Competition Requirements

2024 Competition Dates and Deadlines

  • Regional winners and self-nominated students must enter the State Competition by April 15, 2024.
  • State winners will receive further information entering the national competition.
    • Only State Competition winners are eligible.
    • See National Competition Guidelines
  • U.S. SJWP competition held at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, June 20-23.
  • International SJWP competition held at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, August 23-27.

For more information, contact Brad Lovett at 703-684-2454.

US-SJWP logo

Overall Eligibility and Requirements

The competition is open to any high school student in grades 9 through 12, who has conducted a water-related science project and reached the age of 15 by August 1 of the competition year.

  • Teams of up to two students may enter.
  • Projects should be aimed at enhancing the quality of life through improvement of water quality, water resources management, or water and wastewater treatment. Projects can explore water issues on local, regional, national, or global issues.
  • It is essential that all projects use a research-oriented approach, which means they must use scientifically accepted methodologies for experimentation, monitoring, and reporting, including statistical analysis.

Entries are judged based on six different criteria:

  • relevance,
  • creativity,
  • methodology,
  • subject knowledge,
  • practical skills, and
  • report and presentation.

Unlike other science competitions, this competition weighs the quality of the scientific research paper much more heavily than the poster presentation.

The following criteria and paper guidelines are designed to provide direction for students who are entering projects into this competition.

Students are also encouraged to use the ISEF Rules Wizard to ensure they are following safe handling processes. It is not necessary to return the forms generated from this tool.

State SJWP Requirements

To be eligible for the State Competitions, students must complete the online entry form (download the information needed on the SJWP State Competition entry form) and electronically submit their research paper.

  • At state competitions, there are no specific paper guidelines. The file cannot be larger than 2MB.
  • Teams of one or two students may enter.
  • Only one person from a team should submit the project online but must complete the information for both team members if applicable.

Based on the papers, and in some cases, personal interviews at science fairs, a panel of water professionals will identify the best water-related science project from each state.

State winners will be announced online at on May 5 of the competition year. Some states may have an extended deadline; click below to find your state's deadline.

State winners must be available to attend the National Competition in June.

National U.S. SJWP Requirements

To be eligible for the National Competition, State Competition winners must adhere to the following.

  • Complete the online entry form and electronically submit their research paper by the deadline in May. (See specific deadline at top of page)
  • Submit a video that is approximately 2:20 video describing their project.
  • Students must be able to attend the U.S. National Competition held in June.

Judges will select the national winner based on the six overall criteria. They will place weight on both the quality of the research paper and the project ownership and knowledge shown in the video presentation.

The National SJWP winner (at least one member, if a team) must be available to participate in the SJWP International Competition, hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute, during Water Week. If the winner cannot attend, the prize will be awarded to the first runner-up.

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