Eligibility Rules

  1. Entrant teams can be composed of no more than 2 students.
  2. Entrant teams must have 1 official adult advisor above the age of 18.
  3. All team members must be enrolled in grades 6th, 7th or 8th (or the equivalent home schooling level) for the spring of 2013 semester.
  4. Teams can be comprised of two students in different grades but they will be judged based on the highest grade level student on the team.
  5. The What If management team reserves the right to disqualify a team at any point in the registration, submission, or judging process if it is found that they do not meet one or more of these rules.
  6. Students may participate on only 1 team.
  7. There is no limit to the number of teams an adult sponsor can sponsor.
  8. Each team adult advisor must acknowledge that they have read and understand the terms and conditions set forth in the competition rules in order for the team to be eligible for any awards.

Judging Rules

Winners will be chosen at the sole discretion of the judging panel. This expert panel of judges will judge all eligible entries and select a winner based on the following guidelines:

  1. Creativity and innovation - How original or unique is the idea? Are there creative elements or methods proposed to tackle the challenge or raise awareness of the challenge?
  2. Scientific accuracy - is the idea based on scientific principles?
  3. Completeness and presentation - how complete is the idea? Are all the assumption well documented? How well are the ideas articulated? Are images, videos, and other means used to deliver the proposed solution?

Project Submission Guidelines

  1. Entrants MUST register their team via the What If web site prior to 11:59pm US Central Time, March 8th, 2013.
  2. Entrants MUST submit their entry before 11:59pm US Central Time, March 31st, 2013. See the submit entry Section for more details.
  3. Entrants may not change their entry once it is submitted so please ensure you are submitting your final work.
  4. Submissions will only be considered if the essay and a fully complete submission Information Form are emailed to entry@whatifprize.org by the deadline.
  5. Any supporting files are allowed but must be submitted along with the essay and Submission Information Form before the deadline.
  6. Submission Information Form must have the correct security word provided on the Registration Form to protect your team.
  7. Submissions must be entirely the work of the student team members. The adult advisor may guide the team but may not do any writing of the submissions, and may not have excessive influence on the concept design (the determination of excessive influence is up to the sole discretion of the award management team)
  8. Submissions must not copy other materials without properly citing the source.
  9. Entries must be in the form of an essay and they are encouraged to use charts, tables, graphs, images, video, etc to better communicate and support their ideas.
  10. Entries are limited to 2000 words, excluding tables, charts and references.
  11. Essays must be in an MS Word compatible format or PDF format.
  12. Any supporting files must be in MS Word, MS Excel, MS Power Point, PDF, JPEG, GIF, or TIFF, MPEG 4, or WMF format

The What If management team will post each team's name, adult sponsor name, school, city and state to the website.