While student investigations of biological processes are to be encouraged, they are subject to the same laws, ethics, and regulations as any other research. In the Criminal Code of Canada and the Animals for Research Act of Ontario, all vertebrates are afforded protection. Also, schools and science fairs are explicitly included in the definition of 'research facility' in Ontario. The regulations described here, based on CWSF rules, are written in view of these laws.
Biological experimentation is subject to legal restrictions including, among others:
Criminal Code of Canada, Section 446, Cruelty to Animals;
Convention for International Trade on Endangered Species;
Canadian Wildlife Service;
Health of Animals Act, Bill C-66 Guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care; and
Animals for Research Act (Ontario).
Depending on the nature of the study, various forms will need to be completed and displayed at your project. Failure to comply with safety and ethical requirements may result in disqualification of the project.
If you have any questions about your project, and want to be sure it is eligible for presentation, you can request a ruling.
Complete details and forms are found on the ethics page of the Youth Science Canada website. Youth Science: Ethics
Important details are summarized here.
See the guidelines below for further information about experimentation with invertebrates, vertebrates and humans.
Surveys of Attitudes and Beliefs, Skill Tests, or Observations of Behaviour
Projects studying normal consumption of food or drink are considered Low Risk when they are designed only to assess the characteristics and effects of a common food.
No Projects involving caffeinated foods or drinks permitted in subjects under 10 years of age. Studies using caffeinated beverages must follow these daily limits of caffeine intake: 85g caffeine per day for subjects aged 10 to 12; 200 mg caffeine per day for subjects aged 13 and older.
Projects that involve absorption through the skin must involve a risk of harm no greater than that encountered in everyday life.
Exercise Testing beyond normal every day activities is considered Significant Risk.