• The Pioneer is open to all students studying in grades seven through twelve (or the equivalent).
  • All students under 18 years old must attend The Pioneer with an adult supervisor (a teacher, a parent, or a guardian). Students who are 18 years old and study in high school may participate without an adult supervisor.
  • The same project can NOT be submitted in consecutive years without significant progress or changes.
  • Projects which are submitted to other organizations/fairs can be submitted without changes.
  • All students and supervisors have to communicate in English well enough to present their projects. Translators for student presenters are NOT allowed.
  • The specific rules and themes for each category will be given to the applicants separately.


  • Application:  A science project can be prepared and submitted by up to two students.
  • Application:  The project description paper detailing are required for complete applications. All projects must submit a full project description paper (research paper).
  • Application: The project description paper should include: title, student names, school, city and country, abstract, introduction, goal of the project, methods and experiments, results and discussions, conclusion, and references. The project description paper will be uploaded into an online application.
  • Acceptable file formats for the project paper are doc and docx, PDF, not exceeding 5 MB in file size. Recommended page limit is 15, with acceptable font sizes 11 or 12 for any font type and page margins one inch or more (2.5 cm) from each side.
  • Application: Your file names must be in English characters.
  • At the fair: You are allowed to bring your own poster board/presentation, which should not be larger than 80×60 cm.  The height of the poster board is not restricted.
  • At the fair: You are allowed to bring models or prototypes as part of your presentation which is HIGHLY recommended.
  • At the fair: THE PIONEER will provide foam boards sized 80×60 cm (portrait) with a 40-inch table. Your printed work should fit that size foam board (height vs width orientation does not matter).
  • At the fair: Students should come to the competition with pre-printed materials to prepare their posters. Pins and tape will be provided by THE PIONEER Olympiad.
  • At the fair: Students are allowed to make changes and improve their projects between application and fair presentation.
  • At the fair: The poster should include at least the following sections: introduction, goal, results and discussion, conclusion, and references.
  • At the fair: Some of the tables are equipped with electricity providing outlet. You may choose these tables if you need electricity.
  • At the fair: Students are advised (not required) to bring multiple copies of their final research paper to distribute to curious viewers.
  • At the Fair: The following items will not be allowed to display: microbial cultures or fungi (live or dead); displays of live animals, preserved vertebrate animals, whether in whole or part (this includes humans); open or concealed flames, matches, or lighters; hazardous chemicals; highly combustible solids, fluids, or gases; sharp items (syringes, needles, knives); controlled substances; and radioactive materials.
  • At the Fair: Proper procedures must be followed in regard to human subjects. When human subjects are used in research (including survey research), they have to be fully informed of any risks and have to give consent to the procedures, in possession of full knowledge of the risks (this is known as informed consent). Informed consent should be obtained for all minors and for adults when more than minimal risk is involved in participating in the project. Minimal risk is defined as the probability of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research.

[SCIENCE] | Judging Criteria

  1. Poster Organization and Content
  2. Literature Review
  3. Skills and Data Management
  4. Scientific Method
  5. Solution (Innovation)
  6. Oral Presentation

[ART&DESIGN] | Rules

  • Application: Art projects (except Short Film) can be prepared and submitted by only one student. Short Film projects can be prepared and submitted by two students.
  • Application: You will be required to submit your art work as part of the application process (submitted by uploading a document within the application system) and a one-page artist statement. All projects must submit their artwork.
  • Application: Poster art, photography projects must submit their art work in JPEG format with a file size under 5 MB.
  • Application: Short film projects have to upload their movie on YouTube with following title: “The Pioneer Olympiad 2016: Your own title text”. The YouTube link must be submitted during application process within MEDIA LINK.
  • Application: All imagery must be your own work.
  • Application: File names must be in English characters.
  • Application: Short films should be 2-5 minutes in length, and animated, live action, or documentary in style. Short Films which are non-English must include English Subtitles.
  • Application: Musical Performance projects can be prepared and submitted by maximum three students. Solo Performance and Singer projects can be prepared and submitted by only one students.
  • Application: Music applications require an artist statement, the score, and the video of the performance.
  • Application: A well-produced and well-rehearsed video of music performance (for all subcategories) must be uploaded into YouTube with the title: “The Pioneer Olympiad 2016: TITLE”. The YouTube link must be provided as part of the application within Media Link.
  • Application: The musical performance artist statement should be less than 500 words and should describe the connection of the composition or the performance to the environment. The artist statement should be written in English and will be read to a live audience. The statement should be saved as a PDF or Word file with file name as follows: Country_projectname_statement. The statement must be uploaded to the application site.
  • Application: Your music file names must be in English characters.
  • At the Fair: Printed art work (for poster art, photography projects) must be 18 x 24 inches (45×60 cm) to be displayed at the THE PIONEER Olympiad. THE PIONEER will provide a black foam board of 22×28 inches (55×70 cm) for all artwork display.
  • At the Fair: Short Film projects will be judged in a classroom on a large screen. You must bring your movie on a flash drive or CD. It is advised for you to bring your movie in multiple formats, such as Windows Media Player, Flv, or mp4.
  • At the fair: Students are allowed to make changes and improve their projects between application and fair presentation.
  • At the Fair: Read Finalist guide under rules for more information.
  • At the Fair: You are highly encouraged to bring your instruments. The Pioneer will not be able to provide any instruments:
  • At the Fair: The judging room will have technical capabilities to provide video and sound playback. The judging room will be open to public during judging process.
  • At the Fair: You should come to the competition with pre-printed materials of your artist statement, scores, and a digital copy of your performance video.

[ART&DESIGN] | Judging Criteria

  1. Creativity
  2. Composition
  3. Expression of Meaning
  4. Expression of Emotion
  5. Relevance
  6. Quality
  7. Overall Expression

[ART&DESIGN] | Music | Judging Criteria

  1. Foundations: Accuracy/execution of notes, rhythm, accuracy/polish of ensemble, quality of tonal sound/timbre, fidelity to provided score (tempo, articulation, dynamics, etc.)
  2. Artistic: Balance, phrasing, emotional commitment/efficacy
  3. Relevance: Quality and clarity of the artist’s statement and its connection to the environment

[LEADERSHIP] | Public Speaking | Rules

  • Speech must be between 5 and 8 minutes long. Only one student may prepare each speech. Each student may submit multiple talks.
  • Talks must be on a topic related to the environment
  • Videos must be uploaded to a youtube and shared only by The Pioneer Olympiad for evaluation
  • Video must be submitted using by sending an e-mail to info@pioneerolympiad.orgwith a link to the vimeo page.  VIDEOS POSTED DIRECTLY TO OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
  • The Pioneer will upload no more than one video per week to our YouTube page, with links to our website, Facebook, and Twitter
  • The Pioneer reserves the right to add our logo and make modifications before posting accepted submissions
  • Videos must be submitted before April 1, 2016, in order to be considered for presentation at the THE PIONEER Olympiad 2016.  Note that videos submitted earlier have more opportunities to be liked on social media, which is one of our criteria of evaluation for presenting at the THE PIONEER Olympiad
  • Submission of your video to THE PIONEER Olympiad means that you are giving permission us to use your video talk on the THE PIONEER website, promotional materials and social media under the THE PIONEER name
  • Presenters must wear business or business casual attire in the video and at the THE PIONEER Olympiad, if invited
  • The presentation should be as dynamic as possible, including video of yourself, your presentation, and any other visuals you wish to offer (switching back and forward between different modes).

[LEADERSHIP] | Public Speaking | Judging Criteria

  1. Originality of Topic
  2. Relevance of Topic to a General Audience
  3. Quality of Production
  4. Presentation Skills
  5. Likes on Social Media

[LEADERSHIP] | Business & Entrepreneurship | Rules

  • Application: Each business project can be prepared and presented by up to two students.
  • Application: Submit a business plan describing requested information.  All projects must submit these items.
  • Application: The business plan must be no more than 10 pages long, including 2 page executive summary.
  • Application: The entire application document should be in English, and all file names must be in English characters.  If the planned market is a non-English-speaking country, the presentation may include examples of the target languages as appropriate in marketing materials, etc.
  • Application: Acceptable file formats for the business plan are doc, docx and pdf.  Limit of 10 pages, including two pages executive summary.
  • At the fair: Present your project as a business pitch to the group of judges, using your Powerpoint/Prezi presentation in a business-like setting. Please practice the presentation to ensure that it is less than 10 minutes.
  • At the fair: It is HIGHLY recommended to bring models or prototypes of any product or technology you may be offering as a part of your presentation.
  • At the fair: Students are advised (not required) to bring printed copies of their business plan to distribute to curious viewers.
  • At the fair: A computer (operating with Windows) with a projector and a screen will be available for students to use. However, you may also use your own computer. Apple computer must bring an adapter to connect their computer to VGA or HDMI.
  • At the fair: Students are allowed to make changes and improve their projects between application and fair presentation.

[LEADERSHIP] | Business & Entrepreneurship | Judging Criteria

  1. Creativity of concept
  2. Feasibility of concept
  3. Marketability and Profitability
  4. Impact on Environment
  5. Impact on Company’s Long-Term Profitability and Market Share
  6. Overall Communication of Concept