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The binder is a key tool for study events such as Invasive Species and Optics. Competitors generally hole-punch factsheets or notes in the binder.


In most events such as Invasive Species and Rocks and Minerals, all papers must be hole-punched. Event supervisors may shake the binder or open it to inspect the binder. The binder may also be the only help(other than their partner) that competitors get to use. The binder cannot include other things and may not be used to hide a device(phones are usually taken away). Many events and competitions limit the number of binder per team to one, but some allow two. Competitors cannot look at other team's binders.


Many events such as Invasive Species and Rocks and Minerals generally require a two-inch binder due to the number of factsheets/notes that competitors bring. For some events such as the two previously listed, color photos are not required but are advised to have on each page. Some events like Wind Power don't require a thick binder, so a one or one and a half inch binder would be fine. Binders as previously stated will be checked. It is also advised(but not required) to use dividers to help locate sections. Sheet protectors are okay, but in cases like Optics or Invasive Species it can be a lot of money used on these. Hole reinforcements tend to be cheaper.


It is advised to copy any ripped pages in case of a circumstance that they might fall off. Ripped pages that fall when shaken cannot be used and therefore the competitors lack some useful information. Teams who use these might be disqualified. Double-sided pages can save space.