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SARSEF Takes Top Prize at Social Venture Partner’s “Fast Pitch”






Liz Baker Presents Winning Pitch for Increased STEM Educational Outreach to Students in Southern Arizona

SARSEF, the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation, was awarded two of the top, cash prizes on November 12, 2015 at Social Venture Partner’s first, “Fast Pitch” event held at the Jewish Community Center.  Local investors, concerned about social causes, were invited to consider presentations from seven finalists narrowed down from the original 63 organizations that applied.  SARSEF’s Director of Research, Liz Baker, presented the winning pitch, garnering two of the top, five awards. Baker’s pitch was for increased Educational Outreach in STEM (science technology, engineering and math) for underrepresented K-12 students in Southern Arizona’s under-served areas of poverty. Baker won $10,000 for SARSEF from SVP investors, and $5,000 from GreaterGood.org.  Baker stated she was thankful that, because of the awards, more students will be impacted by the free, in-class presentations in STEM through hands-on research, professional development to teachers on integrating standards, and science nights guiding parents one how to help their children find a passion for science.

SARSEF Invites You to Become a Member

The SARSEF Board of Directors would like to invite you to become a part of one of the oldest science and engineering communities in Arizona. Established in 1955, SARSEF is a leader in science and engineering research – teaching and encouraging 75,000 future leaders each year.  Now, for the first time, you can join us as an annual member of SARSEF. Click the button above to find out more!



SARSEF 2016 Dates and Change in Format

SARSEF Fair Week will take place earlier this year, March 2nd-5th, 2016  Note: many of your usual activities will be on different days of the week.

  • Registration will open Jan. 1 and close on Feb. 20th, 2016 (same as last year).
  • Project Check-in will be Wednesday March 2nd, from noon to 8:00 PM. We hope this will make it easier for you to prepare projects by having two days with the students prior to set-up day, and, because it is early dismissal, it may give you or your students more time to bring down projects.
  • Judging Day will be Thursday March 3rd.  Judges arrive at 7:30AM.  Student interview times may change however, for now, Middle School: 11:30-12:30, High School: 1:00 – 4:00 PM.
  • Field Trip Day is Friday, March 4th, all day.
  • Future Innovator’s Night will now be Friday Night, March 4th, 5:30 to 8:00 PM
  • ALL Awards Ceremonies will be on the same day, Saturday March 5 (at two, different times –  TBA)  We hope this will let more parents and students participate.
  • Project Pick-up will also be Saturday March 5th.  By popular demand we have changed our procedure and projects now SHOULD be taken home immediately following the Ceremony.  Project Pickup hours have now been extended: 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
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Fun Facts About SARSEF 2015  

  • 75,000 students were a part of SARSEF this past year. Our donors helped us award over $125,000 in prizes, trips and scholarships. If you know of a school that needs help getting started or want to schedule your own Educational Outreach, contact us to reserve your dates now.
  • For 60 years, SARSEF has counted on all of you to provide a high-quality experience for all of Southern Arizona’s students. This year, thanks to you, SARSEF had over 75,000 students participating at their local level to be one of the final 1,906 projects, representing 5,062 students that were selected for this record setting year.
  • The projects were viewed by over 6,000 visitors at the Tucson Convention Center the week of March 9-14, 2015. SARSEF filled THREE of these Exhibit Halls at the Tucson Convention Center equalling a space the size of a football field of projects!
  • By the end of the week, the students earned 954 awards: 578 Grand Awards (presented to the top 15% in each grade), 376 Special Awards (presented by organizations and companies that care about students in STEM), and 18 scholarships.
  • This totaled over $125,000 in trips, scholarships, cash prizes ranging from $25 to $2000, and awards such as Summer camps, college internships, Shadowing Days, and memberships.
  • Making this all happen were 684 Volunteers: 411 judges (298 Grand and 113 Sponsored/Special), 208 General Volunteers, and 75 Exhibitors.
  • In addition, a record number of 732 teachers and Fair Directors participated, giving of their own times and energy to help the students participate, not to mention the thousands of wonderful and supportive parents, grandparents, mentors, and friends behind each project.
  • SARSEF is all about diversity and it shows in our data. This year, through SARSEF’s free, Educational Outreach program, 30,747 underrepresented students in 136 schools in areas of poverty were served in an effort to even the playing field for students in STEM.
  • And the results? 54% of the schools that participated in SARSEF were Title I schools in areas of poverty.
  • 1,174 (57.1%) of the SARSEF participants were female and 879 (42.8 %) male.
  • Over 50% of the students were minority or more than one ethnicity.
  • Top schools across Southern Arizona were represented from throughout the 45,000 square miles we serve, from Yuma to Casa Grande, Nogales to Florence.
  • Students from all types of schools were welcomed: from Public Schools, Charter and Private and from Home Schools Thank You From SARSEF!

Take the 2016 SARSEF Community Challenge:  Choose a Science Project That Helps Our Community

This challenge was such as success last year, we had to do it again!  SARSEF will be awarding additional prizes for projects that address a challenge faced by our community.  Choose a project that explored a solution!

  • Environment
  • Health and Medicine
  • Elder Care
  • Disabilities
  • Animal Welfare
  • Poverty
  • Education

SARSEF wants STUDENTS to be a part of the solution to the most pressing problems in our community this year.  We can all help make the future AMAZING!

Please read the SARSEF sections under the Student icons above or the FAQ section to find out more and then if you still have questions, please contact us.

Empowering Southern Arizona's K-12 students to participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math