SARSEF 2015 Winners

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SARSEF Wins 14th Annual Arizona Governor’s Volunteer Service Award! The Arizona Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism honored SARSEF at a reception on April 17, 2015. The mission of the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards is to promote an ethic of service and volunteerism and to recognize volunteer efforts that strengthen communities and improve quality of life for Arizonans. Over 500 community members judge, mentor, exhibit and contribute to work that SARSEF does to encourage 75,000 K-12 students in fields of science and engineering each year. SARSEF dedicated the award to each of the volunteers that gave their time and energy to Arizona’s future leaders.10394600_10103813881582632_1565106800154135869_n

Thank You From SARSEF! Just when we think SARSEF can’t get any better, it does, thanks to YOU!  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!893895_10151383564032968_906032500_o 2

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. THANK YOU!

Fun Facts About SARSEF 2015  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? 50.4% of the schools that participated in SARSEF were Title I schools in areas of poverty making their representation even more special. 1,174 (57.1%) of the SARSEF participants were female and 879 (42.8 %) male. At the HS level there are more than twice as many girls as boys (214 females and 102 males). Over 50% of the students were minority or more than one ethnicity: 42.5% are White, the rest chose not to answer.  170 top schools across Southern Arizona were represented 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.1

SARSEF Photos Now Available!  They’re ready! We are excited to let you know that your SARSEF 2015 pictures are ready for you to view. You can find them here:  All you need to do is enter your email and the password: science rocks  Please share this email with any family and friends who joined you in celebrating all the hard work, as well as those who were unable able to make it.  Feel free to contact Michele McClellan Owner/ Photographer of Memories That Last Performance Photography.  email:

DId you Meet Your Future By Visiting SARSEF?  Ever wonder who will be the engineer that invents the latest device that makes life easier in ten years? Or the doctor who will soon be taking care of you? Many of you met them this past week at SARSEF. 75,000 students in Kindergarten through high school completed their research projects in order to be considered for SARSEF’s Fair this week – March 9-14, 2015. The top 1,906 projects representing over 5,044 students were at the Tucson Convention Center presenting their research. They were judged by 425 professionals in the community representing all areas of science and engineering and assisted by hundreds of volunteers. Over $125,000 in prizes, trips and scholarships were awarded!

SARSEF invited the community to see what the top Kindergarten through High School students from throughout Southern Arizona are researching. The youngest researchers investigate such problems as what caterpillars like to eat, puzzle about the planets, and whether your pet has a paw preference. Older students are investigating such important issues as the antibacterial effect of creosote tea, energy saving power sources and how to help children with autism.

Students Took the 2015 SARSEF Challenge:  They Chose a Science Project That Helps Our Community

To celebrate our 60th anniversary, SARSEF awarded THIRTY additional prizes for projects that address a challenge faced by our community.  Many students chose a project that explored a solution!  We asked them to:

Environment: Help preserve the environment for the future of the species that share it with us. Find ways to use our natural resources more efficiently. Discover ways to fight pollution.

Health and Medicine: Explore nutrition, snacking and the effects of exercise. Work in a lab to advance research on diseases.

Elder Care: Worry about your grandparents? See what they could do to improve the quality of their grandparents’ lives. Ask about their traditional ways of handling problems and test them against modern ones.

Disabilities:  Be concerned about someone who struggles with their disability. Invent a device that makes their life easier!

Animal Welfare:  Choose a project that helps pets live happier lives!

Poverty: Reduce the struggles that so many of our citizens struggle with due to poverty. Explore ways to make lives a little better in some way.

Education: Have ideas to make learning more fun, easier or less expensive. Test them out!

SARSEF wanted STUDENTS to be a part of the solution to the most pressing problems in our community this year.  We can all help make the next 60 years 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