About Us

Welcome to SARSEF!

SARSEF is a 501(c)(3). Our mission is creating Arizona’s future critical thinkers and problem solvers through science and engineering.
Have questions or need additional information?  We can help! 
Click here to contact us:
or (520) 273-8259

If you have a question about Project Registration, please include your name and your school’s name.

Office location:

4574 E. Broadway Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85711


What is SARSEF?


Learn what happens AFTER SARSEF’s Fair

SARSEF in Three Minutes- Our Fast Pitch



Read on to find out more about our organization, the history of the science fair, our educational outreach efforts, and how we partner with other groups that encourage young people to participate in science and technology!

We Are Critical Thinking and STEM Outreach

We Are Critical Thinking and STEM Outreach

SARSEF knows not every child may want to grow up to be a scientist or engineer, but EVERY child should be able to think critically and problem solve. SARSEF teaches students how to do that through STEM research. Learning how to solve real-world problems and think critically creates an educated citizenry and develops skills that are highly valued by employers.

SARSEF focuses on student populations that are underrepresented in the fields of science and technology (female and minority students). We are particularly interested in helping schools in rural settings, as well underserved areas of poverty (as defined by the Federal Index of Free & Reduced Meals.)

And because SARSEF knows that educators are often overwhelmed with a variety of duties (and parents often feel inadequate to model the principles of STEM) members of the SARSEF board of directors travel to 136 schools throughout the state to provide FREE STEM outreach and guidance.

SARSEF provides professional development for teachers and presents classroom instruction on effective science practices and research protocols to students.  And because we know support begins at home, SARSEF delivers informational Science Nights for parents, complete with handouts and materials for follow-up.

We Are the SARSEF Fair

We Are the SARSEF Fair Week

SARSEF began as Arizona’s first Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program in 1955. Our primary program was the Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair — which has since been renamed the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation’s Fair.

Over the years, the fair grew to be so large that SARSEF had to leave its previous home at the University of Arizona, and move to the Tucson Convention Center in downtown Tucson. There are so many wonderful and talented students who participate in SARSEF each year that SARSEF needed much more room to recognize them all!

And SARSEF expanded its mission to include year-round educational outreach to K-12 schools in Southern Arizona, particularly those in areas of poverty or in rural areas without resources.

Each year, more than 75,000 students throughout Southern Arizona create research projects at their own schools, with the goal of winning a spot at SARSEF. About 1,800 projects, representing more than 4,000 students, are chosen to compete at the TCC — and from there, we select the “best of the best” to honor. Over 400 judges and volunteers come down to help us choose the winning projects.

Why is SARSEF Week so successful? The high rate of rate of success is largely due to the fact that SARSEF begins working with students so early in their educational journey.  SARSEF is one of the few organizations in the United States that involves ALL elementary-school-age students — even kindergarteners — in science research projects, and allow them to compete for prizes.

We Are the Arizona STEM Adventure

We Are the Arizona STEM Adventure

The SARSEF Fair also oversees the annual Arizona STEM Adventure, which is held at the UA Tech Park every November.

Each year, 1,000 elementary and middle school students have the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities and interact with STEM professionals at the Arizona STEM Adventure.

These experiences can help motivate students to continue on with their studies, so that they may one day choose a similar career path. http://azstemadventure.org/

A.C.E.S. Camp for Middle School Girls!

We Are ACES Camp!

SARSEF partners with other interested science individuals in the community to sponsor the ACES Camp for 40 middle school girls in the Pima County area. Students visit over 20 different locations as they learn about STEM careers and develop confidence and important life skills.


We Are Partners with Other STEM Organizations

We Are Partners with Other STEM Organizations

SARSEF also proudly partners with organizations throughout Arizona as part of completing our mission. We frequently collaborate to maximize our ability to reach more students. This year we are joining forces with Mad Science!

Here are just some of our many partners who serve with us in our programs and/or contribute a prize each year for our students:

  • The Physics Factory: This “traveling roadshow” of scientists and educators visits schools to share their enthusiasm for physics by interacting with students, teachers, and the community. They provide hands-on learning demonstrations, eye-popping stage shows, student mentoring opportunities, and The Physics Bus — a science museum on wheels!
  • Sahuaro Girl Scout Council: Part of the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, this organization serves girls ages 5-17 with a wide variety of programs to help them succeed in school and reach their full potential.
  • American Chemical Society’s Women Chemists Committee
  • American Meteorological Society
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Society for Quality
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Arizona Hydrologic Society
  • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
  • ASM International Foundation
  • Association for Women Geoscientists
  • AzRISE (Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy)
  • Broadcom MASTERS and trip to Washington, D.C.
  • Catalina Rotary Club
  • Cox Communications
  • Ella Dresher Memorial Scholarship
  • Friends of Animals
  • Genius Olympiad
  • Global Solar Energy
  • Governor’s Young Innovators Competition
  • Intel Excellence in Computer Science
  • International Dark Sky Association
  • Southern Arizona International Wildlife Museum
  • Jim Click Automotive
  • Johnson Award of Excellence
  • Iota Sigma Pi (National Honor Society of Women in Chemistry)
  • International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering Environment “Project Olympiad”
  • Lazy S Ranch
  • Animal Science Award
  • Little Chapel of All Nations
  • Metro Water District
  • Mini Time Machine
  • Mu Alpha Theta (National High School and Two-Year College Mathematics Honor Society)
  • Music and Engineering Association
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAH)
  • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • Phi Beta Kappa Association Math Award
  • Physics Factory
  • Pima County Medical Foundation
  • Pima County Wastewater Management
  • Planetary Science Institute
  • Reid Park Zoological Society
  • RICOH Group Environmental Sustainability
  • Rosemont Copper
  • Saguaro National Park Service
  • Southern Arizona Environmental Management Society
  • Southern Arizona Psychological Association
  • Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System
  • Southwest Gas Stockholm Water Prize
  • Southwest Association for Education in Biomedical Research
  • Texas Instruments
  • Tucson Amateur Astronomers Organization
  • Tucson Cactus & Succulent Society
  • Tucson Electric Power (TEP)
  • Tucson Gem and Mineral Society
  • University of Arizona
  • UA Biosphere 2
  • United States Metric Association
  • United States Air Force
  • United States Army
  • United States Navy & Marine Corps
  • USS Tucson Submarine 770Club
  • University of Arizona VIPER (Venom Immunochemistry, Pharmacology and Emergency Response) Institute
  • Women in Science & Engineering

Join us so that we can count YOU in all future postings!


Every Child. Thinking Critically. Solving Problems.