Every child. Thinking critically. Solving problems.


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Margaret Wilch, PhD

Director of Research

As Director of Research at SARSEF, Margaret provides educational outreach and support to area high school teachers and their students, helping teachers, students, and whole classrooms to identify tractable research questions and feasible methodologies. She also connects teachers and students with mentors and resources through various programs, including the in-person and virtual STAR Program (Students Taking Advantage of Research), an outreach program in collaboration with the University of Arizona. Additionally, Margaret is the Director of the Arizona Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and also works with SARSEF’s ISEF Finalists to prepare to the international science and engineering fair each year.

Margaret joined the SARSEF staff following a 26-year teaching career at Tucson High Magnet School. From 1995 to 2018, Margaret developed and directed the THMS Research Methods Program, creating a research community that collaborated with dozens of UA research labs, supporting and guiding students through the research process and to the regional science fair. During her career as a high school teacher, Margaret created numerous programs focused on immersing students in the doing of science, from ecological field techniques to the techniques of modern molecular biology. From 1999 to 2018, one or more of her students attended the International Science and Engineering Fair.

Margaret received a Bachelor’s of Special Studies in Biology from Cornell College, a MS in General Biology from the University of Arizona and an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Arizona College of Science in 2012. She is dedicated to helping students find their inner scientist.