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SARSEF Fair award winners have been announced!

See the winner list

Arizona Students Awarded $141,500 in Scholarships and Prizes at SARSEF Events in February and March 2024

Students from across the state competed at SARSEF events last month to be encouraged, recognized, and awarded for their work.

Press Release – PDF

April 10, 2024

(Tucson, AZ) In March, SARSEF events provided students the opportunity to be recognized and rewarded for their work in science and engineering. Many received cash prizes for their achievements.

The 69th SARSEF Regional Science and Engineering Fair showcased the work of 5,264 students, pre-kindergarten through high school, from across Southern Arizona. $124,000 in awards and scholarships were given out to students as well as teachers who went above and beyond to support their students’ work.

Grand awards were determined by over 200 volunteer judges who reviewed projects and interviewed students in order to determine the winners.

“The most exciting part of my project was molding the bioplastic into the plastic cutlery, especially the spoons!” says Julianna Serna, Yuma, AZ, who won top awards in both of SARSEF’s major STEM competitions this year. “We utilized a silicone mold used to make chocolate spoons, and while I was pouring the bioplastic formula into the molds I felt like a cook who was doing some sort of dessert; the entire process was very fun.”

Serna made a bioplastic from the waste of corn and algae. By using these natural ingredients, Serna’s bioplastic will help decrease plastic pollution. Her motivation was to help the environment and create a bioplastic that is stronger than normal plastic, degrades and melts faster and fights bacteria.

Nine high school students will continue on to compete at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles in May:

  • Auhona Shil (University High School, Tucson, AZ) – Unraveling the Achilles’ Heel of Human Tumors: Moving Towards Inducing Mutational Meltdown by Deciphering the Most Deleterious Mutational Processes
  • Finnegan McGill (Tanque Verde High School, Tucson, AZ) – A-BiRD: Automated Bird Recognition Device — Revolutionizing Ornithological Research for Global Bird Conservation
  • Humberto Gil Villalobos and Michael Castro (Harvest Preparatory Academy, Yuma, AZ) – Pest Buster!: Biodegradable Weed Barrier Infused with Grape Skin and Turmeric Extracts: Year 2 Study
  • Jimmy Kwon (BASIS Tucson North, Tucson, AZ) – Cardboard Packaging Reduction by RGB-D Vision System and Deep Learning
  • Julianna Serna (Harvest Preparatory Academy, Yuma, AZ) – Applications of Engineered Novel Solid and Liquid Bioplastic From Waste Corn Cobs and Invasive Algae- Year 3 Study
  • Katherine Lam (University High School, Tucson, AZ) – Novel TMOS-Based Synthesis and Purification of Perovskite Nanoparticles For Biosensing Applications
  • Maritza Roberts (BASIS Tucson North, Tucson, AZ) – Germination Characteristics and Metal Tolerance of Atriplex lentiformis and Atriplex canescens Seeds Under Zinc Stress
  • Sohini Mallick (University High School, Tucson, AZ) – The Function of p53 in Intestinal Epithelial Wound Healing

For the first time in five years, SARSEF is also sending two top 8th graders to ISEF as student observers. Noemi Celani (Emily Gray Middle School, Tucson, AZ) and Alexis Batres (R Pete Woodard Jr High School, Yuma, AZ) won the top middle school project awards at the SARSEF Fair, winning the SARSEF Excellence in Research and SARSEF Board of Directors Community Impact Award, respectively, which includes an all-expenses paid trip to ISEF.

Earlier this year, SARSEF hosted another STEM research competition – the Arizona Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (AZ JSHS). The program is a high school oral presentation competition promoting original research and experimentation in science, technology, engineering, and math and publicly recognizes students for outstanding achievement. This year, the event was held in Yuma for the first time in its history and included 34 oral presenters as well as 11 poster presenters from across Arizona. $17,500 in awards and scholarships were given out to students who won top prizes at the virtual event as determined by 15 volunteer judges.

Sohini Mallick, who attends University High School was an ISEF Finalist at the SARSEF Fair, also received third place at the AZ Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

“Science is mostly problem-solving. During whatever project you are doing, you will face many challenges, and you might even have to start over again. But instead of feeling frustrated, think about it as a way to look at the problem from a new perspective you may not have considered, and stay consistent until you can solve the problem,” Mallick advises. “Science is also a collaboration of multiple ideas. Discuss your project with other people to gain their insights on it, because they may look at your project from a different aspect and provide you with solutions you may never have thought of, or give you new ideas to expand your project even more.” 

Mallick studied the germination of a bean seed over time in different light and temperature conditions, looking at how our bodies create a barrier to protect us from harmful bacteria.

Five students will attend the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in May in Albuquerque, New Mexico: Finnegan McGill (Tanque Verde High School), Julianna Serna (Harvest Preperatory Academy), Sohini Mallick (University High School), Brad Wu (Arizona College Prep High School, Chandler, AZ), and Caleb Liu (Hamilton high School, Chandler, AZ).

At the end of this month, thirteen teams of Arizona students will compete in Racing the Sun, an engineering program for high school students that design, build and race solar-powered go-karts with the help of volunteer mentors. It is another opportunity for Arizona students to be honored and recognized for their hard work, innovative minds, and commitment to science and engineering!

To learn more about SARSEF programs and how students, teachers, and families can get involved, visit sarsef.org or email director@sarsef.org.

Nominate an Education Advocate for an Award at the 2024 SARSEF Regional Science and Engineering Fair

The nomination period is now open for our 2024 Education Advocate Award! We know that so much goes into the education of our young scientists and engineers. SARSEF awards educators and schools that support STEM learning in their classrooms, however, we know that we only see a small portion of the work that goes on behind the scenes to create high quality critical-thinking and problem-solving opportunities for PreK-12 students in Arizona. We wanted to give the community a chance to nominate those unsung heroes – those educators, administrators, paraprofessionals, parents, and caregivers – that make it possible for our young learners to thrive and grow into the thinkers and solvers of tomorrow.

Last year in 2023, we premiered our Education Advocate Award, an award presented to members of your learning communities that YOU nominate. Share with us your stories of commitment and engagement that you see throughout your classrooms and schools. Winners will receive recognition and a cash award at the 2024 SARSEF Regional Fair Awards Ceremony on March 9th, 2024. Nomination deadline is Sunday, March 3rd.

Your Guide to Fair Week 2024

The SARSEF Regional Fair is upon us once again! Registration is now closed for this event, and there are over 1,400 student projects waiting in the wings to premiere at the virtual exhibit hall on Saturday, March 2nd! Consider this you go-to guide of what to expect for Fair Week 2024.

February 26- February 28 – Display and Safety Checks

All projects will undergo Display and Safety checks to ensure compliance with Fair rules. Registrants, students, and parents will be emailed information on how to review project submissions and submit any changes that are necessary. Registrants that have an account may submit changes via their account. Parents, caregivers, teachers, and those who registered as a guest will be given an opportunity to make edits through our public portal. An email notification will go out when the public portal opens for edits. Corrections for project info and files will be permitted until Wednesday, February 28th at 10:00pm.

March 2 – Virtual Exhibit Hall Goes Live

The virtual exhibit hall will go live Saturday, March 2nd, at 12:00p. You can begin browsing the over 1,500 student projects that advanced to the Regional Fair this year! Judges will begin reviewing projects in preparation for judging and interview days.

Tuesday and Wednesday, March 5-6 – Elementary and Middle School (PreK-8) Judging and Interviews

Judging will take place online and over Zoom on Tuesday, March 5, from 10:00a-2:30p. Then, Elementary and Middle School students will have an opportunity to be interviewed by judges over Zoom on March 5 from 4:00pm-6:00pm or March 6 from 9:00am-11:00am. Students must have an adult nearby in order to be interviewed. Interviews at this level are not required and do not factor into grand judging. They are for experience only for young researchers to talk about their science!

Thursday, March 7 – High School (9-12) Judging and Interviews

High School judging and interviews will take place in-person at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Innovation Building from 9:00am-3:30pm. Interviews are required at this level and students should plan to attend the entire day. The day will include interviews with judges as well as category networking sessions similar to those held at the International Science and Engineering Fair. Students will have the opportunity to connect with other students in their category as well as STEM professionals in a related discipline.

Friday, March 8 – Winners List Posted

Award winners lists will be posted on Friday, March 10 at 12:00pm on our Fair website, virtualfair.sarsef.org. These lists will just signify to teachers, students, and schools that an award has been won, but will not specify the name of the award. Students and teachers should plan to attend the Awards Ceremony that corresponds with their grade level to reveal what they’ve won!

Saturday, March 9 – Community STEM Expo and Awards Ceremonies

Regardless of whether a project won or not, everyone should plan on attending the combination Community STEM Expo and Awards Ceremonies at Reid Park from 10:00am-3:00pm on Saturday! All Southern Arizona families are invited as there should be something for everyone. Bring your own blankets and chairs for awards ceremony seating, and enjoy the exhibitors, entertainment, and food trucks!

What You Can Expect

  • Hands-on STEM activities from exhibitors from 11:00am-2:00pm
  • The SARSEF Innovators Hall, where attendees can explore student projects from the 2024 Fair
  • SARSEF Science Mart for all of your STEM swag needs
  • Onstage live entertainment
  • Sweet and savory Food Trucks from 11:00am-2:00pm
  • Plenty of room for outdoor seating on the grass in front of the amphitheater (bring your own blankets, chairs, and umbrellas for shade)

Schedule

  • 10:00a Elementary (Grades PreK-5) Awards Ceremony
  • 11:00am-2:00p STEM exhibitor booths and Food Trucks open!
  • 1:30p Middle and High School (Grades 6-12) Awards Ceremony

The Awards Ceremonies will not be live-streamed. Please plan to attend in-person! If you are unable to do so, unclaimed awards will be delivered to schools in the coming weeks. Full Award list with awards details will be posted on Tuesday, March 12 at 12:00pm on our Fair website, virtualfair.sarsef.org

Volunteers still needed!

It takes around 500 volunteers to make the SARSEF Regional Fair happen! We still have slots open for nearly every background, schedule, and ability. Please share these opportunities with those who can join us to make this exciting Tucson tradition a success in 2024!

Enjoy Fair Week and congratulations to all of our young scientists and engineers!

What’s the Deal with Sponsored Awards?

By Dani Wright, SARSEF Director of Events and Volunteers; SARSEF Fair Director

All About 2024’s Sponsored Awards

For many Southern Arizona students, the first check they ever receive is from the SARSEF Regional Science and Engineering Fair. This might be through the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Place Grand Awards, but there is an additional award designation that provides over 400 additional awards at the SARSEF Fair!

Sponsored Awards are given to students from over 100 individuals, businesses, clubs, and organizations, highlighting the important work these young scientists and engineers are performing. By contributing an award or prize to a student at the SARSEF Regional Science and Engineering Fair, they inspire students to pursue career paths in science, technology, engineering, and math fields that matter to them!

Award sponsors can select the awards they want to give to a student. Whether it be a cash award, merchandise, trophies, or a scholarship, the sponsor determines what they’re able to give and what criteria are important to determine a winner. Sponsors can ask SARSEF to choose the winners for their award — or they can do the judging themselves. Many organizations opt to have their own employees judge projects and/or interview students on judging day and make the selection on the organization’s behalf.

Sponsored Awards encourage students to become future leaders. Many students see themselves for the first time as scientists and engineers as they receive their awards. They start to believe in themselves when someone else shows they believe in them!

Who can give a sponsored award?

The short answer is…anyone! We’ve had a classroom of students give a sponsored award. We’ve had families give sponsored awards in honor of loved ones (including pets) who have passed. We’ve had organizations give to raise awareness about their field and its future workforce. There are so many reasons to be that spark of enthusiasm and confidence in a SARSEF Fair participant’s life.

DaNel Hogan, Chief Learning Officer at the Waters Center for Systems Thinking, is known for being an impactful advocate for students and educators in STEM education, and giving Sponsored Awards is one of the many ways she pursues that.

The Hogan Energy Hero sponsored awards started with support from an energy education leadership award I won back in 2015 from the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Initiative. I used some of the $8000 in funding that came with this award to start the Hogan Energy Hero sponsored award. After five years, the funding set aside to support that award was used up but I had to keep it going with my own funds, and it has been worth every penny,” DaNel shared.

DaNel isn’t the only award sponsor who has made the SARSEF Fair an annual tradition. In fact, some of our award sponsors have been giving awards at the Fair since it started in 1955! Consider if this is the year to start a tradition of your own.

DaNel continued to say “sponsored awards are a satisfying way to recognize the creativity and innovation of our community’s young scientists and engineers. Whether $50, $50,000, or anything in between, sponsored awards feed the STEM identities of the brilliant minds we need to develop so they can unleash the creative solutions and ideas locked inside their heads. I am happy to be a small part of what makes the SARSEF Science and Engineering Fair so great – its support and development of our community’s critical thinkers and problem solvers.

Are you ready to give sponsored awards at the SARSEF Fair? This year, we are accepting awards to give at the Fair until March 1, 2024!

2024 SARSEF Regional Fair High School Interviews – What do you need to know?

Projects

High School project requirements remain the same as when we began requiring digital project submissions in 2021. This allows the judges to review projects in advance and judge more thoroughly. Project registration and all uploads are due February 25, 2024 at 11:59pm.  

For information about High School project requirements, please see the high school project checklist:

Interviews

High School interviews are in-person for 202

Interviews are required and will take place at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Innovation Building on Thursday, March 7, from 9:00a-3:30p. The day will include interviews with judges as well as category networking sessions and keynote speakers similar to those held at the International Science and Engineering Fair. Students will have the opportunity to connect with other students in their category as well as STEM professionals in a related discipline. Lunch will be provided for all students. Please review all of the following information as you plan for this exciting day! 

Time and location 

Thursday, March 7, 2024, 9:00a-3:30p

UArizona Health Sciences Innovation Building (HSIB)

1670 E Drachman St

Tucson, AZ 85721

Parking and transportation

  • Parking is limited at UA. We recommend getting dropped off or carpooling if possible. Dropoffs can be at the HSIB roundabout on Drachman, east of Cherry.
  • If parking is necessary, the Highland Street garage is the nearest parking structure. The cost is $2/hr with a $16 daily maximum.  
  • If you need parking for a bus or oversized vehicle, you can park on National Championship Drive. You will need to email us the following information by Tuesday, March 5:
    • Number of buses
    • Name of the school
    • Time frame
    • Each bus driver’s contact information

Preparation — What to bring

Upon arrival, each student will be provided with a blank tri-fold project board and a color printout of their virtual project slides. During project set-up time, they will locate their board and arrange the printed project on their board using the supplies provided. Additionally, students may bring a laptop with simulations, physical models, prototypes, their lab journal, their project pdf, etc., to showcase and aid in the interview. Students may not print their own presentation posters or create their own project board ahead of time. They also may not bring additional title cards or any other materials to attach to the boards. This is to ensure that the judges are seeing the same project they have already reviewed prior to the interviews.

Note: Project boards are being created for ease of reference only. The digital slide deck will have already been reviewed and is the sole basis of any display score found on the judging criteria sheet. Students will not be marked down if their board is not assembled.  

If students choose to bring in a laptop, physical models, prototypes, etc., these materials must follow all Display and Safety Rules, or they will not be permitted.  

Schedule

8:00-9:00 Check-in, Health Sciences Innovation Building (HSIB)

8:00-9:30 Project set-up (all categories)

All students will check in and then follow the schedule of their appropriate track based on their category.

Track A

Categories:

  • Applied Technology  
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Chemistry  
  • Environmental Studies  
  • Physics and Astronomy  
  • Sustainability and Renewable Energy   

8:00-9:00 Check-in, Health Sciences Innovation Building (HSIB)

8:00-9:30 Project set-up (all categories)

10:00-12:00 Interviews

12:00-12:30 Track A Open House

12:30-1:30 Lunch/Career Fair

1:30-2:15 Keynote Speakers

2:15-3:00 Networking

3:00-3:30 Attend Track B Open House

Track B

Categories: 

  • Animal Science
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
  • Data Science and Math
  • Medicine, Health, and Disease
  • Microbiology
  • Plant Science 

8:00-9:00 Check-in, Health Sciences Innovation Building (HSIB)

8:00-9:30 Project set-up (all categories)

9:30-10:15 Keynote Speakers

10:15-11:00 Networking

11:00-12:00 Lunch/College and Career Fair

12:00-12:30 Attend Track A Open House

1:00-3:00 Interviews

3:00-3:30 Track B Open House

Interviews — What to expect 

  • As you enter the project floor during project setup time, locate your project according to the Locator Number that accompanies your project on the virtual exhibit hall. Projects will be arranged by category and then in numerical order. 
  • You will find your board and printed project slides at your Locator Number spot. Using the materials provided, assemble the desired project slides on your board to aid in the interview. You will not be judged on this board. 
  • Arrange any additional physical items you brought, for example, models, prototypes, a laptop, etc. You may not bring a printed poster or a project board you assembled at home. All items you bring must follow Display and Safety Rules or will not be permitted. 
  • A Master Schedule of interviews will be posted. You will know when judges are scheduled to interview you and will be able to see any breaks you may have during the interview period. Additional judges and Sponsored Awards judges may sign up in-person for one of your empty slots, so if you have a break, be sure to check that no one has signed up before having a snack or using the restroom. You won’t want to miss an additional interview! 
  • Interviews are 8 minutes long and will begin every 10 minutes (allowing 2 minutes for judges to move to the next project). 
  • An announcement will be made at the beginning of each interview period, and a chime will sound at the seven-minute mark so that judges may ask any last questions and wrap up the interview. 
  • Parents, caregivers, and teachers will not be permitted on the project floor during the interview sessions. Only judges, students, and staff will be permitted on the project floor during interview sessions.  
  • Open House periods will be open to the public and other students.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, and dress in business casual or professional attire.  
  • Bring a water bottle and snacks.  
  • Lunch will be provided for students.

Parents and caregivers

  • Parking is limited at UA. We recommend getting dropped off or carpooling if possible. Dropoffs can be at the HSIB roundabout on Drachman, east of Cherry.
  • If parking is necessary, the Highland Street garage is the nearest parking structure. The cost is $2/hr with a $16 daily maximum.  
  • Parents and caregivers will not be permitted on the project floor during interviews or in networking sessions. Parents and caregivers may attend the Open House.

Teachers 

  • There will be a Teacher’s area, where educators can network and rest during the event. Light snacks will be provided for educators.  

Become a SARSEF Science Ambassador

Become a SARSEF Science Ambassador!

The Science Ambassador program prepares student scientists and engineers to represent SARSEF at events while promoting STEM accessibility and diversity throughout the community. Ambassadors will attend four training sessions to certify their involvement at community events. Once certified, Science Ambassadors are able to represent SARSEF, facilitate activities at tabling events, and have access to speaking opportunities to share their passion for STEM with PreK-12 students and educators in Southern Arizona.  

Who we are looking for:  

  • Student volunteers who are at least 16 years old (high school or college/university/trade school)
  • Passionate about STEM and inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers 
  • Previous participation in one or more of SARSEF’s programs preferred 
  • Excellent communication skills, including comfort with public speaking or an interest in building public speaking skills 
  • Experience collaborating across diverse groups 
  • Responsible, self-motivated, enthusiastic, and creative 
  • Availability in their schedule to attend trainings and 2-3 community events a month 

Benefits of Certification:

  • Fulfill needed service hours in a fun and impactful environment
  • Ability to list program membership and certification on resume and LinkedIn profile as a representative of a leading STEM education nonprofit. 
  • Opportunity to network with industry partners at events
  • Participate in diversifying access to quality STEM programming and expanding impact to those with the greatest need
  • Letters of recommendation written by SARSEF leaders as you continue to volunteer with our organization

Where: Trainings are in-person at SARSEF Office (5049 E Broadway Blvd); community events will be in and around the Tucson area 

When: See training schedule below. Once training is complete, community event opportunities vary from weekdays, weekday evenings, and weekends. Event participation schedule is flexible, however, we do expect Ambassadors to attend at least 2-3 community events a month.

Fall Cohort 2023

Registration Deadline: Registration for the Fall 2023 cohort will be open from August 1 through August 31, 2023. All four training sessions are required in order to complete the program.

Four training sessions, once a week for four weeks 

Session 1: Thursday, September 7, 7:00-8:30p

Session 2: Thursday, September 14, 7:00-8:30p

Session 3: Thursday, September 21, 7:00-8:30p

Session 4: Thursday, September 28, 7:00-8:30p

Spring Cohort 2024

Registration Deadline: Registration for the Spring 2024 cohort will be open from December 1 through January 25, 2024. All four training sessions are required in order to complete the program.

Four training sessions, once a week for four weeks 

Session 1: Thursday, January 25, 7:00-8:30p

Session 2: Thursday, February 1, 7:00-8:30p

Session 3: Thursday, February 8, 7:00-8:30p

Session 4: Thursday, February 15, 7:00-8:30p

Fall Cohort 2024

Registration Deadline: Registration for the Fall 2024 cohort will be open from June 1 through September 5, 2024. All four training sessions are required in order to complete the program.

Four training sessions, once a week for four weeks 

Session 1: Thursday, September 5, 7:00-8:30p

Session 2: Thursday, September 12, 7:00-8:30p

Session 3: Thursday, September 19, 7:00-8:30p

Session 4: Thursday, September 26, 7:00-8:30p

Registration is open for SARSEF’s first-ever Fair Director conference!

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Science Fair.

For Fair Directors, educators, and administrators

Whether you are new to science and engineering fairs or a seasoned alum, attend workshops that will increase your ability to confidently and easily encourage Science Fair participation at your school and support the next generation of scientists, engineers, and leaders!

Workshop topics include:

  • Project basics
  • Demystifying SRC
  • Data visualization strategies
  • Judging tips
  • Integrating state standards with real-world investigations
  • How best to support student research
  • Addressing common teacher, student, and parent questions
  • How to run a Science Fair at your school
  • Coding basics, using 21st century tools in research
  • How to get the most out of the SARSEF Regional Fair experience

and more!

Conference Details

When? Saturday, September 16, 2023 9:00am-2:00pm

Where? Community Foundation for Southern Arizona 5049 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85711

Cost? $25 per attendee All registration fees are being covered by a generous donation from the Broadcom Foundation!

The conference will consist of general sessions, networking, and breakout “elective” sessions. Attendees will receive the full list of electives and submit their choices as we get closer to the conference date. Lunch and light refreshments will be served! Space is limited – register now!

SARSEF Regional Fair – In-person High School Interview Details

High School interviews are back in person this year, but what does that mean?

Projects

High School project requirements remain the same as when we began requiring digital project submissions in 2021. This allows the judges to review projects in advance and judge more thoroughly. Project registration and all uploads are due February 26, 2023 at 11:59pm.  

For information about High School project requirements, please see the high school project checklist:

Interviews

We are happy to announce that High School interviews are back in-person for 2023! 

Interviews are required and will take place at the University of Arizona Student Union Grand Ballroom on Wednesday, March 8, from 9:00a-3:00p. The day will include interviews with judges as well as category networking sessions similar to those held at the International Science and Engineering Fair. Students will have the opportunity to connect with other students in their category as well as STEM professionals in a related discipline. Lunch will be provided for all students. Please review all of the following information as you plan for this exciting day! 

Time and location 

Wednesday, March 8, 2023, 9:00a-3:00p

UArizona Student Union Ballroom 

1303 E University Blvd, Level 3 

Tucson, AZ 85719 

Parking and transportation

  • Parking is limited at UA. We recommend getting dropped off or carpooling if possible. Dropoffs can be at the Student Union roundabout at 2nd and Mountain.  
  • The UA Student Union is located along the SunLink route and is accessible by SunTran Routes 4, 5, 102X, 103X, and 105X.  
  • If parking is necessary, the 2nd Street garage is next to the UA Student Union. The cost is $2/hr with a $16 daily maximum.  

Preparation — What to bring

Upon arrival, each student will be provided with a blank tri-fold project board and a color printout of their virtual project slides. During their project set-up time, they will locate their board and arrange the printed project on their board using the supplies provided. Additionally, students may bring a laptop with simulations, physical models, prototypes, their lab journal, their project pdf, etc., to showcase and aid in the interview. Students may not print their own presentation posters or create their own project board ahead of time. This is to ensure that the judges are seeing the same project they have already reviewed prior to the interviews.

Note: Project boards are being created for ease of reference only. The digital slide deck will have already been reviewed and is the sole basis of any display score found on the judging criteria sheet. Students will not be marked down if their board is not assembled.  

If students choose to bring in a laptop, physical models, prototypes, etc., these materials must follow all Display and Safety Rules, or they will not be permitted.  

Schedule

8:30-9:30 Check-in, UA Student Union, Level 3, Diamond Atrium 

All students will check in and then follow the schedule of their appropriate track based on their category.

Track A

Categories:  

  • Applied Technology  
  • Chemistry  
  • Environmental Studies  
  • Data Science and Math  
  • Physics and Astronomy  
  • Plant Science  
  • Sustainability and Renewable Energy  

9:15-10:00 Project Setup, Grand Ballroom  

10:00-12:00 Judges Interviews, Grand Ballroom  

12:00-12:45 Lunch, Student Union (Provided for Students)  

1:00-2:30 Networking Sessions  

  • Rincon Room – Plant Science
  • Catalina Room – Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry 
  • Santa Rita Room – Applied Technology, Data Science and Math  
  • Tucson Room – Sustainability and Renewable Energy, Environmental Studies 

Track B

Categories: 

  • Animal Science 
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences 
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry 
  • Medicine, Health, and Disease 
  • Mental Health 
  • Microbiology 

10:00-11:30 Networking Sessions 

  • Rincon Room – Animal Science 
  • Catalina Room – Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Santa Rita Room – Cellular and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry 
  • Tucson Room – Medicine, Health, and Disease, Microbiology 

11:30-12:15 Lunch, Student Union (Provided for Students) 

12:15-1:00 Project Setup, Grand Ballroom 

1:00-3:00 Judges Interviews, Grand Ballroom 

Interviews — What to expect 

  • As you enter the ballroom during your project setup time, locate your project according to the Locator Number that accompanies your project on the virtual exhibit hall. Projects will be arranged by category and then in numerical order. 
  • You will find your board and printed project slides at your Locator Number spot. Using the materials provided, assemble the desired project slides on your board to aid in the interview. You will not be judged on this board. 
  • Arrange any additional physical items you brought, for example, models, prototypes, a laptop, etc. You may not bring a printed poster or a project board you assembled at home. All items you bring must follow Display and Safety Rules or will not be permitted. 
  • A Master Schedule of interviews will be posted in the Ballroom. You will know when judges are scheduled to interview you and will be able to see any breaks you may have during the interview period. Additional judges and Sponsored Awards judges may sign up in-person for one of your empty slots, so if you have a break, be sure to check that no one has signed up before having a snack or using the restroom. You won’t want to miss an additional interview! 
  • Interviews are 8 minutes long and will begin every 10 minutes (allowing 2 minutes for judges to move to the next project). 
  • An announcement will be made at the beginning of each interview period, and a chime will sound at the seven-minute mark so that judges may ask any last questions and wrap up the interview. 
  • Parents, caregivers, and teachers will not be permitted on the project floor during the interview sessions. Only judges, students, and staff will be permitted in the Ballroom during interview sessions.  
  • Wear comfortable shoes, and dress in business casual or professional attire.  
  • Bring a water bottle and snacks.  
  • Lunch will be provided for students.

Parents and caregivers

  • Parking is limited. Please plan to drop your student off at the Student Union roundabout located at Mountain and 2nd St. 
  • Parents and caregivers will not be permitted on the project floor or in networking sessions. 

Teachers 

  • There will be a Teacher’s area in the Kachina Lounge, where educators can network and rest during the event. Light snacks will be provided for educators.  

Nominate an Education Advocate for an Award at the 2023 SARSEF Regional Science and Engineering Fair

We know that so much goes into the education of our young scientists and engineers. SARSEF awards educators and schools that support STEM learning in their classrooms, however, we know that we only see a small portion of the work that goes on behind the scenes to create high quality critical-thinking and problem-solving opportunities for PreK-12 students in Arizona. We wanted to give the community a chance to nominate those unsung heroes – those educators, administrators, paraprofessionals, parents, and caregivers – that make it possible for our young learners to thrive and grow into the thinkers and solvers of tomorrow.

At the 2023 Fair and beyond, our Education Advocate Award will be presented to members of your learning communities that YOU nominate. Share with us your stories of commitment and engagement that you see throughout your classrooms and schools. Winners will receive recognition and a cash award at the SARSEF Regional Fair Awards Ceremony on March 11th, 2023. Nomination deadline is Wednesday, March 1st.

Your Guide to Fair Week 2022

The SARSEF Regional Fair is upon us once again! Registration is now closed for this event, and there are 1,500 student projects waiting in the wings to premiere at the virtual exhibit hall on February 26th! Consider this you go-to guide of what to expect for Fair Week 2022.

February 21-25 – Display and Safety Checks

All projects will undergo Display and Safety checks to ensure compliance with Fair rules. Registrants will be emailed information on how to review project submissions and submit any changes that are necessary.

February 26 – Virtual Exhibit Hall Goes Live

The virtual exhibit hall will go live. You can begin browsing the over 1,500 student projects that advanced to the Regional Fair this year! Judges will begin reviewing projects in preparation for judging and interview days.

Monday, February 28 – Elementary School (PreK-5) Judging and Interviews

Judging will take place online an over Zoom from 11:00a – 1:00p. Then, Elementary School students will have an opportunity to be interviewed by judges over Zoom from 1:00p-4:00p. Students must have an adult nearby in order to be interviewed. Interviews at this level are not required and do not factor into judging. They are for experience only for young researchers to talk about their science!

Tuesday, March 1 – Middle School (6-8) Judging and Interviews

Judging will take place online an over Zoom from 8:00a – 10:00a. Then, Middle School students will have an opportunity to be interviewed by judges over Zoom from 10:00a-2:00p. Students must have an adult nearby in order to be interviewed. Interviews at this level are not required and do not factor into judging. They are for experience only for young researchers to talk about their science!

Wednesday, March 2 – High School (9-12) Part 1 Judging and Interviews

Judging and interviews will take place throughout the day for categories based on the following schedule. Interviews are required at this level and students should plan to be available for the entire interview block.

9:00a-11:00a Interviews (8:00a-12:00p Judging)

Animal Science, Biochemical Science and Bioengineering,  Cellular and Molecular Biology 

11:00a-2:00p Interviews (10:00a-3:00p Judging)

Behavioral and Social Science, Earth and Environmental  Science 

1:00p-3:00p Interviews (12:00p-4:00p Judging)

Chemical and Material Science, Electrical and Mechanical  Engineering    

Thursday, March 3 – High School (9-12) Part 2 Judging and Interviews

Judging and interviews will take place throughout the day for categories based on the following schedule. Interviews are required at this level and students should plan to be available for the entire interview block.

9:00a-11:00a Interviews (8:00a-12:00p Judging)

Energy and Environmental Engineering, Microbiology

11:00a-2:00p Interviews (10:00a-3:00p Judging)

Health and Biomedical Science, Plant Science

1:00p-3:00p Interviews (12:00p-4:00p Judging)

Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics, Robotics and  Computer Science 

Friday, March 4 – Winners List Posted

Award winners lists will be posted on the Fair website on Friday. These lists will just signify to teachers, students, and schools that an award has been won, but will not specify what is the name of the award. It will also let you know which Awards Ceremony(ies) you should attend.

Saturday, March 5 – Community STEM Expo and Awards Ceremonies

Regardless of whether a project won or not, everyone should plan on attending the combination Community STEM Expo and Awards Ceremonies at Reid Park from 9:00a-4:30p on Saturday. All Southern Arizona families are invited as there should be something for everyone! Bring your own blankets and chairs for awards ceremony seating, and enjoy the exhibitors, entertainment, and food trucks!

What You Can Expect

  • Dozens of hands-on STEM activities from exhibitors from 9:00a-3:00p
  • The SARSEF Innovators Hall, where attendees can explore student projects from the 2022 Fair
  • SARSEF Science Mart for all of your STEM swag needs
  • Town Hall where any student that has done research this year, teacher, or Fair judge can claim a gift
  • Scavenger Hunt for families to explore the exhibitors and claim a prize upon completion
  • Onstage live entertainment including three awards ceremonies for the Fair
  • Sweet and savory Food Trucks from 11:00a-3:00p
  • Plenty of room for outdoor seating on the grass in front of the amphitheater (bring your own blankets and chairs)

Schedule

  • 9:00a-3:00p STEM exhibitor booths open
  • 10:00a Elementary Grand Awards Ceremony
  • 12:00p Sponsored Awards Ceremony (all grades)
  • 3:00p Middle and High School Grand Awards Ceremony
  • 11:00a-3:00p Food trucks open

The Awards Ceremonies will not be live-streamed this year. Please plan to attend in-person! If you are unable to do so, unclaimed awards will be delivered to schools in the coming weeks. Full awards lists will be posted on the website Wednesday, March 9th.

Note on COVID-19: We are aware of the continued spread of COVID-19. We have chosen to hold this event outside in the open air to mitigate the spread of infection and allow plenty of room for physical distancing. We highly encouraged all attendees to be fully vaccinated whenever possible. Masks are highly encouraged at this event and required inside the Innovators Hall tent. Please stay home if you’re experiencing symptoms of illness. We will continue to monitor Pima County infection rates and will update our plans for this event accordingly.

Enjoy Fair Week and congratulations to all of our young scientists and engineers!