SARSEF

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2023 Camp Innovation Registration

FREE Summer Day Camp for Students Interested in Exploring STEM! 

Thanks to funding awarded by Governor Katie Hobbs, we are thrilled to announce that SARSEF and the Arizona Science Center will be hosting exciting week-long summer camps throughout the entire summer for FREE!

This year, we have expanded our offerings and will be running camps every week in various locations across Tucson, Arizona. Get ready to let your child’s imagination run wild as they embark on a journey that will ignite their curiosity in science. 

Our hands-on interactive programs will provide campers with engaging experiences and the opportunity to explore future careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). These camps are open to students grades 4-5 and 6-8. We can’t wait to inspire young minds and create unforgettable memories this summer!

We kindly request that students bring their own packed lunches that do not require refrigeration. Food allergies will still be recorded in camp registration to ensure any snacks we provide are safe for your camper. Camp Innovation is free to all campers. Once a preferred camp is selected, registrants can request to be put on the waitlist for additional weeks.

Check out Camp Dates and Locations Below!

You will be able to register for one preferred camp and you may join the waitlist for additional camps if desired.

Week 1: June 12-16- Pima Community College – Northwest Campus

7600 N Shannon Rd, Tucson, AZ 85709

Grades 6-8

Times: 9am-3pm

Week 2: June 19-23- UA Tech Park

9070 S Rita Rd, Tucson, AZ 85747

Grades 4-5

Times: 9am-3pm

Week 3: June 26-30- FORGE at Roy Place

44 N Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701

Grades 4-5

Times: 9am-3pm

Week 4: July 10-14- Junior League of Tucson

2099 E River Rd, Tucson, AZ 85718

Grades 6-8

Times: 9am-3pm

Week 5: July 17-21- Pima Community College- Northwest Campus

7600 N Shannon Rd, Tucson, AZ 85709

Grades 4-5

Times: 9am-3pm

Week 6: July 24-28- Tohono Chul

7366 N Paseo Del Norte, Tucson, AZ 85704

Grades 6-8

Times: 9am-3pm

Week 7: July 31-Aug 4- Tohono Chul

7366 N Paseo Del Norte, Tucson, AZ 85704

Grades 4-5

Times: 9am-3pm

SPACE IS LIMITED. REGISTER TODAY.

2023 Racing the Sun Winning Teams and Honorees

Congratulations to all the teams who participated in this year’s Racing the Sun (RTS). Racing the Sun is a hands-on, innovative engineering program that challenges high school students to design, build, and race electric and solar-powered go-karts. Racing the Sun is a college preparatory program available to any Arizona high school.  

Working with teachers, mentors and industry professional advisors, students spend nine months preparing for Race Day. Along the way, they apply the principles of physics, engineering, and energy. Through collaborative efforts with school sites and educators, race teams solve real-world problems, using mathematical, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Students work in teams and are challenged to translate their ideas into a working prototype and build leadership excellence skills.

Click here to view the 2023 Race Day Photo Album

Participating High Schools and Team Names:

  • Center for Academic Success Sierra Vista: CAS Maker and Standard (Sierra Vista, Arizona)
  • Desert Vista High School: Low Riders (Phoenix, Arizona)
  • Empire High School: The Raven Conspiracy (Tucson, Arizona)
  • McClintock High School : Solar Chargers (Tempe, Arizona)
  • Mica Mountain High School: The Thunder Sisters and Solar Storm (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Rio Rico High School: Los Engineers (Rio Rico, Arizona)
  • Salpointe Catholic High School: Salpointe Maker and Lancers (Tucson, Arizona)
  • San Miguel High School – Tucson: Viper Racing (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Shadow Ridge High School (Arizona): Ridge Racers (Surprise, Arizona)
  • Sonoran Science Academy – Davis Monthan: Axle-Auto (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Tanque Verde High School: TVHS Solar Flares (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Willcox High School: Willcox Gearheads (Willcox, Arizona)
  • Williams Field High School: Eclipse of the Hawks (Gilbert, Arizona)

Racing the Sun Results

Honor to Advisors: John Sepp and Jay West

Division Award Winners:

  • Standard: Empire High School- The Raven Conspiracy (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Legacy: Salpointe Catholic High School- Lancers (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Maker: Shadow Ridge High School- Ridge Racers (Surprise, Arizona)

Endurance Awards:

  • Standard: Mica Mountain High School- The Thunder Sisters (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Legacy: Rio Rico High School- Los Engineers (Rio Rico, Arizona)
  • Maker: Shadow Ridge High School- Ridge Racers (Surprise, Arizona)

Speed Award Winners:

  • Standard: San Miguel High School- Viper Racing (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Legacy: Salpointe Catholic High School- Lancers (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Maker: Shadow Ridge High School- Ridge Racers (Surprise, Arizona)

Best Verbal Presentation: Sonoran Science Academy- Davis Monthan- Axle-Auto (Tucson, Arizona)

Spirit Award: Rio Rico High School- Los Engineers (Rio Rico, Arizona)

Best Appearing Team and Kart: Rio Rico High School- Los Engineers (Rio Rico, Arizona)

Innovator Award: Desert Vista High School- Low Riders (Phoenix, Arizona)

Newcomer of the Year: San Miguel High School- Viper Racing (Tucson, Arizona)

Grand Champion: Shadow Ridge High School- Ridge Racers (Surprise, Arizona)

Coach of the Year: Derek Langley with Mica Mountain High School (Tucson, Arizona) and Cecilia Gossler with Salpointe Catholic High School (Tucson, Arizona)

If you would like to know more about SARSEF and how you can become engaged in STEM, volunteer for our organization, or donate, visit us at (https://sarsef.org/)

Arizona students attend the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Virginia Beach, Virginia!

The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) program is one of the nation’s longest-running STEM competitions. It is a collaborative effort between the research arm of the Department of Defense (DoD) and nationwide academic research institutions and is administered by the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA).

Five students from Arizona attended the National JSHS Competition and we are proud to share that two of them achieved recognition! Maritza Roberts-Padilla from BASIS Tucson North won First Place for her poster presentation in Chemistry and Chloe Zhan from Hamilton High School received an honorable mention in Math and Computer Science.

The students also had the opportunity to meet Dr. Jayde King, Research Psychologist at the Air Force Research Laboratory, presenting “Human Autonomy Teaming: Sci-Gi Dreams Made Reality” and Ms. Charneta Samms, Chief Technology Officer at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, presenting “Being an Engineer with the Army: The Limit Does Not Exist”.

Our very own Dani Wright, Director of Events and Volunteers, emceed all general sessions alongside John Andrews from Oklahoma State University Honors College. “Traveling to the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Virginia Beach was such a wonderful opportunity for our Arizona delegation to convene with some of the brightest young minds from all corners in the United States”, shared Dani, “Students learned from one another as well as getting a peek into cutting edge technology from leading scientists and engineers in our country.”

Maritza’s project titled, Batch Adsorption Study of Methylene Blue using Fresh Prickly Pear Cactus Cladodes as a Model Material for Textile Wastewater Remediation, aimed to understand the effectiveness of Opuntia ficus-indica as a potential adsorbent for MB by understanding how the parameters, such as contact time, adsorbate dosage and temperature may affect adsorption.

The awards Maritza and the other students received are a testament to their hard work and dedication to STEM fields! Participating in events like JSHS not only gives students the opportunity to showcase their work, but also helps to encourage and motivate them to pursue their interests further. Congratulations to SARSEF students Baochan Fan, Chloe Zhan, Maritza Roberts-Padilla, Prisha Shroff, Valeria Tocanos-Pasos, and all students who participated in JSHS!

Check out our interview with Maritza Roberts-Padilla:

Can you describe your experience at JSHS (both locally and internationally), including any challenges you faced and what you learned from the experience?

JSHS has been one of the most interesting experiences of my high school career. At both the state and national level, I was able to meet so many driven and unique students! Every single person I had a conversation with had a unique view on the field they were studying, and the research was truly impressive; students conducted PhD level research at the age of 16 on everything from AI to ecological conservation. Additionally, it was very exciting to be able to combine my public speaking skills with my science research project as well. JSHS has taught me the importance of science communication, and how the true value in science is derived (largely in part) from allowing others to be able to understand what we research. This way research becomes inviting to everyone and we reduce the factor of intimidation that STEM currently has.

What advice would you give to other students who are interested in pursuing research in STEM fields?

One piece of advice I would give to any student who wants to pursue research within the STEM field is to just give it a chance and believe in yourself! There is legitimately nothing to lose by trying something new out (this goes for anything). Apply to a STEM program or reach out to a professor at the University of Arizona. Most people are excited to help a curious teen out! After you start reading some literature or talking to a mentor, give yourself a month or two to acclimate to the research setting (it’s overwhelming at times), but if you have enough initiative, follow your project through! Don’t expect the research experience to be easy though, you will learn so much every step of the way but also be challenged several times throughout the experience. I can’t emphasize how important it is for a student to go out of their comfort zone, and you never know but you may end up discovering something groundbreaking in your field! Don’t underestimate yourself, if I could do science research, anyone can!

How does it feel to have received recognition at the national level for your research, and what does this achievement mean to you personally?

Having recognition at the National level for my research is something that I haven’t completely processed yet. I was completely new to independent research this year and I oftentimes felt like a fish out of water. Especially as a Latina in STEM, the research experience can feel very isolating at times. Nonetheless, I feel so privileged that the Arizona JSHS judges believed in me enough to have sent my project to Nationals! Most importantly, I’m happy to know that my project was able to, nationally, communicate the importance of environmental chemistry solutions and provide a deeper look at the significance of chemo-adsorption using accessible materials to clean polluted water. The First Place National Chemistry Poster Award is truly an achievement that I never thought achievable, but now I have been encouraged to continue contributing to the adsorption field, and my intellectual curiosity will continue to expand from here! I will bring my knowledge that I have acquired from this project to the International Science and Engineering Fair this May in Dallas, Texas!

If you would like to know more about SARSEF and how you can become engaged in STEM, volunteer for our organization, or donate, visit us at (https://sarsef.org/)

Press Release and Media Alert- You’re Invited!- Students from Across Southern Arizona Will Race Their Solar-Powered Go-Karts They Designed and Built Themselves

(Tucson, Arizona) On Saturday, April 29, 2023, SARSEF will be hosting Racing the Sun- Race Day where students from 15 Southern Arizona High Schools will race their solar-powered go-karts they designed and built themselves through SARSEF’s Racing the Sun program.

The event is a part of SARSEF’s year-round high school engineering programs and will take place at Musselman Honda Circuit (11800 S Harrison Rd, Tucson, AZ 85747) on April 29, 2023, from 12pm-3pm.

Racing the Sun is a hands-on, innovative engineering program that challenges high school students to design, build, and race electric and solar-powered go-karts. Racing the Sun is a college preparatory program available to any Arizona high school.  

Working with teachers, mentors and industry professional advisors, students spend nine months preparing for Race Day. Along the way, they apply the principles of physics, engineering, and energy. Through collaborative efforts with school sites and educators, race teams solve real-world problems, using mathematical, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Students work in teams and are challenged to translate their ideas into a working prototype and build leadership excellence skills.

The event will include hundreds of students and teachers, families, volunteers, as well exhibitors from organizations throughout the state encouraging careers in STEM and providing hands-on activities to the students. For the first time ever, we also have an all-girls team called The Thunder Sisters from Mica Mountain High School.

“I am thrilled to coach an all-girls Racing the Sun Team,” Derek Langley, Mica Mountain High School Teacher, shared. “I believe that any exposure to STEM in K-12 for young women will help increase the number of women who enter STEM fields. This all-girls team will give these women confidence in any future career, especially if they pursue engineering.”

Event Date: Saturday, April 29, 2023

Event Time: 12pm-3pm

Event Location: Musselman Honda Circuit, 11800 S Harrison Rd, Tucson, AZ 85747

About SARSEF:

SARSEF was formed in 1955 in an effort to increase student interest in the field of science. The mission of SARSEF is to engage Arizona’s Pre-K-12 grade students in critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through inquiry-based learning and research.

SARSEF accomplishes this mission through a variety of programming including a high school mentoring program, the STAR Lab, SARSEF Fair Week, educational outreach programs with an emphasis on underrepresented populations in the sciences, teacher professional development, ACES Camp for Middle School girls, Racing the Sun, and Arizona STEM Adventure.

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

Media Contact:

Yvonne Pysher, Director of Marketing and Communications

SARSEF

(520) 525-5230

yvonne@sarsef.org

DOWNLOAD PDF OF PRESS RELEASE & MEDIA ALERT

From the SARSEF CEO: Giving Students a Taste of Science

By Julie Euber, CEO, SARSEF

A child stands on their tiptoes, peering over the edge of the counter at their parent swiftly folding dough to make bread for dinner. The child holds on tight to a greased bowl, eagerly watching the parent place the dough inside. Then, right before their eyes, yeast transforms sugar into carbon dioxide, and the dough rises.

For many students, the kitchen is their first laboratory. It’s where, if they know it or not, they see the intersection between science, creativity, and their daily lives.

At SARSEF, we encourage students to notice and wonder about the world around them. We challenge them to ask testable questions and identify problems that relate to their daily lives. We show them how science and engineering can be used to investigate. Because of our approach to science and engineering that centers student experience, food is often the subject of curiosity.

This is evident in many of the projects entered in the SARSEF Regional Science and Engineering Fair (Click here to visit this year’s virtual project floor).

A first grader engineered a better way to serve butter.

An entire second grade class wanted to keep guacamole green for longer.

A third grader wanted to engineer a new flavor of gum – marshmallow!

A sixth grader wanted to find out if the lunch they packed for school every day stayed cool enough to be safe for consumption.

A high school student explored how to best test shrimp for freshness.

With your support this Arizona Gives Day, we can continue to inspire more students to make the connection between food and chemistry. Between nutrition and health. Between science and their own lives – maybe even their futures.

Please consider making a gift today! https://www.azgives.org/sarsef

Projects Referenced:

Your gift can now have a greater impact. The Connie Hillman Family Foundation has committed to granting SARSEF $1 (up to $200,000) for every $2 (up to $400,000) raised through new donors or increased gifts from existing contributors.

About SARSEF:

SARSEF was formed in 1955 in an effort to increase student interest in the field of science. The mission of SARSEF is to engage Arizona’s Pre-K-12 grade students in critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through inquiry-based learning and research.

SARSEF accomplishes this mission through a variety of programming including a high school mentoring program, the STAR Lab, SARSEF Fair Week, educational outreach programs with an emphasis on underrepresented populations in the sciences, teacher professional development, ACES Camp for Middle School girls, Racing the Sun, and Arizona STEM Adventure.

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

Press Release: Arizona Students Win More Than $100,000 at the 2023 SARSEF Regional Science and Engineering Fair!

(Tucson, AZ)

In March, SARSEF held their 68th Annual Regional Science and Engineering Fair and hosted a Community STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Expo. The fair provided students the opportunity to be recognized and rewarded for their work in science and engineering. 

Over 20 exhibitors joined the STEM Expo, igniting passion for science through hands-on experiences taught by real-world professionals such as: Center for Negative Carbon Emissions – ASU, Bisbee Science Lab, and the Arizona Science Center.

The SARSEF Fair highlighted the work of 5,949 students and 1,560 projects from over 140 schools, pre-kindergarten through high school, from all over Arizona. Over $100,000 in checks, scholarships, prizes, and trips were given out to students as well as teachers who went above and beyond to support their students’ work. 

“My participation in the SARSEF Fair helped me to realize that research effort has a true influence that goes beyond making scientific developments. Behind each project, students spent months planning and working diligently for the goal of improving the community by sharing their passion for science with others,” shared SARSEF Winner Andrea Hernandez from Rio Rico High School, “I did not understand how much I had evolved personally and professionally until I presented alongside more than a thousand other projects. I feel like a real scientist!”

Andrea Hernandez, Grade 12, Rio Rico High School

257 volunteer judges determined the grand awards, volunteering over 2,570 hours of their time. Judges reviewed projects and interviewed students to determine who will win a prize. 

Valeria Toscano Pasos, who attends Flowing Wells High School, examined the gut-to-brain signaling pathway associated with maintenance of energy homeostasis and nutrient-induced satiation. She was excited to have had the opportunity to present her research and is excited to continue and explore her scientific journey. 

 “SARSEF changed my perspective on science fairs. Seeing the plethora of projects and everyone’s dedication to their projects made it feel less competitive and more community oriented. I hope that my achievements in both SARSEF Fair and JSHS (Junior Science and Humanities Symposium) inspire Flowing Wells students to engage in science and formulate their own projects.”

Valeria Toscano Pasos, Grade 12, Flowing Wells High School

Over 400 Sponsored Awards were given to students. These awards are contributed by individuals or organizations within the community and nationally, supporting and encouraging students to become future leaders and believe in themselves. For example, Jasper Byerley, who attends Doolen Middle School, won the Coding with Commitment Sponsored Award given by Broadcom Foundation. The award included public recognition by the foundation, a $250 gift certificate, and a Raspberry Pi Foundation Official RP 400 Personal Computer Kit. 

Nine students will continue on to compete at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering fair (ISEF) in Dallas, Texas: Andrea Romero (Harvest Preparatory Academy), Ashley Valencia (Harvest Preparatory Academy), Estefany Regalado and Jorge Covarrubias, (Harvest Preparatory Academy), Hannah Feinberg (BASIS Tucson North), Jimena Uribe Lin (Harvest Preparatory Academy), Jimmy Kwon (BASIS Tucson North), Keona Kuo (University High School), and Serena Rezende Tsao (University High School).

Visit the Virtual Fair and review projects in the exhibit hall: https://virtualfair.sarsef.org/exhibit-hall/

View the 2022 Awards List: https://sarsef.org/2023-sarsef-fair-winners-list/

About SARSEF:

SARSEF was formed in 1955 in an effort to increase student interest in the field of science. The mission of SARSEF is to engage Arizona’s Pre-K-12 grade students in critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through inquiry-based learning and research.

SARSEF accomplishes this mission through a variety of programming including a high school mentoring program, the STAR Lab, SARSEF Fair Week, educational outreach programs with an emphasis on underrepresented populations in the sciences, teacher professional development, ACES Camp for Middle School girls, Racing the Sun, and Arizona STEM Adventure.

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

Media Contact:

Yvonne Pysher, Director of Marketing and Communications

SARSEF

(520) 525-5230

yvonne@sarsef.org

DOWNLOAD PDF OF PRESS RELEASE

Your Guide to Fair Week 2023

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 Saturday, March 4th! Consider this you go-to guide of what to expect for Fair Week 2023.

February 26- March 3– 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. 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.

March 4 – Virtual Exhibit Hall Goes Live

The virtual exhibit hall will go live Saturday, March 4th, 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.

Monday and Tuesday, March 6-7 – Elementary and Middle School (PreK-8) Judging and Interviews

Judging will take place online and over Zoom on Monday, March 6, from 1:00p-4:00p. Then, Elementary and Middle School students will have an opportunity to be interviewed by judges over Zoom on March 6 from 4:00pm-6:00pm or March 7 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 judging. They are for experience only for young researchers to talk about their science!

Wednesday, March 8 – High School (9-12) Judging and Interviews

High School judging and interviews will take place in-person at the University of Arizona Student Union Grand Ballroom from 9:00am-3:00pm. 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 10 – 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 11 – 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

  • Dozens of hands-on STEM activities from exhibitors from 11:00am-3:00pm
  • The SARSEF Innovators Hall, where attendees can explore student projects from the 2023 Fair
  • SARSEF Science Mart for all of your STEM swag needs
  • Innovators 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
  • Sweet and savory Food Trucks from 11:00am-3:00pm
  • Plenty of room for outdoor seating on the grass in front of the amphitheater (bring your own blankets, chairs, and umbrellas for shade)

Schedule

  • 11:00am-3:00p STEM exhibitor booths and Food Trucks open!
  • 10:00a Elementary (Grades PreK-5) Awards Ceremony
  • 1:00p-2:30p Live Performances
  • 3:00p 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 14 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 2023!

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

Press Release and Media Alert- You’re Invited!- Over 6,500 Students Will Compete at the SARSEF Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair and Be Awarded Over $100,00 in Scholarships, Prizes and Awards

(Tucson, Arizona) On Saturday, March 11, 2023, SARSEF will host its 68th Annual SARSEF Regional Science and Engineering Fair Award Ceremonies and Community STEM Expo. Over 6,500 students (PreK-12th grade) will compete at the SARSEF Regional Science and Engineering Fair and will be awarded over $100,000 in scholarships, prizes and awards. The top high school students will move on to international levels of competition.

The event will take place at Georges DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center in Reid Park from 10am-5:30pm.

In conjunction with the Awards Ceremonies, we will also host a Community STEM Expo filled with fun STEM activities, where kids will engage in hands-on science, have the opportunity to mingle with professional scientists and engineers, and celebrate the research conducted by thousands of Arizona students this school year, speech by keynote speaker and award distribution ceremony. 

“If you want to feel hopeful about the future, this is your event! With SARSEF, students don’t have to wait to become scientists or engineers,” Julie Euber, CEO of SARSEF, shared. “With curiosity as their guide, they can start asking questions they care about and use science and engineering to find solutions that are meaningful to them, and even, the world. Being witness to their enthusiasm, dedication, and innovation can be truly awe-inspiring.”

Event Date: Saturday, March 11, 2023

Event Time: 10am-5:30pm

Event Location: Georges DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center in Reid Park

What You Can Expect

  • Dozens of hands-on STEM activities from exhibitors from 11:00a-3:00p
  • The SARSEF Innovators Hall, where attendees can explore student projects from the 2023 Fair
  • SARSEF Science Mart for all of your STEM swag needs
  • Innovators 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) 

About SARSEF:

SARSEF was formed in 1955 in an effort to increase student interest in the field of science. The mission of SARSEF is to engage Arizona’s Pre-K-12 grade students in critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through inquiry-based learning and research.

SARSEF accomplishes this mission through a variety of programming including a high school mentoring program, the STAR Lab, SARSEF Fair Week, educational outreach programs with an emphasis on underrepresented populations in the sciences, teacher professional development, ACES Camp for Middle School girls, Racing the Sun, and Arizona STEM Adventure.

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

Media Contact:

Yvonne Pysher, Director of Marketing and Communications

SARSEF

(520) 525-5230

yvonne@sarsef.org

DOWNLOAD PDF OF PRESS RELEASE & MEDIA ALERT

From the SARSEF CEO: Why Should You Judge or Volunteer at the SARSEF Science and Engineering Fair? Here are just a few reasons out of thousands.

By Julie Euber, CEO, SARSEF 

Did you know? Last year, SARSEF Regional Science and Engineering Fair showcased the work of 6,558 students. What better reason to judge or volunteer than to impact the confidence level and career trajectory of thousands of students? 

At this year’s fair, you will have the flexibility to select the volunteer or judge opportunity that best fits your interests and scheduling needs. But before I share more on that, here are just a few other reasons you should sign up to judge or volunteer: 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10.8% increase in employment in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations from 2021 to 2031 compared to a 4.9% increase for non-STEM careers. And – the median annual wage for STEM careers is more than double that of non-STEM careers (BLS data). 

Every student should feel confident when considering their options in STEM fields. Not only does this open up a diversity of high paying, quality career possibilities for them, but it also supports the future of our growing STEM-based industries in the state. Unfortunately, less than 30% of students view themselves as a “science person,” and that number is even lower for groups underrepresented in STEM occupations. 

It’s been shown that educational programming can turn that statistic around and help students see themselves as the rock star scientists and engineers they truly are. SARSEF is no exception. In fact, 85% of last year’s SARSEF Fair participants said that completing their Science and Engineering Fair project encouraged them to think about a STEM major in college and/or a career in STEM fields. 

To run a fair as large as ours, we need hundreds of volunteers and judges to step up and volunteer their time and talents to the incredible youth of Southern Arizona. As one of those volunteers or judges, you could be the one who helps a student recognize their own potential.

Julie learns about 2022 ISEF finalist Yaritza Durazo’s research project

The power of a supportive adult that takes a student’s science and engineering project seriously should never be underestimated.

Think back to a time when a supportive adult took notice of you and your potential. When someone took a simple moment to let you know that you just might have a knack for something. Supportive relationships with others are important to our health and well-being no matter our age or background. 

At the SARSEF Fair, you get to actively listen to a student talk about a project that matters to them. You can encourage students while still giving constructive feedback that shows you are taking them and their work seriously. You can be proof that they do have connections to an exciting STEM field and that they can work in or care about science and engineering just like you do. A single judging interview, a single interaction with a volunteer could be the inspiration a student needs to reach for their goals. 

IT’S FUN

If you want to feel hopeful about future, this is your event! With SARSEF, students don’t have to wait to become scientists or engineers. With curiosity as their guide, they can start asking questions they care about and use science and engineering to find solutions that are meaningful to them, and even, the world. Being witness to their enthusiasm, dedication, and innovation can be truly awe-inspiring. 

I remember my first experience judging at a science fair. Some students eagerly sought my eye contact because they were so excited to tell me all about their work. Others were shy, but once they started talking, their enthusiasm shone through. Once I get through the phase of the interview where students are shaking off their nerves, I find that conversation gets easy and that it’s a privilege to get to learn from them. 

Julie co-chairing the Biomedical and Health Sciences Category at the 2017 ISEF in Los Angeles, California.

You can make a difference in a week, a day, or less. 

Depending on your schedule and goals, you can volunteer with us for a few weeks, a day or a few hours. There are so many ways to participate! Here’s the rundown:

Elementary School and Middle School Judging: Elementary School judging and interviews for the 2023 SARSEF will be held virtually over Zoom. The schedule is as follows: 

  • Attend a virtual training Tuesday, February 28 at 6pm or Wednesday, March 1 at 8:00am. 
  • Review your list of projects through our online project floor. The project floor opens at noon on Saturday, March 4. 
  • Determine winning projects with your caucus over Zoom on Monday, March 6 (Elementary: 1:00-3:00pm; Middle: 2:00-4:00pm). 
  • Plan on attending at least one interview session with students over Zoom. They will take place from 4:00-6:00pm on Monday, March 6 as well as 9:00-11:00am the following day. 

High School Judging: High School judging will take place in-person in the grand ballroom at the Student Union on the University of Arizona campus. The schedule is as follows: 

  • Attend a virtual training Wednesday, March 1 at 6:00pm or Thursday, March 2 at 8:00am. 
  • Review projects in your category ahead of time through our online project floor. The project floor opens at noon on Saturday, March 4. 
  • Interviews and caucusing to determine winners will take place on Wednesday, March 8. Timing depends on your category, so please refer to the link below to find out when you would judge. 
  • Judges at the high school level should be professionals in their fields (at least three to five years of experience is preferred) and/or be in the process of obtaining or hold advanced (master’s or doctoral) degrees. Middle school judges should hold a bachelor’s degree, and have some experience in their field, or teach in the selected area. Elementary school judges must have a high school education, with some experience with the age level selected, and/or interest in the field selected. 

Register to judge at the SARSEF Fair: https://sarsef.org/volunteers/judges/ 

General Event Volunteering: Beyond judging, we also have a great need for general event volunteers who can ensure all goes smoothly for our student participants and their teachers and caregivers. In the week before the Fair (February 27 through March 3) we’ll need volunteers assisting us virtually to confirm projects follow our display and safety guidelines. During the Fair, you can support in-person high school interviews on March 8 or our Community Expo and Awards Ceremony March 10 through 11. 

Register to volunteer at the SARSEF Fair: https://sarsef.org/volunteers/general-volunteers/ 

Don’t have the time to give? Plan to volunteer but want to do more? You can also consider giving a sponsored award or donating directly to our fair efforts. 

See you at the SARSEF Fair! 

Congratulations to the 2023 Arizona JSHS Winners!

Congratulations to all students who participated in this year’s Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). The JSHS Program is a national competition promoting original research and experimentation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at the high school level and publicly recognizes students for outstanding achievement.

The JSHS program is one of the nation’s longest-running STEM competitions. It is a collaborative effort between the research arm of the Department of Defense (DoD) and nationwide academic research institutions and is administered by the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA).

The following students will be advancing to the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium:

1st Place: Prisha Shroff

Award: $2,000 JSHS Scholarship and  $1,000 University of Arizona Scholarship

School: Hamilton High School – Chandler, AZ

Mentor: Hassan Ghasemzadeh, Associate Professor- Arizona State University

Title: HyperGlycemiaAssist: Personalized Blood Glucose Level and Postprandial Hyperglycemia

Prediction using Neural Networks

2nd Place: Chloe Zhan

Award: $1,500 JSHS Scholarship and $1,000 University of Arizona Scholarship

School: Hamilton High School – Chandler, AZ

Teacher: Debbie Nipar, Hamilton High School

Title: Forecasting County-Level Crop Yield in Top Agricultural-Producing States Using Satellite Data

3rd Place: Valeria Tocanos-Pasos

Award: $1,000 JSHS Scholarship and $1,000 University of Arizona Scholarship

Flowing Wells High School – Tucson, AZ

Mentor: Jessica Dietrich, Flowing Wells High School

Title: Examining Hindbrain Activation at Multiple Time Points Following a Small Intestinal Lipid Infusion

in Mice

4th Place: Baochan Fan

Award: $1,000 University of Arizona Scholarship

Hamilton High School – Chandler, AZ

Mentor: Dr. Min-Hyun Kim, PhD, Arizona State University

Title: Hypothalamic EZH2: A Key Regulator of Leptin Sensitivity in Obesity

5th Place: Maritza Roberts-Padilla

Award: $1,000 University of Arizona Scholarship

BASIS Tucson North – Tucson, AZ

Mentor: Dr. Derek Reichel, Roche

Title: Batch Adsorption Study of Methylene Blue using Fresh Prickly Pear Cactus Cladodes as a

Model Material for Textile Wastewater Remediation

Alternate: Meenal Srivastava

BASIS Scottsdale – Scottsdale, AZ

Title: Trust in the Use of Artificial Intelligence Technology in Healthcare

1st Place Poster Presenter: Roberto Serna

Harvest Preparatory Academy – Yuma, AZ

Teacher: Alfred S. Santos

Title: Burnt Potato Peel (BPP)Powder: A Novel Biosorbent to Combat Pharmaceutical Pollution.

2nd Place Poster Presenter: Leonocio Villareal

Harvest Preparatory Academy – Yuma, AZ

Teacher: Alfred S. Santos

Title: Investigating the Effects of Phenylalanine and Lysine on Phaseolus Vulgaris Grown in Acidic Soil

AZ JSHS Teacher of the Year: Alfred Santos

Harvest Preparatory Academy – Yuma, AZ