Every child. Thinking critically. Solving problems.


SARSEF Fair award winners have been announced!

See the winner list
Published Wednesday February 8, 2023

For the Love of Science Matching Gift Campaign!

Thank you Tim Schaffner and Anne Maley-Schaffner for launching SARSEF’s For The Love of Science campaign. Gifts will be matched up to $3,500. Help us go beyond our $6,000 goal!

There’s chemistry in the air! This February, we are celebrating our love of science! We will highlight students’ science fair projects that were driven by wonder, curiosity, and passion for the world around them. We also can’t forget about Arizona’s birthday on Valentine’s Day, so we will spread the love by featuring classroom-level research projects that emphasized on topics relevant to students and their rural communities in our beautiful Grand Canyon State.

Join us and spread the love of science by supporting SARSEF and making a gift today! A special thank you to Tim Schaffner and Anne Maley-Schaffner for matching gifts up to $3,500!

“Scientific knowledge is vital in education and in life. We support SARSEF’s leadership in engaging youth to explore the world around them and how they can make a difference. In doing so, youth begin to believe in themselves and gain confidence and skills needed in our community.” – Tim Schaffner and Anne Maley-Schaffner

Double your impact today and receive a limited edition For the Love of Science sticker! Type “Love” in the comments section when making your gift.

Click here to donate and support SARSEF!

Student Project Spotlights

For the Love of Discovery

Meet Finnigan McGill, inventor of A-BiRD, an automated bird recognition device!

Last year, Finnigan’s successfully designed and engineered A-BiRD, a device to collect continuous and objective data for ornithologists.

The Automated Bird Recognition Device provides consistent data to help track the rise and fall of bird populations by species. Since the system can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the continuous coverage improves the accuracy and continuity of bird data. A-BiRD can be employed globally for objective data collection without relying on human intervention!

Finnigan’s project led to winning 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.

Click here to watch Finnegan’s YouTube video to learn more about his project.

Click here to view Finnegan’s project.

For the Love of Our Planet

Meet Insee Eckstrom, a bright 5th grader with a passion for saving our world’s ocean’s!

First motivated by the use of ferrofluid to clean up microplastic in the oceans, he hoped his ideas and invention could help clean up larger plastic pieces before they turn into microplastic. His research focused on exploring plastic and magnetic properties to save the world ocean’s!

Insee will continue to develop his research and prototypes. Who knows… his system could help remove plastic in Tucson’s flashfloods.

Click here to view Insee’s project.

For the Love of the Universe

Meet Yaritza Durazo, a recent Sunnyside High School graduate, SARSEF Fair participant and ISEF finalist, Flinn Scholar, and fierce Latina with a passion for physics!

Last year, Yaritza’s SARSEF project explored chaotic orbits that could make space mission designs more effective and allow us to understand the past and future of our solar system!

Using the Lyapunov exponent in the restricted three-body problem, Yaritza’s research concluded that increasing the Jacobi constant and mass of the planet had opposite effects on the stability of orbits and by rediscovering the 2/7 power law, once can now see the equivalence between two different chaos criteria.

Yaritza’s curiosity and love for Physics and Astronomy lead to an incredible discovery that will continue to support space exploration!

Click here to view Yartiza’s project.

For the Love of Arizona!

Read the Arizona Daily Star Article highlighting SARSEF Rural High School program

SARSEF launched a new rural high school program across Arizona, connecting students with support and resources that are often lacking in geographically remote locations. The program brought university-level research to high school students as they participated in whole class based authentic scientific projects. Teachers were paired with Research Fellows from the University of Arizona and worked together to elevate student research!

The classroom-level research projects emphasized topics relevant to students and their rural communities.

  • CAS High School’s studied how the microbes on local plants around Douglas, Arizona impact plant growth.
  • Safford High School researched how diet impacts the growth of tobacco hornworms.
  • Sahuarita High School installed a pollinator garden to investigate the relationship between the plants and the pollinators.
  • Willcox High School explored soil dynamics by learning about above-ground and below-ground interactions between plants and soil as well as within the soil itself that could have potential implications for local agriculture in Willcox, Arizona.

Click here to learn more about SARSEF’s new rural high school program.

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.