Resources and Competitions

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAResources – Where to Find

Project Boards
Are Your Parents Looking for a Science Fair Project Board?
Many office supply stores carry them!
We particularly like Jonathan’s Educational Resources. They carry a variety of colors in the right sizes, as well as borders that can help jazz up a project board. They even carry lettering for titles, specially designed for science fair projects that follow the scientific method.

Judging Criteria

The following forms outline the criteria that teams will use when judging the projects. Note there are separate forms for projects that use the Scientific Process and Engineering Design — and for K-8 versus the HS level.  All forms are based on the criteria used at the ISEF competition level.

Elem and MS Engineering Criteria

Elem and MS Science Criteria

HS Science Criteria

HS Engineering Criteria


Other Science Competitions Your Child May Enter Using This Same Project

Every year, more than 9 million students in Grades K-12 enter a science competition. Your project may also be entered in some of the following:

Arizona Science & Engineering Fair

AzSEF is the state science fair. Students in Grades 5-12 can qualify to enter by placing first at SARSEF or at their school fair. The competition’s new “home” is with the Arizona Science Center. It is also under new leadership with Fair Director Sari Custer.

AzSEF will take place April 4–5, 2019 Phoenix Convention Center, Lower Level, Halls 1 & 2.

Feb. 6: Registration Opens 
March 20: Registration Closes at 11:59 p.m.
April 4: Project check-in
April 4: Elementary & Junior Division project judging – 12:30 p.m.
April 4: Senior Division project check-in closes – 7 p.m.
April 5: Senior Division Judging Day 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
April 5: Open House Ceremony 3–7 p.m.
April 5: Awards Ceremony – 7 p.m.

Qualifications for Participating at AzSEF

– Only first-place-winning projects will advance to AzSEF. This pertains to students (Grades 5-12) who have placed first at a school, home-school, district, county or regional science fair.

– No more than 12 entries per grade level will be accepted from each school in the elementary and junior divisions.

– To ensure the integrity of this rule, schools and science fairs will be allowed to submit only one project per grade level for each category. (There are 12 categories for elementary and junior divisions. Click here for categories.)

– If your fair does not give “place” awards, the fair director will select which project is considered the best representative of the category selected.


National and International Fairs and Competitions

Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars): This competition, sponsored by Society for Science & the Public, is for students in Grades 6-8 who participate in science fairs in the United States, and are nominated to compete in the national competition. Thirty finalists will win an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete for the $25,000 grand prize.

Conrad Foundation’s Spirit of Innovation Awards: This contest challenges student teams (ages 13-18) to solve real-world problems in the areas of clean energy, aerospace exploration and cyber security. The winning team is awarded $5,000 to continue product development. Spirit of Innovation Awards are sponsored, in part, by Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Davidson Fellows Scholarship Program: This program aims to recognize exceptional students and support them in the fulfillment of their potential. It includes categories of science, mathematics, and technology, among others. The top prize is $50,000.

Discovery Young Scientist Challenge (DYSC):  For students in Grades 5-8. Ten finalists will receive $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to St. Paul, Minn. for the competition finals. The first-place winner will receive $25,000.

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF): For high school students who must first qualify at an affiliated fair. Top prize is a $75,000 scholarship. Six high school projects and two to three middle school projects are selected each year at SARSEF to attend this global competition.

Intel Science Talent Search (STS):  A competition for high school seniors. Top prize is a $100,000 scholarship.

International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering, Environment) Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP): Two students at SARSEF are chosen to advance to this global competition in Houston, Texas.

Kids’ Science Challenge:  A nationwide competition open to students in Grades 3-6. Challenges students to come up with a unique solution to one of the three annual challenges. Funded by the National Science Foundation.

Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology:  A competition for high school students. Top prize is a $100,000 scholarship.

Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC):  The world’s largest model-rocket contest, accepts teams of students in Grades 7-12  from any U.S. school or non-profit youth organization.

The DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition: For U.S. and Canadian students in Grades 7-12. Top prize is $3,000 and a trip to Florida, to visit Walt Disney World and Kennedy Space Center.

The Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS):  This program invites high school students (Grades 9-12) to conduct an original research investigation in the sciences, engineering or mathematics — and to participate in a regional symposium sponsored by universities or other academic institutions. Regional winners proceed to a national competition.

Young Naturalist Awards:  This program, sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History and Alcoa Corporation, is a research-based essay contest for students in Grades 7-12 to promote participation and communication in science.


Web Sites For Parents

  • Science Buddies  Science Buddies is a non-profit organization that provides free science- fair project ideas, answers and tools for students in Grades K-12. Its online resources have been integrated into the National Science Teacher’s Association “SciLinks” program, and have received praise from students, teachers and parents across the nation. “Science Buddies” empowers students from all walks of life to develop a love of science and an understanding of the Scientific Method. Innovative online tools and programs encourage, acknowledge and reward student research projects — and also aim to increase science fair participation.
  • Archimedes Initiative: Includes video interviews of students who won at the international level. Each video is three to five minutes long, and covers the Scientific Method and Engineering Design Process step by step.
  • Netscape@Play: This is great site giving ideas about projects and assistance. Netscape at Play and looks to be both fun and helpful.
  • Google Search The Google site with numerous links for advice and help in creating  science fair projects.
  • SSP Science for Society & Public (formerly called the Science Service) is the organization responsible for several youth science competitions, including the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
  • Science Fair Central: This is The Discovery Channel’s resource for project ideas.
  • Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium: Visit the Flandrau Science Center home page to find out about exciting science based programs and workshop opportunities at Flandrau.
  • Southwest Association for Education in Biomedical Research (SwAEBR): Good reference materials regarding the use of animals in research.
  • Arizona/ Nevada Academy of Sciences: Links to resources, and individuals in the science community.
  • NSTA Science Fair Resource: The “ultimate science fair resource” is a member of the SciLinks program, a service of the National Science Teachers Association. It is sponsored by the Society for Amateur Scientists.
  • NSTA Newsletter High School The National Science Teachers’ Association newsletter, Science Class, offers many great links for teachers. This is the High School Edition.
  • NSTA Newsletter Middle School The National Science Teachers’ Association newsletter, Science Class, offers many great links for teachers. This is the Middle School Edition.
  • NSTA Newsletter Elementary The National Science Teachers’ Association newsletter, Science Class, offers many great links for teachers. This is the Elementary Edition.
  • K12 Academics: This is an education resource center and job placement site for teachers, students, parents, education majors and school district officials involved in K-12 education throughout the United States.
  • Sci fair planner: This is a good site for middle school teachers and students providing a “step by step science fair” process for success.
  • Nat Academy of Engineering: This is an excellent site to learn more about technology, what it is, how it impacts our lives — including the importance of technical literacy.
  • Science News For Kids: Science News For Kids magazine resource of ideas for projects. Published by Science Service.
  • Eurekalert News for Kids: Breaking science, health and technology news and features written specifically for kids.
  • NASA HubbleSite: This beautiful site is chock full of space-related activities and resources.
  • Bill Nye, the Science Guy: Homepage for American science educator/TV host Bill Nye. It has lots of fun demos and ideas for your projects. Check out his parallel site: for information about his television show.
  • Science Bob: Website for science teacher and television personality Robert “Science Bob” Pflugfelder. It is a great resource for project ideas, and includes good basic concepts and techniques, too.
  • USS Tucson: ,   A new award will be given for projects dealing with the science of submarines (such as conversion of water to oxygen, compression under water pressure, or health issues in closed environments.)
  • Basic water information and terms from Dr. Gordon Snyder at the WaterCenter in Kenmore, Wash. The blog discusses Hurricane Katrina’s impact on drinking water, toxic water problems, water sampling and testing at
  • Water Project info: Student science fair project ideas about water from Dr. Gordon Snyder at the WaterCenter in Kenmore, Wash.
  • Water Demos & Experiments: Experiments and demonstrations for teachers from Dr. Gordon Snyder at the WaterCenter in Kenmore, Wash.
  • Homework Spot: Lists of numerous resources to search for project ideas.
  • Family Oriented: Tips and insights for families entering the science fair. There’s a fair bit of advertising sold to finance the site, but the tips and ideas are worth it.
  • Masters in Data Science has a great The Ultimate Guide to STEM for kids (K-12) organized by age and interest, and a section specifically focused on resources and activities for girls!


Every Child. Thinking Critically. Solving Problems.