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SARSEF Fair award winners have been announced!

See the winner list
Published Thursday March 24, 2022

Press Release: Arizona Students Awarded Over $100,000 in Scholarships, Prizes, and Awards at SARSEF Fair in March!

March 24, 2022


(Tucson, AZ) In March, SARSEF held their 67th Annual Regional Science and Engineering Fair in conjunction with hosting a Community STEM Expo. The fair provided students the opportunity to be recognized and rewarded for their work in science and engineering. Many received cash prizes for their achievements.

The SARSEF Fair showcased the work of 6,557 students and 1,535 projects from over 120 schools, pre-kindergarten through high school, from all over Arizona. Over $100,000 in awards and scholarships were given out to students as well as teachers who went above and beyond to support their students’ work.

“SARSEF taught me that your own hard work does indeed pay off. Even though you might doubt yourself or wish that you picked an easier project, you must remember that hard work is the basis of society. Without carefully analyzing your code or making faulty predictions, you run the risk of building an unstable foundation for humanity. By participating in the Science Fair you are not guaranteed to win but you are guaranteed an opportunity to compete on a fair plain with all of Southern Arizona,” shared SARSEF Winner Nathaniel van der Leeuw from University High School.”

261 volunteer judges determined the grand awards, volunteering over 3,300 hours of their time. Judges reviewed projects and interviewed students to determine who will win a prize.

Yaritza Durazo, who attends Sunnyside High School, identified ways to make space mission designs more effective. She was excited to have had the opportunity to present her research and is excited to continue and explore her scientific journey.

“My favorite part about SARSEF was learning something new in science and being able to present the outcome of my research. Before, I thought science was mostly about getting results and drawing conclusions from them, but I quickly learned that science communication is a huge part of the scientific process. I had fun learning how to code, reading scientific papers, and presenting my research. I am excited to continue my scientific journey, wherever it takes me.”

A total of 457 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, Finnegan McGill, who attends Emily Gray Junior High, 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.

Eight students will continue on to compete at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering fair (ISEF): Christopher Miranda (Harvest Preparatory Academy), Karah Mayer (Tanque Verde High School), Alexander Nelson (Nelson Home School), Yaritza Durazo (Sunnyside High School), Ashley Valencia (Harvest Preparatory Academy), Julianna Serna-Ortiz (Harvest Preparatory Academy), Nathaniel van der Leeuw and Lily Wood (University High School), and Arjun Gupta (Quest for Education and Arts).

Visit the Virtual Fair and review projects in the exhibit hall:

View the 2022 Awards List:


SARSEF was formed in 1955 in an effort to increase student interest in the field of science. The mission of SARSEF is to teach Arizona’s Pre-K-12 grade students 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 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

Media Contact:

Yvonne Pysher, Director of Marketing and Communications