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Registration and Your Class Participation

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If you are already registered as a site user, please login to register one or more projects for this year or to check and update projects you have already registered for this year. Otherwise, please register as a new user so you can register a project.
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How Your Class Can Participate

Below are a few basics to talk to your school administrator about as you decide how your school can be involved. We will be publicizing all schools that are represented at SARSEF (March 11-14, 2020) in a full-page ad in the Arizona Daily Star!

Types of Projects

As you decide how your class will participate, you need to know that there are the three types of research projects that your class can do and enter. (You may also combine these.)

  1. Individual: Each student works on his or her own idea and does individual research and project boards.
  2. Team: Teams of two or three students decide on the same topic and work together to research and present. (Each student is involved in all phases, versus divide and conquer.)
  3. Group or class project: Four or more students, or an entire class, agrees on one topic and work on it together. Each member of the group or class should be part of the entire process, and keep their own lab book/journal with notes about the process and data. Group/class projects will be judged separately from individual and team projects at the SARSEF Science and Engineering Fair. Please note, group/class projects will not be eligible for Broadcom MASTERS, the International Science and Engineering Fair, and other prizes and scholarships.

Level of Participation

The Ideal – Full Scale Science Research Class

Do you believe that students need more practice as problem-solvers? Do they need to improve their ability to think critically and creatively? Then take the challenge to become a full-scale science research class! Ask every student to enter a research project this year. We will help you get started. Although only the top projects will go on to represent your school, every child will have experienced what it is like to test an idea, control variables, follow a process, record data and form a conclusion following an idea of their choice from beginning to end.

Best of Class

Since according to our national and Arizona State Standards, all teachers are required to teach the Scientific Method, a school principal may want to ask every teacher to complete the process with the minimum of one class project per teacher. Ideally, some teachers will also encourage individual, team or small group projects. Teachers can leave the topic choice to the students (preferred), or they may use what is being taught in the curriculum to narrow the topic. By the middle of February, every teacher should have at least one project that represents the best of his or her class to put up for display. This might be an individual or team project, or a class project. The Top 10  projects for the school are selected by judges to move on to SARSEF competition.

Pilot Year – Student Leaders Only, and/or with Curriculum-Guided Choice

Ask one or two of your top students to participate this first year. They will use the Scientific Method and decide whether to choose topics, or limit the choice to a science unit that is already required by the curriculum. This project will go on to represent your school at SARSEF.

Form a Science Club

Ask any interested students to commit to six to eight weeks for a science club that meets before or after school. The club leader will teach the Scientific Method process, and help students choose a topic. During weekly club meetings, the club leader will check on project progress and offer suggestions and help. Top projects from the club members will be selected for SARSEF.

Parent As Leaders

In some schools, parents have become the organizers and leaders for science research projects, and the teachers are their supporters. In this option, teachers send home the basic steps and timelines for completing a project (we can provide these) and it is conducted at home. All projects are brought to a central location for judging on a certain date. Teachers from lower grades select the top projects from the upper grades and vice versa.  The research project can be optional – or it may be required as a part of the science class homework.

At the Very Least – Independent Entries

If you cannot find a way to do any of the options listed above, then at least allow students to enter independently. Often, students transfer from schools where science fair projects were very much a part of their world. They need to know that they can still enter, even if your school does not participate. Even if only one student from your school wants to enter, it is important to let them. Please let students know in the announcements or parent meetings that if they want to enter SARSEF, they may come to the office to “sign up” by a date of your choosing. This will indicate they would like to submit a project that they will be working on at home. (Usually there are no more than a few.) One school representative (perhaps a parent) will need to be responsible for making sure there are no more than 10 projects, and for registering them online by April 1, 2018. If there are more than 10, a teacher particularly talented in science should be requested to choose the top projects.

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Free Educational Outreach!

Need help getting started?

SARSEF can help.

We will come to your class or school with a PowerPoint presentation designed to help students learn the basics of a how-to-do a research project using the Scientific Method or Engineering Design Process. Using our format, the students do the work, not you, and they will be doing it on a topic that they truly care about, and that can bring them great recognition. Together, we can make STEM fun for YOU and your students!

You will see how teaching students to do high-quality STEM research will not only fulfill the Next Generation Science Standards, it will provide the very content you need for your science curriculum this year.

  • We can help you teach problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and provide the content for all grade levels, K-12 STEM.
  • We will help students explore any area of science they are interested in while applying the required skills, instead of focusing on just one pre-selected area.

We will help you create a class that has active participation and high student engagement, which are the essentials of an effective instruction.

To schedule a free school/classroom presentation, please ask your administrator or Fair Director to sign up on our website.

To Request a Presentation, your first step is to either Login or Register as a New User
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Other Science Competitions Your Students 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:

State Fair: Arizona Science and Engineering Fair (AzSEF) is the state fair for Arizona. Students in Grades 5-12 can qualify to enter by placing first at SARSEF.

National and International Fairs and Competitions:

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

Conrad Foundation’s Spirit of Innovation Awards: Student teams are challenged to solve real-world problems in the areas of clean energy, aerospace exploration and cyber security. This competition is open to students aged 13-18. 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 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): This is specifically for students in Grades 5-8. Ten finalists will receive $1,000 and an all-expenses-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):  A competition for high school students only, 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.

I-SWEEEP: Two students from SARSEF are chosen to advance to this global competition in Houston each year.

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

Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology:  A competition for high school students. The 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 Walt Disney World and Kennedy Space Center.

The Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS): This program invites high school students in 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 from the American Museum of Natural History, and sponsored by Alcoa Inc., is a research-based essay contest for students in Grades 7-12 to promote participation and communication in science.


Every Child. Thinking Critically. Solving Problems.