Every child. Thinking critically. Solving problems.


SARSEF Fair award winners have been announced!

See the winner list

2022 ACES Camp for Girls- Girls Closing STEM Gender Gap!

About ACES Camp for Girls

SARSEF’s Applied Career Exploration in STEM (ACES) Camp for Girls is a free, week-long summer camp for middle school girls from Sunnyside Unified School District held every July. The camp is designed to explore a wide variety of careers, provide a path to potential success, and spark their interest in higher education in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. ACES stresses teamwork, use of technology, and hands-on learning, while giving students a feel for the college experience at a critical time in their lives. 

After running for over a decade, the program has had more than 500 participants. Some camp alumni are now engineers or scientists. ACES focuses on the importance of math, science, and careers in technical sciences and underscores that women are essential in every career. 

2022 ACES Camp for Girls

Read the Arizona Daily Star Article highlighting ACES Camp for Girls

SARSEF’s Applied Career Exploration in STEM (ACES) Camp for Girls took place the week of July 11-15 at Pima Community College- Downtown Campus. It is a week-long summer camp for middle school girls from Sunnyside Unified School District. The Summer Camp created a learning atmosphere in both English and Spanish to accommodate Spanish speaking students and increase confidence in STEM learning.

The camp is free and designed to explore a wide variety of careers, provide a path to potential success, and spark their interest in higher education in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. 

40 campers visited STEM centers throughout Tucson that inspired learning and curiosity with immersive, hands-on STEM-based tours. Tours included Pima Community College- Downtown Campus, the University of Arizona, Sonora Quest Laboratories/ Laboratory Science of Arizona, and many more!  

From visiting the Automotive Technology and Innovation Center to touring an autopsy room where they examined real human organs preserved for just these types of educational opportunities, the campers learned and got excited about possible careers in automotive, robotics, machining, welding, animal sciences, health sciences, and many more! 

Combining both entrepreneurship and STEM, the campers explored the development of innovative product ideas, venture capital, and finance management through a “Shark Tank” project of designing and creating a product made of recycled materials. 

SARSEF CEO Julie Euber helped ACES Campers understand their superpowers as they discovered and developed their talents with Clifton StrengthsExplorer Assessment. By taking the assessment, the campersreceived a report with their top three talents and ideas for how to highlight, illuminate and provide important data and action steps for a better future!   

When asking the campers what they think of when they hear the word “science”, Patricia, Grade 7 said,  
“I think about experimenting with new things to create something that will help our society”.  

ACES Camp for Girls provided the opportunity for students to explore careers in STEM, build creative inventions, assess their talents, and create lasting friendships.

ACES Camp Girls on the Radio!

Thank you to Lotus Communications Corporation Arizona and Riley for interviewing SARSEF Programs Manager, America Miranda, and our ACES Camp campers! The interview aired on the following stations: 94.9 MIXfm, Rock 102.1 KFMA, 96.1 FM KLPX, and ESPN Tucson.

If you missed the interview on the radio, tune in here!


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

Interested in supporting SARSEF and our work creating Arizona’s future critical thinkers and problem solvers through science and engineering?

Click Here to Visit SARSEF’s Donation Page

ACES Camp Goes Virtual to Connect Middle School Girls to Science and Engineering

ACES Camp continued on this year to engage middle school girls in hands-on science and engineering in a supportive, virtual environment. The camp is a collaboration between SARSEF, Raytheon, and STEMAZing.

Press Release – PDF

Girls wave from their windows on a videoconferencing platform.
Middle school girls from Sunnyside Unified School District attend virtual camp through videoconferencing for a week, learning about careers in science and engineering.

What does an engaging and educational experience with science and engineering look like in a virtual environment? For the middle school girls at ACES Camp, it looks like building their own electrical paper circuit and having engaging, collaborative discussions with other girls their age about leadership and careers. It looks like scavenger hunts through their houses and exploring exciting museums and exhibits through virtual tours. This year, camp might look a little different, but the girls at ACES Camp are making the most of it.

Through a collaboration between SARSEF, Raytheon, and STEMAZing, ACES Camp is preparing 36 middle school girls from the Sunnyside Unified School District for exciting careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) while still maintaining social distance.

Camp started with participants picking up packets of supplies and snacks to use throughout the week, allowing them to participate in hands-on activities at home during a week of virtual camp through videoconferencing. From bags of candy to corn starch to batteries, the supplies gave the girls a mysterious sneak peek at the week ahead.

ACES Camp provided an extensive packet to each girl who participated to ensure the virtual experience could still be hands-on.

The camp’s activities give the girls an opportunity to engage with science and engineering concepts, learn about careers in STEM and consider what it means to be a leader and a role model.

“A lot of people think that what makes a role model great is that they’re fearless… but I think what makes you a role model is being someone who is human and that means having fear but doing things anyway,” an ACES Camp participant shared.

Despite moving to a virtual platform, Brooke Meyer, SARSEF’s Director of Education and Innovation, wanted to make sure that ACES Camp kept its core mission of sparking interest in higher education through teamwork activities, hands-on learning, and building genuine connections with professionals in STEM fields.

“We’re in a time of change and uncertainty, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the incredible potential within each of our campers. As we developed a new kind of camp this year, we never lost sight of that, and we are so proud of the results. These girls have made close connections with each other, built up their confidence levels, and are ready to make a big difference in the world,” Meyer shared.

The campers will celebrate their week of STEM at a virtual celebration on Saturday, July 18. For more information about ACES Camp and other STEM experiences throughout the year, contact SARSEF at

Two women in masks stand by bags they are planning to pass out to campers.
Staff and volunteers pass out supplies for a virtual ACES Camp while wearing masks and social distancing.

2018 ACES Camp a Huge Success!

40 Middle School Girls Discover Science and Engineering – and LOVE It!


SARSEF’s ACES Camp for 40 Middle School girls proved to be the best yet. Students experienced life on a college campus while exploring STEM fields. Girls experienced being a vet tech, software programmer, chemist, physicist, engineer, environmental scientist, and so much more!  The coding day at IBM was a camp favorite, as was building airplanes with the UA’s College of Engineering. Pima College provided the meeting rooms each day – and so much more! A special thank you to our sponsor Raytheon, and Camp leaders Chaunteal Rasmussen and Karen Christensen, as well as the 12 past participants who came back to serve as volunteer camp counselors!


ACES Camp for Middle School Girls is Under Way!


The ACES (Applied Career Exploration in STEM) Camp for 45 Middle School girls allows girls to what it is like to be a FBI forensic scientist, veterinarian, chemist, engineer, business owner.  Thanks to SARSEF’s community partners who encourage the girls to use critical thinking as they actively experience areas of STEM. – Raytheon, World View, the UA , Pima Air Museum, SUnnyside USD, KGUN 9 Meteorologists, Reid Park Zoo, Tau Beta Sigma, El Charro, Carrington, Brain STEM, and so many more.  


2016 ACES Camp a STEM Success!

Congratulations to the leaders and participants of the ACES Camp!

The Applied Career Exploration Camp for middle school girls from the Sunnyside and Amphi School Districts in Tucson, Arizona was the best one yet. The camp provided free experiences in STEM and career exploration for up to 40 girls who have just finished 6th, 7th or 8th grades.

Visit their Facebook page to view photos of the camp that will be posted soon!