Every child. Thinking critically. Solving problems.


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Published Thursday October 8, 2020

SARSEF’s Virtual Science and Engineering Fair 2021: Update

As the first quarter of the 2020-21 school year closes, we wanted to send you much-anticipated information on what to expect regarding project submission for the 2021 SARSEF Fair.

What can I expect at a Virtual SARSEF Fair?

  • In March, student projects will be presented on a SARSEF Fair website that will include a virtual exhibit hall and main stage for a live award ceremony broadcast.
  • Project judging will occur virtually using the same SARSEF Fair criteria as in the past. Grand Awards and Sponsored Awards will be given as usual.
  • Interviews at the high school level will be required as usual and will occur virtually.
  • Middle school students are also highly encouraged to do interviews.
  • This year, we will also be giving the option for elementary school students to be interviewed if they desire!
  • Finalists will compete for over $100,000 of cash and prizes, including scholarships and trips. 
  • Due to the hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the $10 project registration fee will be optional. SARSEF is seeking a generous sponsor willing to cover all project registration fees. 
  • We will continue to release resources and suggestions throughout the fall about virtual submissions and projects.

What does a Virtual Project look like?

  • Projects will be presented using a slide deck created through Google Slides, Microsoft PowerPoint, or Keynote. Students will not create a physical project board.
    • The entire presentation should be saved as a single .pdf document. (Sometimes this is called a “multi-page pdf.”) This .pdf will be uploaded to the SARSEF Fair website when registering.  
  • Slide decks will have a maximum of 15 slides.
    • One slide each for Title, Introduction, Research Question & Hypothesis/Prediction. As many slides as needed for Procedures, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, and References.
  • Project journals/lab notebooks can be completed physically or digitally. (Physical journal pages should be scanned to submit electronically.)
  • Example slide decks and resources for creating a digital lab notebook will be available by early November. 
  • While full ISEF submission specifications have not yet been released, they intend to require a similar presentation document. When those submission details are released, we will update our submission rules to include anything that fulfills their requirements.

How do I hold a school fair?

  • SARSEF is committed to enabling all Arizona schools to hold science and engineering fairs even during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, we will be providing a free virtual platform for any school interested in holding a virtual science and engineering fair at the school level. We will send more information on how to sign up when this platform is available.
  • Technical assistance will be provided as needed for the SARSEF virtual components.
  • SARSEF will continue to release resources and suggestions throughout the fall about virtual submissions, projects, and best practices. Be sure to keep checking our website for the latest updates!


  • Fall 2020 – Free virtual workshops on methods for a successful science/engineering research project and how to prepare for a virtual fair
  • Late Fall 2020 – SARSEF School Fair platform released 
  • January 2021 – Registration Opens
  • Late February 2021 – Registration Closes
  • March 1-6, 2021 – SARSEF Fair 2021

We have developed FREE science and engineering programs to assist districts/schools in providing valuable hands-on experiences through projects completed either at home, school or in a blended fashion. See our flyer for a list of all of our offerings this fall. Ready to get started? PreK through 8th-grade inquiries can be sent to and high school inquiries can be sent to

Our Contact Information
Danniey Wright, Fair Director
4574 E. Broadway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85711