Every child. Thinking critically. Solving problems.


Help support SARSEF’s growth and move to the CFSA campus by contributing to our ‘On the Horizon’ campaign

Contribute today

SARSEF’s Virtual Science and Engineering Fair 2021: Update

Thursday October 8, 2020

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