Mesa Public Schools is looking forward to another excellent year of student science and engineering projects to be highlighted at our spring fair.  Last year's event (see below for details) was a huge success!  

Students in grades 5-12 are eligible to compete at the District Science & Engineering Fair, held in conjunction with the SciTech Expo.  First Place Winners from the District Fair are eligible to continue on to the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair (AzSEF), where high school students can additionally qualify for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).  

Good luck to all our students and their teachers!

Required Project Approval Process

For many projects, teacher approval will suffice. For ANY and ALL projects including human subjects, vertebrates, or potentially hazardous biological agents, Scientific Review Committee (SRC) approval is required BEFORE experimentation can begin.  If you previously submitted approval paperwork but have not heard back, please try contacting AzSEF at their new address (

For grades 5-8, please use the AzSEF SRC approval form found here.

High school students should complete the ISEF Rules Wizard. Any students with intentions of competing at ISEF must have all forms approved PRIOR to beginning their experimentation.  Completed SRC forms must be sent to

Important Dates for 2017-2018 Season

reminderAugust to January: Register your school fair as participating in the District Science & Engineering Fair.

Obtain approval PRIOR TO beginning experimentation: Only for projects involving humans, vertebrates, or hazardous biological materials: (select the appropriate level)

November to Early February: Fairs at individual schools (All site fairs MUST be completed with time to register winning projects for District Fair)

Early January: Registration begins for District Fair. Online form will be available beginning in January (registration link will be sent to site fair coordinators)

February 15:  Registration for District Fair Due by 5PM!!! 

February 28 - March 1: District Science & Engineering Fair - Judging of Student Projects  - busing and judging schedule to be announced

March 2: Winning projects announced by phone call to parents.  Students, families and teachers invited to Awards Ceremony

March 3: Awards Ceremony at Mesa Public Schools SciTech Expo

Mid March: Registration for AzSEF (District Fair Winners) closes

April 9-12, 2017 (Tentative)AZ Science and Engineering Fair

Project Categories

We use the same category system as the AZ Science & Engineering Fair (AzSEF).  Please see the links below for category descriptions.

Elementary & Junior Division (5th-8th)

Senior Division (High School)

Project Display Guidelines

Not Allowed at Project

1) Living organisms, including plants
2) Soil, sand, rock, and/or waste samples, even if permanently encased in a slab of acrylic
3) Taxidermy specimens or parts
4) Preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals
5) Human or animal food as part of the exhibitor demonstration of the project.
6) Human/animal parts or body fluids (for example, blood, urine)
7) Plant materials (living, dead, or preserved) that are in their raw, unprocessed, or non-manufactured state (Exception: manufactured construction materials used in building the project or display)
8) All chemicals including water (Projects may not use water in any form in a demonstration .)
9) All hazardous substances or devices [for example, poisons, drugs, firearms, weapons, ammunition, reloading devices, and lasers
10) Dry ice or other sublimating solids
11) Sharp items (for example, syringes, needles, pipettes, knives)
12) Flames or highly flammable materials
13) Batteries with open-top cells
14) Glass or glass objects unless deemed by the Display and Safety Committee to be an integral and necessary part of the project (for example, glass that is an integral part of a commercial product such as a computer screen)
15) Any apparatus deemed unsafe by the Scientific Review Committee, the Display and Safety Committee, or Society for Science & the Public (for example, large vacuum tubes or dangerous ray-generating devices, empty tanks that previously contained combustible liquids or gases, pressurized tanks, etc.)

Judging Criteria

Students who qualify to attend the District Science and Engineering Fair will have the opportunity to discuss their projects with judges from the community.  The interview is meant to be an inspiring interaction while helping to gauge the student's understanding of their topic.  Below are example judging criteria sheets.

Science Project Criteria

Engineering Project Criteria

History of Mesa District Science & Engineering Fair

In the spring of 2012, the first District Science & Engineering Fair was held at the Student Services building on Country Club Drive.  Seventh and eighth grade participants from around the district brought their projects to meet with judges and discuss their research.  In 2013, the program was expanded to include representation from all of the Junior and Senior High schools.  The 2014 program saw the inclusion of Elementary level projects.  This event is combined with the annual MPS SciTech Event. Over 1,500 visitors attend the combined event each year.

2016 AZ Science & Engineering Fair Results

Congratulations to all of our Mesa Public Schools students who attended the  2016 AZ Science & Engineering Fair (AzSEF) on April 7th!  These students represented Mesa very well.  In total 54 projects, representing 61 students were sent on to the State level competition at the Phoenix Convention Center.  A number of our students were recognized for their excellent work by placing in their category or through special awards.  A complete list of awards received by Mesa students can be found here:

2016 AzSEF Awards for Mesa Public Schools Students


The 2015 Mesa Public Schools District Science & Engineering Fair followed in the tradition of a combined event with the SciTech Expo and was held February 19-21, 2015, at Red Mountain High School (7301 East Brown Road). Judging of student projects took place during the school day February 19 and 20. Public viewing of projects was available in the small gym from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Saturday, February 21, 2015, followed by an Award Ceremony at 2 p.m. in the Red Mountain High School Auditorium.

2015 Final Fair Results

Questions may be directed to  Korin Forbes (5-6) or Bruce Jones (7-12).

Projects Allowed Per School
  • Elementary - 6 projects
  • Junior High - 12 projects
  • Senior High - 20 projects