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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 AzSEF_SRC@azscience.org
Important Dates for 2017-2018 Season
August 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)
- Grades 5-8: SRC (Scientific Review Committee)
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 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.)
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.
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:
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.
Projects Allowed Per School
- Elementary - 6 projects
- Junior High - 12 projects
- Senior High - 20 projects
Student Research Resources
- Student Science page at SSP
- Mosaic Magazine - Science Article Archive
- Science News Magazine
- Science News for Students
- OpenScientist (Citizen Science)
- SciStarter (try something like theirs)
- Science Fair site from Make It Solar
- Science and Plants for Schools
- QUEST (PBS Multimedia Science stuff)
- PLoS Blog (great science blog!)
- Kitchen Chemistry
- Mechanical Engineering Magazine
- Neuroscience at Home
- Link to California State Science Fair Historical Database of Projects
- Link to ISEF Abstracts (2003-forward)
- Find experts and/or resource contacts in Arizona's University System