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Santa Cruz County Science & Engineering Fair


The Santa Cruz County STEAM EXPO provides a competitive academic opportunity for students in grades TK-12. Students design individual or team inquiry projects to compete for awards, scholarships and prizes. Top award winners represent Santa Cruz County at the California State Science Fair, the International Science and Engineering Fair, and The California and National Invention Conventions.

Heather Wygant
Science Coordinator
(831) 466-5727


Are you interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts or Mathematics? Like to explore the How and Why of your world? Then THIS is the event for YOU!​

The annual Santa Cruz County STEAM Expo showcases TK-12 students in Santa Cruz County who are interested in exploring the world around them, including future scientists, technology experts, engineers, and mathematicians. This Expo celebrates achievement by students, who are supported by their parents, teachers, and schools to develop their inquiry and problem solving practices to develop unique solutions to local problems.

The Santa Cruz County STEAM Expo is a collaborative effort that is sponsored by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education,  with community partners and volunteers. It is affiliated with the Society for Science & the Public and selects projects which go on to compete and win in other state and national competitions, including the prestigious Broadcom Masters and International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF).

We recognize the potential for Science & Engineering Fairs to be ideal incubators for inspiring and empowering our next generation of innovators by following these following principles:

  1. The fair must be specifically designed to be inclusive and serve all students equally, regardless of the amount of outside or in-class support they receive during their projects.

  2. Students should be given the option of whether or not they would like to “compete” against other students and have their assessment or placement of their work to be open to the public. (Students CHOOSE to have their work at the Expo).

  3. Through interviews and discussions, all students who participate in the Expo should be assessed based on their learning experience and their demonstration of 21st Century Skills, Standards-Based Practices, and their overall problem-solving skills and they should be given constructive feedback that can help them grow.

  4. The Fair Organizer must clearly and effectively communicate the expectations of the students’ experiences and the structure for success to students, parents, and teachers in order for students to have positive and successful project experiences.

Students should be allowed to enter projects in the fair that follow different problem-solving methods, such as Scientific Inquiry, Engineering Design, Case Study, Computer Science, Theoretical, or Experimental.


The 2022-23 Santa Cruz County Science & Engineering Fair will be held in-person at the Santa Cruz Fairgrounds on March 11, 2023. Students will be uploading their electronic inquiry notebooks, images, video presentation, etc. for judges to preview prior to March 1, 2023.  Judging will take place on March 11 in-person at the fairgrounds.

Students will present projects in elementary (grades TK-3), upper elementary (grades 4-5), junior (6th-8th grade) and senior (9th-12th grade) divisions in multiple areas of study.  Fair participants are drawn from public, private, parochial and home-schools in Santa Cruz County.  All digital materials should be submitted online in zFairs (registration link) by the deadline, March 1, 2023.

Judge previews will begin on Saturday, March 6, 2023. Final judging in-person will occur on Saturday, March 11, 2023. 

Questions or thoughts? Interested in sponsoring the fair? Please contact Dr. Wygant via the CONTACT US button below.

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