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Santa Cruz County Science & Engineering Fair


The Santa Cruz County Science & Engineering Fair provides a competitive academic opportunity for students in grades 4-12. Students design individual or team science projects and compete for awards, scholarships and prizes. Top award winners represent Santa Cruz County at the California State Science Fair and International Science and Engineering Fair.

Heather Wygant
Science Coordinator
(831) 466-5727


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

The annual Santa Cruz County Science & Engineering Fair showcases K-12 students in Santa Cruz County who are interested in exploring the world around them, including future scientists, technology experts, engineers, and mathematicians. This competition celebrates achievement by students, who are supported by their parents, teachers, and schools to develop scientific practices and to develop unique solutions to local problems.

The Santa Cruz County Science & Engineering Fair is a collaborative effort that is sponsored by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education,  the University of California Santa Cruz, and many community partners. 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.

  3. Through an interview, all students who participate in a fair should be assessed based on their learning experience and their demonstration of 21st Century Skills and NGSS Science and Engineering Practices 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 scientific or engineering methods, such as Scientific Inquiry, Engineering Design, Case Study, Computer Science, Theoretical, or Experimental (“The” Scientific Method).

The 2021-22 Santa Cruz County Science & Engineering Fair will be held in-person at the Santa Cruz Fairgrounds on March 19, 2022. Students will be uploading their electronic science notebooks, images, video presentation, etc. for judges to preview prior to March 19.  Judging will take place on March 19 in-person at the fairgrounds

Students will present projects in elementary (grades K-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 in your on line folder by the deadline, which is Tuesday, March 1, 2022. 

Judge previews will begin on Saturday, March 14, 2022. Final judging in-person will occur on Saturday, March 19, 2022. An awards ceremony will be held on Saturday 4:00- 6:00 pm on March 26, 2022 at Harbor High Schools Multi-Purpose building.

 Questions or thoughts? Interested in sponsoring the fair? 

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