Science and Engineering Fair Returns In-Person

SANTA CRUZ, CA — For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Santa Cruz County Science & Engineering Fair is slated to be held in-person on Saturday, March 19, 2022, at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville.  

K-12 students from across Santa Cruz County will showcase 141 projects at the Fairgrounds’ Harvest Building, with judging from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The fair will be open to the public from 5-7 p.m. The 164 students represented at the fair span grades K-12, representing public, private and charter schools from across Santa Cruz County. 

The Science fair had been scaled back and held virtually for the past two years due to pandemic restrictions. Last year, for example, the fair included 75 projects, about half as many as will be displayed March 19.

“We are thrilled to be able to host our Science and Engineering fair in-person this year and to see so much talent and renewed excitement from our community’s youth,” said Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Faris Sabbah. “Our students are well-positioned to achieve excellence as the scientists and engineers of our future — and these opportunities to showcase their talents are key stepping stones on their pathway to success.”

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).

COVID-19 precautions will be in effect at the venue, including social distancing between displays, availability of hand sanitizer and recommended masking.