STEM-Research Fair

The STEM Research Fair, (AKA Science Fair),  is a district STEAM activity that provides students with the opportunities to showcase their talents in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math by using an integrated approach to solving problems of their interest. Science Advisors and coaches guide, mentor, and support their journey in implementing scientific methods of inquiry, problem solving, collaboration, creativity, innovation, and more. Students work on their projects during lunch time, before and after school, and in some cases during class time. This amazing event brings together the district community of educators and volunteers who judge the student work and select students whose project advance to the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair. This experience complements the learning environment of the classroom and the passion behind it. When students speak about their projects, the adults are visibly impressed, engaged and happy to be part of the experience.

If you want to participate by volunteering, please see the information below for directions.

NEW Information

2024 STEM-R Fair (in-person)

2024 STEM-Research Fair – In-Person

      • Date, time, location: Wednesday, February 14th from 12pm-6pm at Otay Ranch High School
      • Public Viewing Wednesday, February 14th from 4pm-5:30pm at Otay Ranch High School
      • Awards Ceremony: Wednesday February 14th from 5:30pm at Otay Ranch High School
      • Student Project Registration Link (closes January 31st, 2024)
      • Interested in Judging? Please complete the interest form linked below:

2023 STEM-Research Fair – In-Person

If you want to participate by volunteering, please see the information below for directions.


2022 STEM Research Fair – In-Person

Great turn out! Loved the participation from everyone. Thank you for your dedication to the value of STEAM program.  Click below to watch the video: 2022 STEM-Research Results






2022: STEM-Research Fair (aka Science Fair) is scheduled for Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at Olympian High School Multi-Purspose Room (MPR).
🎯  Deadline to submit projects is February 18, 2022.
🎯  Project judging sessions are scheduled between 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm.
🎯  Awards Ceremony from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the MPR.

Ready to Join? – Sign Up HERE

*Use your school email address to sign up


Traditionally known as “Science Fair” or “Science and Engineering Fair” now it is referred as “Sweetwater STEM-Research Fair”. The name change reflects the wide variety of project categories that can participate; STEM fields!

The Sweetwater STEM-Research Fair (SSRF) has been showcasing district Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math  projects since 1998, when 50 students from 6 schools participated.  Since then, the STEM-Research Fair has grown to 200+ students with 180+ projects representing 12 district schools.  Through the years over 2,500 students have participated, with more than 600 going on to the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair (GSDSEF).

Why should students participate in the fair?

Participating in the STEM-Research Fair is an experience of a lifetime. Ask an adult of any age who did a STEM project when he/she was a student and most likely he/she will not only remember it, but they will be able to give you all the details, as well.

  • Organization & Communication skills
  • Research & Development skills
  • Cross-curricular learning aligned with NGSS Science & Engineering Practices
  • Hands-on activity (Active Continuous Learning)
  • College applications plus
  • Awards & Recognition

It is ABOVE ALL an unforgettable, positive experience in STEM.  Why? Students have picked out a real world problem of interest to them and apply their STEM knowledge to solve it—the teacher is not assigning students. Students select their projects based on their own interest. There are 16 different categories to chose from!

Beyond that,  a STEM project showcases a  cross-curricular portfolio of student skills and knowledge in all the areas of STEM—including an oral defense of their project. Video of 2015 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

In addition to the fair experience, there are numerous awards and other forms of recognition for students.  At the Sweetwater STEM Research Fair, all students are given  a 1st-4th place award, and two Sweepstakes are awarded—one for each top physical and life science projects.  First and second place award winners at the STEM Research Fair may apply to be screened to enter the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair (GSDSEF).  At the GSDSEF, all students are awarded 1st-4th place as well.  Top projects can receive numerous special awards—Sweepstakes, Organization awards, Military awards, and the chance to participate in the International Science and Engineering Fair, and the California State Science and Engineering Fair.

You can read more about the value of student participation at a STEM Research Fair (aka Science Fair) HERE

How do students participate in the Sweetwater STEM Research Fair?

ALL students are eligible to participate in the Sweetwater STEM-Research Fair!  All it takes is a project idea and a willing fair advisor. Any teacher can be a STEM-Research Fair Advisor! Math, Science, Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology-related teachers are more aligned with the fair projects. Students can work in pairs or individually. We highly recommend working in pairs!

While carrying out their project, students collect data or design new engineering iterations, then they write up their project in a notebook and present it on a backboard.  Site STEM Research Fair teachers/advisors  (science fair advisors) recommend projects for the Sweetwater STEM Research Fair, where they orally defend their projects before outside judges.

“STEM-Research Fair” Committee:

STEM-R Fair Committee:

College & Career Readiness Director: Brahim Wahib

STEAM Coordinator – TBD

Fair Coordinators: Melanie Villanueva (Science TOSA), Jessica Sphar (College & Career Readiness TOSA)

Science Specialist – Retired – Steve Rodecker