Scientific Inquiry
Student Showcase & Competition

The Nevada County STEAM Expo Scientific Inquiry challenge is an annual competition for students in K-12 grade and that reside in Nevada County. The competition fosters an interest in and an excitement about science, mathematics and engineering while offering a rewarding competitive setting in which students can showcase their research projects and set the stage for the rest of their academic careers.

For more information, contact Carolyn Ferrero at

Tips for Designing and Conducting a Scientific Inquiry Experiment - CLICK LINK TO VIEW

Junior Division Projects (Grades TK-5)

  • Individual students, groups of students, and families of students in grades TK-5 may enter a project in the Junior Division.

  • Projects are an opportunity for newcomers to the Science and Engineering Fair process to become familiar with the event.

  • Junior Division projects will be recognized with a participation ribbon.

  • Junior Division projects are not eligible to advance to the California Science and Engineering Fair.

Senior Division Projects (Grades 6-12 )
Prior to entering the Nevada County STEAM Expo all students grades 6-12 interested in competing in the California Science & Engineering Fair (CSEF) must complete the state application and submit it with their project entry. To view and complete the science fair application please download and submit a hard copy with your student project. Applications can be downloaded by clicking here: Students in grades 6-12 may enter the CSEF. Projects may enter the CSEF. All projects need to adhere to the scientific method or engineering design process. Project topics will address one of the following categories:

The final category placement of each project will be determined by NCSoS.

Additional Project Information (Grades TK-12)

  • Individuals and teams may enter projects on or before Wednesday, March 8, 2023 by 9pm through the zFair link above (or CLICK HERE TO ACCESS).

  • Individual and team projects are judged in separate categories.

  • All projects will be recognized with a participation ribbon.

  • Each category will have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places awarded.

  • Judges will select the top 6 CSEF (Grades 6-12 Scientific Inquiry ONLY) projects that will advance to the California Science and Engineering Fair.

All competitive CSEF entries must complete the California Science and Engineering Fair registration form prior to judging window on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. The top 6 projects will advance to the California Science and Engineering Fair held. CSEF is open to Scientific Inquiry Projects in grades 6-12 ONLY. The 2023 California Science & Engineering Fair student representatives will submit their projects through zFair and compete for statewide recognition on April 2023. Nevada County student representatives from our middle schools and high schools will compete with over 900 participants from 400 schools throughout the California in competition for awards totaling $75,000.

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