Scientific Inquiry
Student Project Virtual Expo

Planning Guide

Project Brainstorm, Sample Project Template, and Judges Rubric

The Nevada County Science and Engineering Scientific Inquiry competition is held as part of the STEAM Expo. Participating projects will be put on display virtually to recognize the outstanding efforts and achievements in science and engineering. Science experts representing a wide-variety of public and private sectors are invited to judge the projects.

The outcomes for the Nevada County STEAM Expo are to:

  • Motivate and develop the interests of ALL students in STEAM fields,

  • Recognize the achievements and efforts of students in STEAM,

  • Encourage independent and/or group research and development, and

  • Identify exemplary projects that will advance to the California State Science and Engineering Fair.

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: http://cssf.usc.edu/Application/

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.

Competitive Project Information:

  • Individuals and groups of 2-3 may enter projects.

  • 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.

Non-Competitive Project Information:

  • Individual students, groups of students, and families of students in grades K-5 may enter a project in the Non-Competitive division.

  • Non-Competitive projects are an opportunity for newcomers to the Science and Engineering Fair process to become familiar with the event.

  • Non-competitive projects will be recognized with a participation ribbon.

  • Non-competitive projects are not eligible to 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 on Thursday, March 24, 2022. Our top 6 projects will advance to the California Science and Engineering Fair held. The CSEF is open to Scientific Inquiry Projects in grades 6-12 ONLY. The 2022 California Science & Engineering Fair will be held in the virtually on the same zFair platform on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022 and will compete with over 900 participants from 400 schools throughout the California in competition for awards totaling $60,000.

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