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SARSEF

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

Mission: SARSEF is creating the next generation of critical thinkers and problem solvers through science and engineering. SARSEF reaches over 125,000 K-12 students across Southern Arizona each year, with a focus on reaching underrepresented and rural populations. Our educational outreach program goes into schools to train Students on how make a difference in their lives using science and engineering, Parents on how to support their students through the research process, and Teachers on how to integrate state standards for reading, writing, and math into hands-on science in their classrooms. The results of our efforts may be measured at the SARSEF Science and Engineering Fair held each March. The members of the SARSEF Board and staff provide presentations, support, and mentors for students, teachers and parents throughout the Southern Arizona region.

Results: Our area includes 45,000 square miles, 1.5 million people, 700 plus public, charter and private schools, over 5,000 home schools for a total of more than 300,000 students. Currently, about 24% of the schools are involved. Approximately 125,000 students are involved at their local school. From, there, approximately 6,600 students are selected to participate directly in the Regional Science Fair. We hope to reach even more! We are expanding our efforts to reach students and teachers who have not previously participated so they may learn problem-solving techniques and research skills.

Target demographics: teach critical thinking and problem-solving to 95,000 K-12 students many of whom have been previously underrepresented in the fields of science and engineering research

Direct beneficiaries per year: 95,000 students participate in research and 66,000 underrepresented students succeed.

Geographic areas served: Seven counties of Southern Arizona

Programs: Free educational outreach on how to make a difference in the world through science and engineering research projects.

Community Stories

101 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 JessicaMoreno

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered as a science fair judge, and my organization Sky Island Alliance love to donate special awards every year. Our volunteers have also expressed how significant and meaningful it was to judge the awards on our behalf. The children's projects are so inspiring! A a scientist myself, I know these experiences and the encouragement they receive are crucial to raising the next generation of smart, passionate scientists. SARSEF needs your support!

Jeanne Pare G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This nonprofit organization is a leader in bringing meaningful science, technology, engineering and mathematics into the lives of young people. I am fortunate to have been a recipient of training provided to educators by SARSEF member Brooke Meyers. Under the leadership of Kathleen Bethel, this group of dedicated advocates have made great gains in raising community awareness. SARSEF focuses attention on the future of our children in an ever changing world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Arizona is in desperate need of help with education but especially STEM! SARSEF is helping to fill part of the big void our current public education system has!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hosts an AMAZING science fair that elevates the work of underserved students. Just incredible!

Board Member

Rating: 5

SARSEF had helped my kids and students from my elementary school where I served as Science Far chair to think critically and problem solve issues. SARSEF's outreach program had helped kids to show interest in Science and Math. I have been involved with SARSEF as a judge for at least ten years and now serving them on their board to help them achieve their mission. SARSEF proves to be a great way for getting k -12 students involved and excited to exceed in science.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

My Son participated in SARSEF since first grade. This made a great impact in his studies, especially in the STEM field. This year his project at SARSEF got selected for the International Science Fair ( ISEF). This made him meet many scientist, entrepreneurs, and students from countries across the globe. Without SARSEF he could not have got this experience. I appreciate all the great things SARSEF do for the kids of Southern Arizona and making a difference in their life.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

SARSEF is a fabulous nonprofit for students and teachers in Arizona! The organizers travel to our schools in Yuma for outreach and guidance for science projects. The competition that they put on is a wonderful event. My students love attending Future Innovators' Night! They engage the public with STEM activities and entertainment. The event is better than the science fair for the whole state!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SARSEF supports students, teachers and parents to embrace critical thinking through project based science and they do an outstanding job.

Susan431

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to SARSEF when I lived next door to Kathleen Bethel, long before she was the CEO of SARSEF. She was the person who brought me to SARSEF as a judge more than 12 years ago.

SARSEF is a remarkable organization, dedicated to creating generations of scientists and engineers. Seeing the science that young people are doing today gives me hope for the future, and I’ve become a champion for STEM myself as a result of my work with SARSEF. Everything they do, from running the annual science fair to matching students with mentors and doing hands on activities all year is specifically for the purpose of encouraging and teaching young people about science.

I’m proud to be associated with SARSEF, and I thank my lucky stars that I rented the house next store to the family that gave me a way to use my professional experience to give back to the community. The values manifested by SARSEF and the dedication with which they pursue them is, in a word or two, both inspirational and remarkable. They have earned and deserve recognition by your organization.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with SARSEF as a judge and other volunteer for at least ten of the 16 years I have lived in Tucson. I have never seen such a large number of volunteers managed so efficiently or appreciated so well. But that is a small accomplishment compared to what SARSEF provides to this community in terms of scientific opportunities for k -12 students. Through this organization, students have the opportunity to learn and experience science through expert mentoring, working personally with local scientists, and experiencing hands on science, not only by participating in science fairs, but in the many other scientific experiences provided by SARSEF throughout the year. The organization's superior ability to develop partnerships with the University of Arizona and local scientific businesses and professional organizations makes thousands of dollars annually, and has made hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years, available in scholarships and other financial awards to hundreds of students, annually, and thousands of students, cumulatively, to pursue their scientific studies and careers. In today's environment, scientific and technological exploration and careers are critical to maintain the United States' competitive position in the world and to continue the pace of research, development, and innovation so critically needed to find cures or treatments for diseases, find novel ways to address old and new issues, and address the rapidly escalating pace of climate change, to name but a few of today's critical scientific challenges. SARSEF encourages scientific curiosity and, in so doing, nurtures and creates the scientists and engineers of the future.

Bhavisha Parixit M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Very nice STEAM activities !!! After watching for several years then my son participated last year and won 2nd place. Now he is excited and motivated to do more projects and everyday comes up with new ideas

Joshua W.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thanks to SARSEF and their work in promoting science fairs across all grades, my daughter is more engaged and familiar with science. She was fortunate enough to win awards two years in a row and I now have a son going into kindergarten who is already thinking of his project! Keep up the good work!

Donor

Rating: 5

SARSEF is a true gift and treasure of Southern Arizona providing hundreds of teaching opportunities to both students and educadors.

Client Served

Rating: 5

One of the most inspiring organizations in the country. This k-12 science fair is changing the way children engage with science.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What an asset to the community and the children! SARSEF is simply amazing from their events to their outreach!

Andrew L.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a high school science teacher in Tucson for the past 24 years, I have supported SARSEF since it provides students to present their research to judges. Without SARSEF our community would be diminished, and our students would not have opportunity to prepare themselves for college. Their judges provide their great support for the students' endeavors, and SARSEF makes the experience accessible through an easy to use web site, and a low cost for participation. Thank you SARSEF.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SARSEF is an amazing opportunity for my students to grow and love STEM education! They're always excited for the oppertunity to participate!

Kelly151

Client Served

Rating: 5

Outreach opportunities promote high student engagement, including hands on/interactive learning activities and more. What a STEM enriching experience for all students! Thank you.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

SARSEF inspires children. My school, my class and even my own children have enjoyed participating in SARSEF year-to-year. Thank you SARSEF!

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Advisor

Rating: 4

The SARSEF has been a wonderful organization to work with. The students get so much out of making science projects. It takes a lot resources to keep it going. Help out if you can.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Over the years, I have seen this program expand greatly. Not only are they focused on helping to make our students great thinkers, but they also want to give them a valuable experience in doing so. Teachers, parents, and students have been impressed with the attention to detail, and planning that is put in to all SARSEF events. Last year, we attended the awe-inspiring fair at the TCC. The students and parents were shocked by the amount of projects that were there to see, as well as the variety of information that we were able to gain by walking through the projects. Additionally, teachers, students, and family members attended the Future Innovators Night. We all were impressed with the quantity and variety of things to do and see there. It was a great time, and we look forward to these events every year.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

SARSEF is an amazing science fair. Their dedication to the community as a whole and the students participating in their science fair is unparalleled. Through SARSEF I had the very fortunate opportunity to be chosen as an ISEF Finalist. SARSEF payed for my peers and my trip to the International Science Fair in Phoenix, AZ in which I had the amazing opportunity to participate in all the activities, symposiums, and judging sessions the top fair in the world had to offer. All in all SARSEF's commitment to students that choose to pursue science and engineering is quite a blessing.

Board Member

Rating: 4

My children have taken their projects to SARSEF for the last couple of years. While working on them, they are just something they have to do. But when they see their names on the list of winners, it clicks with them that they are being recognized for their hard work and their commitment. This past year, my oldest had the chance to present her project to SARSEF judges. It was one of her first interviews and she did great. It's another experience that prepares her for the future.

I had volunteered at my kids' school as a judge during their science fair for years. But when I saw the impact SARSEF had on my kids and all the other students, I quickly joined their board. I'm happy to commit my time to this organization.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first learned about SARSEF 5 years ago during my child's first school science fair. Since then, I've seen the impact it has had on those children who participate. SARSEF's work promotes their curiosity in the world around them and the desire to understand it. Kids learn about patience, thinking things through, and hard work by going through the process of developing and performing an experiment. And nothing beats the excitement and pride visible on those students whose project is recognized during Awards Night.

Even though I've volunteered as a science fair judge for several years, this year is the first in which I've officially joined SARSEF. I hope to help this great organization continue its great work inspiring students in southern Arizona.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An extraordinary organization that helps kids see the fun & rewarding side of STEM !
They provide free outreach to schools (K-12th grade) to talk to students, teachers & parents about how to go about starting a science project. The organization also supports a Future Innovators Night on the Friday of the SARSEFair for a more hands on experience of STEM - this is always a big hit and inspiring!