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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

110 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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

What an impact SARSEF has made in our schools, in our communities and in Southern Arizona. Although my kids loved science, they benefited greatly from the outreach SARSEF provided. Collected data not only supports a research problem, but leverages self-confidence to adequately defend one's research to peers, teachers, industry-leaders and judges. Communicating research properly through SARSEF's tutelage has garnered my son interest and inquiries from highly selective universities. The mentorship provided high school students is amazing. The support for parent's to understand the importance of critical thinking skills is also incredibly amazing. Thank you for partnering with our school district in providing quality research opportunities, from pre-K through High School!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization! I have volunteered at the annual science fair as a judge and as a board member. My experience with the children has proven the organization is successful in generating critical thinking skills in children K-12. All kids feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment in their projects. The children involved in SARSEF come from different backgrounds and demographics and truly stand out as best of the best! The staff and other board members are incredibly intelligent and caring individuals who's focus is on our young ones!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Thanks to SARSEF and their work in promoting Critical Thinking and Problem Solving among students across all grades.

By doing science fair and participating in STEM events hosted by SARSEF, both my kid are more engaged and familiar with science. They had won several awards and even scholarships for college education. I owe my kids confidence not only in making it easy for them to understand Science, but also thought them to be good at math and statistics to show the result of the work. They also become good readers, by reviewing research papers related to the experiments they do. The confidence they gained by talking to judges every year help them to learn the techniques to give a elevated pitch of the project they do and this builds the leaders in them. So SARSEF is just not improving the STEM but also developing future leaders from Southern Arizona. I would like to thank SARSEF for all the things they do. Keep up the good work!



Previous Stories

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.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

SARSEF is an amazing organization in Southern Arizona which helps kids think critically and solve problems through STEM education. Not only do they directly support and work with K12 kids, they also support teachers and parents!

They run a number of programs throughout the year including one of the biggest science fairs in the country - reaching thousands of students every year. They also bring together dozens of companies and community organizations to help students understand more about STEM careers at events throughout the year as well.

betsy211

Donor

Rating: 5

From my work-life to retirement, I have been involved with SARSEF, which teaches critical thinking and problem solving through science K-12. Over those years, I have personally witnessed the many youngsters whose lives have been changed by discovering success through their own persistence and hard work. Completing a science project produces no wrong answers; outcomes may not be as expected, but it's all part of learning. Failure is impossible. How exciting it is for a child to achieve success? I see this at SARSEF every day, and know that our future is in good hands.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

SARSEF was promoting STEM education 50 years before Science, Technology, Engineering and Math studies were mainstream, sponsoring an annual "Science Fair" for Southern Arizona students for 61 years. Today, SARSEF's strength is reaching out to students and teachers in rural and underserved schools to provide the experiences, training and opportunities to allow them to compete on a level playing field. Statistics show that schools whose students participate in a competitive science activity, such as a science fair, do better on Arizona's annual required examinations. As a donor, parent of previous participants, board member and Fair judge, I can say equivocally that SARSEF's impact on our community and state is extraordinary.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was my first Fair, and WOW I couldn't have been more inspired by the great work SARSEF does in preparing and celebrating Arizona's kids for success in the workforce. The sheer volume of students who participated shows what an impact this small team has made!

Board Member

Rating: 5

They help train children to think very critically, especially young kids starting at kindergarten and in underprivelaged schools. They are a great forum for kids to discover the fun and importance of doing and talking science.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

SARSEF was instrumental in nurturing and sustaining my daughter's interest in biology, her eventual career choice. In the freshman year of high school, my daughter' s science fair project won first place because of which she was chosen to attend the science fair at the next level in SARSEF.

Although we came in with no expectations, the competition, professionalism, opportunities, and recognition offered by SARSEF blew her away and she will remain forever a SARSEF kid. SARSEF instilled in her a will to compete hard, allowed her to see the fruits of success, and get a taste of the next level in research. It helped form friends who were interested in research and the experience as a whole was absolutely central to her in choosing biology research as a career choice.

Following in her footsteps and motivated by all the goodness SARSEF has to offer, my younger daughter also participates eagerly in science fairs and it is a goal for her to make it to SARSEF every year. I could not think of a better thing for her to do now that she is in high school.

As a parent, I am grateful that SARSEF was there for our girls to help them see the next level in science and I cannot of think of another organization that could have played this role for them. The role of SARSEF in imparting STEM education in Southern Arizona is unrivaled and essential. I am grateful for this mission of SARSEF, because of which I joined to serve as a board member, a small way of giving back for the enormous difference it made in our two daughters' lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great programs to help students develop critical thinking skills.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is a long standing non profit with a smart, strategic plan to get kids interested in STEM. By introducing kids to fun, hands-on activities that use science & engineering concepts they are teaching critical thinking skills. SARSEF is doing their part to help build the next generation of innovative, problem solvers. Can't say enough good things about them!

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!

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!