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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

SARSEF: S. AZ Research, Science & Engineering Foundation (SciEnTeK-12)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

Mission: The mission of our foundation is to inspire students to create change in their lives, community, and world through science and engineering using technology and math. SARSEF teaches STEM research skills and provides direction and support for Southern Arizona Kindergarten through 12th Grade students and schools by teaching research methods using hands-on projects. The results of our efforts may be measured at the Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair (SARSEF) 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 involved in science and engineering research projects.  Currently, about 24% of the schools are involved. Approximately 75,000 students are involved at their local school. From, there, approximately 4,500 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 75,000 K-12 students many of whom have been previously underrepresented in the fields of science and engineering research

Direct beneficiaries per year: 75,000 students participate in research and 30,782 underrepresented students succeed.

Geographic areas served: Seven counties of Southern Arizona

Programs: STEM educational outreach on the scientific method, engineering design and how to conduct research projects.

Community Stories

88 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!

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.

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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.

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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!

Donor

Rating: 5

Very dedicated organization working to improve the quality of STEM education in our region of the country. Arizona is currently rated extremely low when it comes to education in the US, and it takes the work of organizations like SARSEF to augment and enhance the opportunities for our students and teachers. SARSEF is also very dedicated to providing teacher enrichment programs to help them be better prepared in teaching STEM curriculum.

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1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Scientek-12 Foundation has grown tremendously over the years and their vision and mission continue to inspire thousands of students, teachers, parents, and community members in the process. Their voluntary board is hard working, dedicated, and very effective in achieving the objectives of their vision/mission statement. What an impact a small group of volunteers is having on the Southern AZ community.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Had an amazing trip to ISEF with this group! They did all of the grunt work and made the international science fair a wonderful experience for both my student and me.

3 Nina D.

Advisor

Rating: 5

SARSEF has benefited generations of young southern Arizonans by opening a door to the wonders of science understanding and creating a curiosity about our world that changes lives. I first encountered SARSEF as a young woman, employed at our local Science Center. I had worked in theater and other jobs without much focus and was astonished to discover such a diverse group of dedicated citizens who wanted to support public education, teachers, families, and especially children, by hosting a regional science fair each year that connected them to the amazing science resources in our community. Through my volunteering with SARSEF over the years, I have had the honor to work with top scientists, talented school teachers and community leaders. I have been amazed by children's creativity, spontaneity and sheer joy at using simple to very complex systems thinking to work through an interesting problem or hypothesis and report on outcomes. We are a science community and I can say that with pride because SARSEF has been there building a strong foundation for every child and connecting them to a better future.

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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2

Client Served

Rating: 5

witnessing my Sons's interest for learning science. Thanks for all the help and support. Kathleen Bethel is a great person and admire her leadership.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

SARSEF is Arizona's most impactful STEM organization reaching 60,000 K-12 students to participate in experimental science and math.

1 Alan38

Board Member

Rating: 5

SARSEF is a motivating force for young scientists in Southern Arizona. What an experience it is to judge projects in March, and see what the students' creativity has come up with for projects. I have judged kids who I have later seen in YouTube videos, and some doing TED talks. These young people are the future, and SARSEF helps to get them on their way.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

SARSEF is the best planned and managed science fair in Arizona! It is run by dedicated and efficient people. As a teacher of a student who went onto the next level of competition, I realized the amount of planning, fund-raising, and basically hard work that goes on behind-the-scenes. My student is motivated to pursue a career in science as result of the SARSEF and beyond experience. Keep up the good work and thank you!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Excellent foundation with extremely valuable events and resources for educators, parents, and students. Terrific SARSEF presenters who inspire students to think of genuine, unique, Science Fair projects (they will come to your school to present). The process of participating in SARSEF is a valuable, educational experience for any K-12 student and covers so many of the Az State Science Standards. I highly recommend!

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.

1 Ellen82

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My students at Prince Elementary had a wonderful time conducting and writing their Science Fair projects. They worked mostly in groups and did the work at school.Our school is a Title I school and our students are economically challenged.They had so much fun and talked about their projects with anyone who would listen. It was really meaningful.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As the Vice President on the Board of Directors for SARSEF, I can say I am completely dedicated to the mission and vision of this organization. As we move into the future with the help of Social Venture Partners, I am excited to see where we will go and what lies ahead. I know of no other organization who is more committed to bring high quality STEM experiences to ALL of our students in Southern Arizona. Our outreach impacts tens of thousands of students and hundreds of educators EACH year and growing! So proud to work with all those involved in this effort!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

SARSEF is doing an exceptional job bringing STEM opportunities to tens of thousands of students in Southern Arizona. The amount of education outreach they do is incredible! The absolute best STEM non-profit organization in Southern Arizona!!!

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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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

SARSEF is an organization that is devoted to making a difference in the lives of many southern Arizona students. Providing not only the well-known yearly regional fair, SARSEF also attends many community functions sharing STEM related learning for all. Educational Outreach makes themselves available to all schools from Yuma to Douglas and Florence to Nogales that want to inspire students in STEM education. This organization will truly make a difference in the future of our community and country as it challenges students to identify problems and determine solutions that affect us all! Students who participate in SARSEF will have the skills to be successful adults adding to our work force with 21st century skills that are sought by employers. A devoted board and staff drive this organization forward!

Previous Stories
1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have had the fortunate experience of working with SciEnTek-12 for some time now. In this time I have seen first hand how science comes alive for students of all ages in our community. The commitment and dedication of all the individuals allows students to grow as individuals committed to STEM. The energy of the adults in this organization is freely shared so that all students can make a difference in their community. Students have the freedom to explore all areas of science, math, technology and engineering and are eager to have careers in these fields. This is an organization that leads children into the future with hope and confidence that they will make the world a better place.