• Orange County Science and Engineering Fair
    • Orange County Science and Engineering Fair
    • Orange County Science and Engineering Fair
    • Orange County Science and Engineering Fair
    • Orange County Science and Engineering Fair

News & Events

OCSEF Ask-a-Scientist Nights
OCSEF Ask-a-Scientist Nights

OCSEF, OC Science, and THINK Together hosted four successful Ask-a-Scientist Nights in school across Orange County.

2016 Excellence in STEM Award Ceremony
2016 Excellence in STEM Award Ceremony

At the 2016 annual Excellence in STEM Awards ceremony, teachers, volunteers, board members, judges, and special judges received awards for their excellence.

Jan and Richard Cannon 1964
Jan and Richard Cannon 1964

Jan and Richard Cannon met at OCSEF in 1964 as fellow competitors. Little did they know that they would end up happily married in the years to follow. 

  • The Orange County Science and Engineering Fair (OCSEF) is a nonprofit educational organization that has promoted science and engineering in Orange County since 1955. The educators, scientists, and engineers who volunteer their services are committed to educating, guiding, and motivating students to engage in project-based learning in all fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to be college and career ready in the 21st century. 

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2018 OCSEF Information
2018 OCSEF Information

Thinking of participating in the 2018 Orange County Science and Engineering Fair? Register or find out more information here!

Free Science Fair Resources
Free Science Fair Resources

Advice for conducting a science fair project, information for various science summer camps, links to science fair competitions, and more!

2015 OC Fair Imaginology
2015 OC Fair Imaginology

The OC Imaginology Fair is a great opportunity to showcase your talents in individual and group project competitions in a variety of subjects including Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math!

2016 Broadcom MASTERS Semifinalists
2016 Broadcom MASTERS Semifinalists

Of the 300 students chosen as Broadcom MASTERS semifinalists from across the nation, nine elementary and middle school students from OCSEF qualified. 

2016 California State Science Fair Winners
2016 California State Science Fair Winners

A total of 32 Orange County students from grades 6-12 won awards at the 65th annual California State Science Fair held on May 23-24.

2016 Intel ISEF Finalists Selected
2016 Intel ISEF Finalists Selected

Four high school students were selected to represent Orange County at the 2016 Intel International Science & Engineering Fair.

Cathy Ellsworth was a 6th grader from La Madera Elementary School in the 2015-16 school year and won an honorable mention in the category Environmental Science/Environmental Engineering. Her project, “Copper Uptake in Moss,” examined how moss absorbed copper in aqueous solutions with different concentrations of copper.  

 

Cathy’s fascination with moss began when she was five and was shown a patch of moss by her grandmother in her front yard. She started science fair in second grade, and each year since then, her project has involved the moss from the patch her grandmother had showed her. Her passion for studying moss continues unabated, and she plans to continue investigating the questions that cropped up from her past moss studies for future projects.

 

In her project, Cathy used common materials to conduct her research. To measure copper concentration, she used an aquarium test kit that included a color comparison card. The moss came from her garden, and commercially available polyethylene served as her control.  Cathy had minor trouble with her project when her samples fell over and lost some water, but she simply said, “When I ran into problems, I just shrugged and continued, because there are always problems.” After 20 days of allowing the moss to soak in copper solutions of various concentration, Cathy found that her hypothesis was correct, and that the moss absorbed copper fastest in the most concentrated solution.

 

 

Cathy found OCSEF to be a highly rewarding experience. For those who also want to do a science fair project, Cathy’s advice is to “start early”, but above all “relax and have fun.” For Cathy, “science fairs are some of [her] favorite times of the year.” Her personal role model is the famous primatologist Jane Goodall because of her passion for nature, and she encourages students to find both a role model and parental support for their endeavours. As for her own project, Cathy hopes to expand on the concept of mosses’ absorption of various substances, especially in relation to how they could potentially absorb pollutants and thus act as pollution samplers.

 

 

 

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