• 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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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.

Geoffrey Gaites II, a 6th-grader at Davis Magnet School, entered his project in the Junior Division of the OC Science and Engineering Fair of 2015 - 2016. His chemistry project, entitled, “Break the Tension,” tested water surface tension.

 

Geoffrey decided to participate in the science fair when his science teacher, Mrs. Brusic, chose his year-long project to move on to the OCFS science fair. Thinking it would be a great learning experience and a chance to further explore his passion for science, Geoffrey decided to compete in OCSEF as well.

 

Geoffrey was first inspired to do his project when a series of curious thoughts in his kitchen led him to wonder about the different possibilities of how the strength of a liquid’s surface tension could be altered. The most efficient way to test this, he decided, was to use a liquid easily accessible anywhere--water.

 

Geoffrey’s project about surface tension compared the tension strength of different types of water, ranging from pure and clean water to polluted and dirty water. His hypothesis was that dirty water would increase the surface tension, as the dirt particles would allow more area and support for water molecules to cling on to. After completing a long and arduous procedure, Geoffrey’s hypothesis proved to be incorrect when clean water held itself together better than dirty water did. “I think this happens because the dirt gets in the way of the water molecules’ bonding,” Geoffrey says, reflecting on his experiment’s result. “Surface tension is like a protective skin around the bodies of water.”

 

Geoffrey planned his procedure out very carefully. He designated three different types of water (pure, slightly dirty, and extremely dirty) and tested each five times to be as accurate as possible. Using a water dropper, he placed water droplets on a penny and counted how many drops of water could stay in the penny before spilling out. As a result of meticulous experimental design, Geoffrey proudly affirms that he did not face any obstacles while completing his project.

In the end, Geoffrey believes that conducting an experiment and competing the OC Science and Engineering Fair was a great learning experience, and he hopes to do the same again next year and continue down his path in science.

 

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