Key Dates

The 2020 Orange County Science & Engineering Fair (Grades 6-12) + STEAM showcase (Grades 4-12) will be held March 24-26, 2020 at the Orange County Fairgrounds: Hangar Building. The 2020 OCSEF Awards Ceremony will be held March 26, 2020 at the Orange County Fairgrounds: Hangar Building.

Orange County Fairgrounds: Hangar Building
88 Fair Drive Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
714-708-1500 Location

This year the OCSEF will continue the STEAM showcase in conjunction with the fair.



Registration Starting Date Sunday, January 5, 2020
On-Line Application Deadline Friday, March 6, 2020 - OCSEF Competition
Project Set-Up Tuesday, March 24, 2020
1 pm - 7 pm (Setup by last name time slots)
Judging2 Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Doors Open for Judges: 7 am
OCSEF Student Judging: 9 am - 3 pm
STEAM Showcase Student Interviews: 6 pm - 8:30 pm
Open House Thursday, March 26, 2020
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Awards Ceremony Thursday, March 26, 2020
6:45 pm - 8 pm
Project Removal3 Thursday, March 26, 2020
8:15 pm – 9 pm


1. All projects in senior division will be considered for ISEF competition.

2. Judging/Student Interview Information for the Junior Division (Grades 6-8):

  • Be at least 15 minutes early for your scheduled interview time.
  • You must wear your exhibitor’s ribbon.
  • While standing by your exhibit, judges or groups of judges will come by to discuss your project with you. You will be interviewed by both Category judges and Special Awards judges.
  • Stay by your exhibit until your interview hour is over, and you have received your Certificate of Participation from the Category Judges.
  • You must take home with you all materials/equipment you bring to show the judges. Do not leave anything on display with your exhibit board when you leave.

Judging/Student Interview Information for Senior Division (Grades 9-12):

  • All Senior Division students should be standing at their projects at 9 am.
  • Students will be interviewed by Category / ISEF judges as well as Special Award Judges between 9 am and Noon.
  • All Senior Division students are invited as guests of the OCSEF to lunch.
  • ISEF Semi-Finalists will be announced at 1 pm.
  • ISEF Semi-Finalists will be interviewed in a second round of judging at 1 pm. All other Senior Division students are released.
  • ISEF Finalists and Alternates will be announced at the Awards Program.

3. Project Removal: All projects must be removed by 9:00 pm. Your exhibitor’s ribbon will be needed to pick up your project. You may give your ribbon to another person to pick up your project.Any project not picked up by the deadline will be discarded!

4. The awards ceremony will be held at the Orange County Fairgrounds: Hangar Building.  Awards will be announced and presented at that time; results will be posted on the website after the ceremony.

Questions? Contact us here.