4574 E. Broadway Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85711
- STEM Science Technology Engineering Math
- Educational Outreach to K-12 Students
- Science Research& Science Fair
- Scholarships and Awards to K-12 Students
- Professional Development K-12 Teachers
- Exhibitor Opportunities STEM Fields
- Volunteer Opportunities in STEM Fields
- Sponsorship Opportunities and Benefits
- Minority and Female Focus
Hours of Operation8:30 AM to 5:00PM, M-F, however emails are accepted at all times and response is usually within 24 hours.
The mission of SARSEF: Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation, is to empower Southern Arizona's K-12 students as they use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through inquiry-based learning and research. Each year, 75,000 K-12 students in Southern Arizona use their thinking skills to complete a STEM research project to be considered for our SARSEF Fair at the Tucson Convention Center. The top 4,600 students meet with our 350 judges and during SARSEF’s week long event that brings in over 10,000 visitors. Thanks to the help of our over 125 community partners and sponsors, we recognize STEM research by K-12 students and their teachers with over $100,000 in prizes and scholarships annually. Then, we support the top HS students as they attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), where our local students have won at the rate of four-times the national average for the past fourteen years. We change lives by providing a reason for students to use their critical thinking skills and then recognize success.
However, we never feel we are good enough. Ten years ago, we noticed that many of the same schools in the same parts of town were the only ones participating. So we formed SARSEF’s educational outreach program, which now reaches over 27,000 additional underrepresented (female and minority) students in areas of poverty each year. We travel to over 125, Title I schools each year to teach the fundamental life-skills of how to think critically, problem-solve and conduct STEM research each year. We teach science method to classes, provide professional development to teachers and conduct parent science nights, (all free of charge) to teach thinking skills and research skills in science and engineering. SARSEF also oversees the AZ STEM Adventure (previously known as FunFest held at the TCC) which helps over 1,100 students connect the critical thinking we teach with real-life experiences in what might be their future occupation in STEM.
Southern Arizona has one of the lowest rates of funding for education in the United States. Our students, and in particular those that are underserved because they may be living in areas of poverty, are often not provided with the very tools that they need to be successful. It was the mission of SARSEF to increase participation of underrepresented students in Title I schools in the fields of science and engineering which may ultimately help them overcome the effects of poverty.
We are increasing the number of students, who are taught to think critically, problem solve, and apply the protocols of effective research through their use of the scientific method and engineering design process. For many years we saw the same schools compete in the areas of STEM. We asked why are some schools and students were not participating? The answer was all too often, “We don’t have time” or “I don’t know how” or “I just don’t feel comfortable teaching that.” And so, our goal was set: change that! And we have.
SARSEF's Educational Outreach program focusing on the increased support of underrepresented youths is teaching the essential skills for science and research that will better prepare students for a successful future. Long-term, it also supports our community's well being. Our specific objectives were as follows.SARSEF Foundation staff and Board members travel to schools that are Gr. K-12 within the seven counties of the Southern Arizona region that are not currently succeeding in or participating in student science research or an area of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) or had expressed that they are in need additional help. A higher priority is placed on schools in areas considered in poverty as identified by the Federal Index of Free and Reduced Meals and on under-served populations (such as female and Hispanic and Native American minority students). The representatives present to students at school and grade level assemblies as well as in individual classrooms and to adults in Faculty Meetings and PTO Meetings.