NC High School Students Excel at International STEM Research Competition

ISEF Logo OnNebula

20 North Carolina high school students presented their research at the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)!  1,750 students from 49 states and 63 countries, regions, and territories competed for the nearly $8 million in awards and prizes. From May 4 to May 13, 2022, these young scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and inventors convened virtually and face to face to connect with their peers and global STEM leaders through a variety of events and the culminating Awards Ceremony.

Three NC Students Among 30 Finalists at Broadcom Masters STEM Competition

Raleigh, N.C. –  September 28, 2022

The North Carolina Science Fair Foundation, sponsor of the North Carolina Science and Engineering Fair, is excited to announce three North Carolina middle school students (6-8) are among the 30 national finalists advancing to the 2022 annual Broadcom MASTERS® competition as announced by the Broadcom Foundation and the Society for Science

North Carolina had the fifth highest number of finalists selected to advance in the nation’s premier science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) middle school competition. 

Ankit Biswas from theMetrolina Regional Scholars Academy in Charlotte who analyzed carbon dioxide emissions in recent rocket launches, Elizabeth Shen of Davis Drive Middle School in Cary who applied patterns in how flowers grow to extending the lifespan of computer memory, and Aryaman Shukla of  Hanes Magnet Middle School in Winston-Salem) who used the nutrients in harmful algae blooms into helpful soil additive. 

Congratulations to each student as they advance to compete in Washington, D.C. from October 28 to November 2.  NCSFF Foundation Chair, Tony Rice said, “We are excited to have our amazing North Carolina students advance in such a competitive field and know this will be another peak learning experience in their STEM journey.  Also, thanks to all of our incredible teachers who inspire our students daily to engage in inquiry-based, STEM experiences.”  

Finalists were selected from 300 semi-finalists. There were 1,807 qualified students from 35 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico.  Finalists will compete for more than $100,000 in awards including the top Samueli Foundation Prize of $25,000.  Each is judged on both their research projects as well as their demonstration of collaboration and critical thinking skills during team challenges, emphasizing the importance and value of teamwork in STEM fields.  Each Broadcom MASTERS finalist receives a $500 cash award, their science teacher receives a one-year classroom subscription to Science News magazine, and their school is awarded $1,000 to use toward STEM activities. 

Broadcom MASTERS is the only middle school STEM competition that leverages Society-affiliated science fairs as a crucial component of the STEM talent pipeline. Only the top 10% of students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade in Society-affiliated fairs are eligible to enter their projects into the competition.

During Finals Week in Washington, D.C., based on multiple team challenges and judging, students will compete for the following additional awards:

  • $10,000 DoD STEM Talent Award, which will be awarded to a finalist who demonstrates excellence in science, technology, engineering or math, along with the leadership and technical skills necessary to excel in the 21st century STEM workforce.
  • $10,000 Lemelson Award for Invention, awarded by The Lemelson Foundation to a young inventor creating promising solutions to real-world problems.
  • $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation, awarded to a student who demonstrates both vision and promise as an innovator.
  • $10,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement, which recognizes the student whose work and performance show the most promise in health-related fields and demonstrates an understanding of the many social factors that affect the health of communities.
  • $5,000 Broadcom Coding with Commitment recognizes a finalist whose project and performance combines expert STEM knowledge and passion for helping or improving one’s community through computation/coding.
  • First and Second Place Awards issued in each category of STEM of $3,500 or $2,500, respectively, to be used toward a STEM summer camp experience, with top awards in math from Robert John Floe, President Floe Financial Partners.
  • Two Rising Stars in sixth or seventh grade will be invited to attend the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest international high school science fair, as Observers.

For more information about being a NCSEF judge, volunteer, or sponsors, please contact Ms. Smith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the NCSFF website at http://www.ncsffoundation.org.  For more details about the the science and engineering fair, visit the NCSEF website at http://ncsciencefair.org

NC Science Fair Foundation Welcomes our New Executive Director, Stephánia Smith

Raleigh, N.C. – August 9, 2022

Dr. Mohammad Ahmed, Chairman of the non-profit NC Science Fair Foundation (NCSFF) and Dean, College of Health and Sciences, at North Carolina Central University, is pleased to announce the selection of Stephánia Smith as the organization’s new Executive Director effective July 1, 2022. On Ms. Smith’s appointment, Ahmed said, “Ms. Smith’s leadership experience in strategic planning, partnership development, resource management, project coordinator, training and development, and engaging with state, local, and school level leaders will contribute greatly to our continuous improvement now and in the future.” 

As an honors graduate of St. Louis University, Ms. Smith holds a B.A. in Business Organization Design Studies and is completing M.A. in Adult Education and HR Management.  Ms. Smith brings to this leadership role a proven track record in the corporate, non-profit, and education sectors with areas of focus in instructional design and development, workforce performance management, virtual teams and project management.  Through her Training and Development work, Smith holds certifications as an Apple Instructor-Led Trainer, Apple Virtual Instructor-Led Trainer, and Apple Train-the-Trainer Technical Leader.  Smith possesses a SCRUM Masters Agile Project  Management Certification as well as a Google IT Support Certification. 

On her selection, Smith said, "Science is in everything that our students see, everyday.   Every child should have the opportunity to engage in the wonders of STEM and dream of what possibilities are attainable.   Science fairs, educational progress, career exploration, and teacher and parent knowledge development, are fundamental keys to success provided by NCSFF.  We are moving into greater advancements for reaching all students across North Carolina with our welcoming message."

The NCSFF sponsors the state level North Carolina Science and Engineering Fair (NCSEF) and its 9 Regional Competitions across North Carolina.  NCSFF is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, volunteer driven organization, whose mission is to increase inquiry-based student research in STEM related areas of study in Grades 3-12 by “Inspiring Innovation in Student Research.”  NCSEF is the state affiliate to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) sponsored by the Society for Science
For more information about being a NCSEF judge, volunteer, or sponsors, please contact Ms. Smith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the NCSFF website at http://www.ncsffoundation.org.  For more details about the the science and engineering fair, visit the NCSEF website at http://ncsciencefair.org

Media Alert: NC Science and Engineering Fair Virtual Competition “Inspiring Innovation in Student Research”

Raleigh, N.C. – March 21, 2022 – 350 STEM student researchers from all corners of NC will compete on a virtual platform in the 34th state level NC Science and Engineering Fair (ncsef.org). Students will present their science research and engineering design projects on March 25th (Grades 3-5) and March 26th (Grades 6-8 and 9-12). Due to COVID-19, this is the second year the competition has been held virtually. It will return to an in person competition next year on March 24-25, 2023 at our host site, North Carolina State University’s Talley Student Union.

A complete listing of all events, including Student Spark Talks, Virtual Tours, and the Awards Ceremonies can be accessed by the general public here.

The Awards Ceremonies will be held on Sunday, March 27th:
Elementary Division (Grades 3-5) at 2:00 pm
Junior Division (Grades 6-8) at 3:00 pm
Senior Division (Grades 9-12) at 4:00 pm

Presenting Sponsor, the Biogen Foundation, invites the public to view the student research projects online beginning March 21st, live events on March 26th, and the Awards Ceremonies on March 27th. Click here for more detailed information.

Students from the top 12 Senior Division research projects will represent North Carolina at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held in Atlanta, on May 8-13. Annually, this research competition brings together over 1,800 high school students from all 50 states and 75 countries. This year, due to COVID-19, to accommodate more students it will be held as a hybrid event

Top Junior Division projects will be nominated to participate in the Broadcom MASTERS™ (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars). Both the Regeneron ISEF and Broadcom MASTERS™ are sponsored by the Society for Science & the Public, which inspires and recognized our nation's young scientists, engineers, and innovators.

NCSEF Sponsors
Presenting Sponsor
Biogen Foundation

Platinum
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
NC Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center (SMT Center)
Red Hat

Gold
Broadcom Foundation
DLH Corporation
RTI International
Society for Science and the Public
TUNL (Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratories)

Silver
Wiley Wilson Architecture and Engineering

Bronze
Rho, Inc.
Strategic Educational Alliances, Inc.

University, School, and Community Partners
Appalachian State University
East Carolina University
Meredith College
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
North Carolina State University
UNC-Greensboro
UNC-Charlotte
UNC-Pembroke
UNC-Wilmington
Wake Technical Community College
Western Carolina University

The NC Science Fair Foundation (www.ncsffoundation.org) sponsors the NCSEF and its 9 Regional Competitions across North Carolina. NCSFF is a 501 (c) 3 not-for profit, volunteer driven organization, whose mission is to increase inquiry-based student research in STEM related areas of study in Grades 3-12 by “Inspiring Innovation in Student Research”.

For more information about volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Theresa Gibson, Executive Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the NCSEF website at http://www.ncsciencefair.org.

Media Alert: 13 High School Students Advance to Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)

Raleigh, N.C. – May 12, 2021 – The North Carolina Science Fair Foundation (NCSFF), sponsor of the annual NC Science and Engineering Fair (NCSEF), is proud to announce the winners of the 33rd NCSEF competition held in a virtual format on March 27, April 17, & April 24, 2021. 258 STEM student researchers from across the state in grades 3-12, advanced from 9 regional competitions. 

STEM business, education, governmental, and nonprofit sector volunteers interviewed the students and selected the award winners.   See  a full listing of all student awards by Award, Student Name, School, and Cty.   If you missed the live events, we invite you to view recordings of the public facing fair events on this playlist and explore the projects posted on the Symposium platform.

NCSFF Chairman, Dr. Chris Ashwell said, “We are excited to support 13 high school students in competing at the Virtual Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).  Our student researchers from across North Carolina will compete against more than 2,000 students from over 80 countries. We thank the Biogen Foundation, our presenting sponsor, and other businesses and foundations for supporting our efforts to make science and engineering accessible to all students through student-driven research”. 

Awards from business, education, government, and non-profit STEM partners, were awarded across multiple STEM research categories. NCSEF Director Judy Day said, “Our local and regional teachers and fair directors from across North Carolina continue to raise the standards for student research in all STEM areas.  Our judges continue to share their enthusiasm for the innovation and quality of student work as evidenced in their student interviews.”

In the Senior Division, grades 9-12, 12 individual or team projects, consisting of 13 students, were selected as Grand Award winners and will represent the NCSEF at the Virtual Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) May 16-21, 2021.  ISEF is the largest international science competition in the world drawing 2,000 students from across the US and 80 other countries. 

The NC Science Fair Foundation sponsors the NCSEF and its 9 Regional Competitions across North Carolina.  NCSFF is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, volunteer driven organization, whose mission is to increase inquiry-based student research in STEM related areas of study in Grades 3-12 by “Inspiring Innovation in Student Research”.  NCSEF is the state affiliate to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). 


For more information about being a judge, volunteer, or sponsors, please contact Theresa Gibson, Executive Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the NCSEF website at http://www.ncsciencefair.org 

Media Alert: Broadcom Coding with Commitment Launches at NC Science and Engineering Fair

 New Recognition Honors a Student or Student Team that Combines STEM Knowledge with Computational Coding to Address a Community Problem

 

Broadcom Foundation announces Broadcom Coding with Commitment, a special recognition for a middle school student or student team competing in the 2021 NC Science and Engineering Fair. 

Broadcom Foundation Logo RGBThe Broadcom Coding with Commitment is open to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students or teams in any science fair category who combine STEM knowledge with computation or coding in the project’s research, design, or development to express a passion for helping or improving the community.

The foundation’s new recognition requires judges to consider a student’s access to STEM resources and computing tools so that the judges might equitably weigh projects by all students including those whose access to resources may be more limited.

“The Broadcom Coding with Commitment acknowledges important trends we see in science fair and coding spaces: young people are seeking to solve problems that impact them personally or in their community such as health, sanitation, energy, climate change and other challenges set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” said Paula Golden, President of the Broadcom Foundation. “Young people are connecting science with technology to research as well as create solutions to these problems. Broadcom Coding with Commitment is intended to illuminate how coding is both a language and skillset they can apply in problem solving, and an invaluable tool for college and careers. Broadcom Coding with Commitment will also encourage young people to think globally when they act locally.”

The winning student or student team will be publicly recognized at the NC Science and Engineering Fair Awards Ceremony with a $250 gift certificate and Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Official RP 400 Personal Computer Kit.    

Stay connected on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and NCSEF Twitter, NCSEF Facebook, and NCSEF Instagram.

WHEN:            April 17, 2021 9:00AM-3:00PM

WHERE:         2021 NCSEF Virtual

WHO:              Judy Day, NC Science and Engineering Fair Director

Paula Golden, President of Broadcom Foundation