Fair Info

As the city’s largest high school research competition, the New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF) hosts several hundred high school students from all five boroughs of New York City each year.  Students present their research projects to expert judges and compete for a variety of prizes, and advancement to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.  NYCSEF is an exceptional educational opportunity for students to engage in the research process, share their research with peers and scientists from around the city.  NYCSEF is sponsored by the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) and the City University of New York (CUNY) / Office of Academic Affairs.

Students may only participate in one ISEF-affiliated fair. NYCSEF is the ISEF affiliated fair for the NYC region, participants do not advance to state and national fairs from NYCSEF but rather advance directly to ISEF if they qualify. Enrollment and participation in other ISEF-affiliated fairs may lead to disqualification from NYCSEF and ineligibility to compete at ISEF.  If a student from the NYC region prefers to participate in an ISEF-affiliated fair other than NYCSEF, students may request an exemption by contacting the NYCSEF fair director at nycsef@cuny.edu.

When and Where

Preliminary Round:  Sunday, March 4, 2018, @ The City College of New York (Manhattan).

Last year’s Preliminary Round hosted 427 projects presented by 502 students from all over the five boroughs.  Judges included science educators and professionals in the science and engineering fields from the city’s foremost research institutions, top universities, and the business sector.

Finals Round: Tuesday, March 20, 2018, @ American Museum of Natural History, Hall of Ocean Life (Manhattan).

Projects scoring in the top 25% -30% of their categories advanced to compete in the Finals Round and are judged by experts in the 13 science and engineering fields.  Last year’s Team NYC was made up of 14 projects were selected to advance and represent New York City in May at the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angles, CA.

Awards Ceremony: Monday, March 26, 2018 @ The Tribeca Performing Arts Center at Borough of Manhattan Community College

During the Awards Ceremony, the top projects are as recognized as First, Second or Third Place in their category. Projects are also considered for Special Awards and CUNY Scholarships.  Winners of NYCSEF will advance to represent NYC at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

For information regarding all of the 2017 NYCSEF Participants and Award Winners please visit the Awards Ceremony page.

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) Week: Sunday, May 13 – Friday, May 18, 2018, in Pittsburgh, PA
For information regarding Intel ISEF 2017 results, please visit NYC ISEF Finalists.

Why you should be involved

Science fairs are gateways to a life-long fascination with science and with learning. Ask any scientist, engineer, or doctor about their science fair project and they invariably wax nostalgic and then explain how that event changed the course of their lives – regardless of whether it was a winning or losing endeavor.

Science fairs put into practice the very skills that form successful academic and professional careers. It’s so much more than just a showcase of science experiments.

A competitive science project requires reading, writing, math, statistics, ethics, critical thinking, computer science, graphic arts, scientific methodology, presentation skills and a face-to-face defense of their work in front of expert judges. Students also learn to budget time and money; in groups, they practice teamwork and leadership; and at the fair itself, they interact with science educators, top scientists, and scientific innovators as judges.

But most importantly, participating in NYCSEF represents an active opportunity for student self-learning in a field of their own interest, a promise of adding to the greater scientific understanding, and a chance for recognition, awards and an accomplishment that will distinguish a college application.

Supporting future scientists and engineers has never been more important. In order to remain educationally and economically competitive, we need to bolster the scientific curiosity and ambitions of these talented young individuals. Consider these statistics:

  • 50% of all engineering degrees awarded by U.S. engineering colleges are earned by international students,
  • 50% of the current science and engineering workforce is nearing the age of retirement.

Science fairs are not just for high school students. You can be involved as a staff volunteer or as a judge.  If you have a master’s or doctoral degree in Math, Engineering or Science, please sign up to judge.


Upcoming Dates & Deadlines

  1. 13Dec2017 NYCSEF Project Application Due Date
  2. 04Mar2018 NYCSEF Preliminary Round @ The City College of New York.
  3. 20Mar2018 NYCSEF Finals Round @ The American Museum of Natural History
  4. 26Mar2018 NYCSEF Awards Ceremony @ The Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Borough of Manhattan Community College
  5. 13May2018 International Science & Engineering Fair Week May, 13-18 in Pittsburgh, PA

Get the complete schedule

For NYCSEF 2017 Awards Announcement


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News + Notes

The 2018 NYCSEF Online Registration System is CLOSED! Application status updates will be emailed to students and teachers at the end of January.

City University of New York (CUNY) website