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.

When and Where

Preliminary Round:  Sunday, March 6, 2016 @ The City College of New York (Manhattan).

Last year’s Preliminary Round hosted 457 projects presented by 578 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 29, 2016 @ American Museum of Natural History, Hall of Ocean Life (Manhattan).

Projects scoring in the top 25% of their categories advanced to compete in the Finals Round and are judged by experts in the 14 science and engineering fields.  This year’s Team NYC will be made up of 15 projects and 16 students selected to advance and represent New York City in May at the 2016 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona.

Awards Ceremony: Friday, April 1 @ The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College 

During the Awards Ceremony the top projects from both the preliminary and final rounds were recognized as First Award, Second Award, Third Award, and Special Award winners. Winners of NYCSEF will advance to represent NYC at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).  Team NYC will consist of 15 projects and 16 students.  We are excited to move on to Phoenix, Arizona! GO TEAM NYC!!!

For information regarding all of the 2016 NYCSEF Participants and Award Winners please visit the Awards Ceremony page.

Intel ISEF Week: Sunday, May 8 – Friday, May 13, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona

Congratulations to TEAM NYC 2016 on all their accomplishments and making it to INTEL ISEF!  Team NYC were among over 1700 high school students from around the world.  It was a crazy week but one that will live in our hearts for years to come.

For information regarding Intel ISEF results, please visit Team NYC 2016.

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 volunteer, as a judge, and if you have a master’s or doctoral degree in Math, Engineering or Science, please sign up to judge.


Who Runs the Program

CUNY College Now is pleased to organize this event in collaboration with the NYC Department of Education Office of School Programs and Partnerships. College Now is a comprehensive initiative between CUNY and the NYCDOE that prepares public high school students for college. Students from more than 400 public high schools participate in College Now programs each year, and the NYCSEF presents an exciting opportunity for College Now to collaborate with students and teachers throughout the city.

The University has designated 2005 to 2015 the “Decade of Science” at CUNY, renewing its commitment to creating a healthy pipeline to science, math, technology, and engineering fields by advancing science at the highest levels, training students to teach in these areas, and encouraging young people, particularly women and minorities, to study in these disciplines. As CUNY has grown, the University has strengthened its mission as a premier research institution, building an array of modern facilities and expanding the ranks of its world-class faculty.

In 2011, President Barack Obama highlighted in his visit to the NYCSEF Finals Event, the importance for students to participate in activities like these and the skills gained by completing research projects.

Upcoming Dates & Deadlines

  1. 16Dec2015 NYCSEF Project Application Due Date
  2. 06Mar2016 NYCSEF Preliminary Round @ The City College of New York
  3. 29Mar2016 NYCSEF Finals Round @ The American Museum of Natural History
  4. 01Apr2016 NYCSEF Awards Ceremony @ The Gerald W. Lynch Theater, John Jay College
  5. 08May2016 International Science & Engineering Fair Week in Phoenix, AZ

Get the complete schedule

See what NYCSEF is all about


 Heart of NYCSEF

 Inspiration from our Judges

*NYCDOE Teachers- contact NYCSEF@cuny.edu to receive these videos.

News + Notes

Congrats to the 2016 Team NYC! Visit the Fair Info tab for more information.



City University of New York (CUNY) website