Welcome to the Oakland Science and Engineering Fair

Important Dates & Times

Oakland Science & Engineering Fair (OSEF).png

Congratulations to all the participants of this year's virtual fair!!

View all the participating students and projects here!




The 62nd Annual Oakland Science & Engineering Fair (OSEF) will be held virtually this year, as we all work together to flatten the curve!

The virtual OSEF will be held on May 20-22. The timeline for participating and celebrating in this year's virtual OSEF:

  • Now-Tuesday May 19 - Students work on projects!
  • Tuesday May 19 - Deadline to submit a project
  • Wednesday May 20 - Local scientists and engineers review student projects 
  • Thursday May 21 - Students and scientists/engineers discuss projects and research on zoom calls
  • Friday May 22 - Projects will be posted on the OUSD Science Website for the community to review and celebrate!
  • Monday May 25 - Students receive certificates, medals, OUSD Science T-shirt and comments on their projects and reflect on their experience.

Students can participate by:

  1. Completing a science or engineering project at home. We encourage students to work with their family or collaborate digitally with their peers if that's an option.
  2. Keeping a journal/notebook of their work and findings. 
  3. Writing a scientific abstract that summarizes their work and creating a video, poster or other artifact explaining the results and what was learned from the project. This checklist reviews the submission criteria.
  4. Submitting evidence of their project by May 19. All work will must be submitted using a registered account on zfairs. Projects may be submitted by the student or by a family member or teacher. 
  5. Optional: Participating in a zoom call with fellow OUSD students and a local scientist or engineer on May 20 to share and talk about their work!

Vist the student page to learn more about what to submit and how to submit your work!

Community members can participate by:

  • Registering to be a Judge! Go to the Judges Tab to learn more.
  • Visiting the OUSD Science website on May 22 to view and comment on student projects

We look forward to celebrating our young scientists and engineers...the world needs you now more than ever!



If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Pipping, OUSD NGSS Coordinator, sarah.pipping@ousd.org.



Hello Young Scientist or Engineer!

We are so excited to see your projects and learn from you! By participating in this year's OSEF you will:

  • Strengthen your STEM skills and contribute to the fields of science and engineering!
  • Get feedback on your project from scientists and engineers!
  • Have the chance to meet virtually with a scientist or engineering to talk about your project and learn about their research/job!
  • Be awarded a Science Fair Certificate and medal, earn an OUSD Science T-Shirt and be entered into a raffle for additional prizes!

You must submit your work by Tuesday May 19 by 3pm to participate. This checklist explains what you have to submit. We encourage you to work with your family or collaborate digitally with your peers.

OSEF Timeline

  • Now-May 19: Work on a project.
  • May 19: 3pm is the deadline to submit work.
  • May 20: Local scientists and engineerings will review your project. 
  • May 21: You can get on a zoom call and chat with the scientist or engineer that reviewed your project and learn about their research/job.
  • May 22: Your work will be published on the OUSD Science Website for the community to see.
  • May 25: We'll send you your certificate, medal, t-shirt and feedback on your project. 

Follow the steps below to participate:

  1. Choose a project. What are you interested in or passionate about? What is a question you have always been curious about? What is a problem you have always wanted to solve? If you feel stuck try:
  2. Start a Journal. Figure out how you are going to document all your thinking, findings and questions as you do your project. Your journal could be a notebook, a google doc, notes/pics/voice memos/video on a phone, or scraps of paper put together. It doesn't matter what your journal is, or if it is on paper or digital, just as long as you keep track of all your findings and ideas!
  3. Think about the why. Why is this project important? How will it contribute to science and society? Why does it matter to you?
  4. Access your prior knowledge and do some background research. What do you already know about this topic? What is already known about this project? Document what you already know and do some research to make your project stronger.
  5. Develop a plan. How will you answer your question or solve your problem? 
    • If you're working on a science investigation you should determine what your variables are, what materials you need, what steps you'll take and the data you'll collect.
    • If you're working on an engineering project you should think about all the possible solutions to your problem, determine what materials you'll need to build your protoype/model, and develop criteria and contraints.
  6. Make a prediction. What do you think will happen? What might the answer to your question be? What will be the best solution to your problem? What will your data show?
  7. Do the work! Carry out your plan. Set up your experiment, collect your data, build your prototype/model, do what you need to do to answer your question or solve your problem. Don't forget to document all your thinking, findings and any new questions that come up!
  8. Make Sense of Your Work. Examine your data....what is it telling you? What conclusions can you make? Based on your results, what is your current best answer to your question or solution to your problem? What does it all mean? What do you want to study next?
  9. Share Your Findings. Figure out how you want to share your findings. Use the checklist to make sure you have everything you need to submit.
  10. Submit your work! Create an account with Zfairs and upload your work. Watch the video below to see how to submit your work.
  11. Celebrate! You've worked hard! Celebrate that you completed a science & engineering fair project. If you can, log onto a zoom call on Thursday May 21 with a scientist or engineer who reviewed your project to talk about what you learned and hear about their research/job. On May 25 we'll send you your certificate, t-shirt and feedback on your project. 

How to Submit Your Work:



Reach out to your teacher if you have questions or need help!

You can also email Sarah who works on the OUSD STEM Team - sarah.pipping@ousd.org

Hi Teachers!

Thank you for taking the time to support your students' pursuit of inquiry and design. 

Here are the ways you can support your students with OSEF:

  1. Make an account for this website.
  2. Review the Student Tab on this page to make sure you are clear on the process and requirements.
  3. Review the OSEF Resources that have been compiled by fellow hardworking OUSD teachers. You may wish to provide your students with more supports or scaffolds. For example, you could provide a google doc (sample) as a scofffolded journal instead of leaving the documetnation of their process completely open-ended for the student.
  4. Integrate OSEF into your distance learning plan with your students or set up times to work with students 1-on-1 who are interested in participating. Here's a calendar of what the work could look like if you start with your class on May 11:

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This process is new to all of us...although we do hope to continue using Zfairs to manage OSEF moving forward.

We welcome any and all feedback.

Reach out to Sarah if you have questions or comments - sarah.pipping@ousd.org

Hi Judges!

Thank you for taking the time to be a part of our first-ever virtual Science & Engineering Fair!

OSEF doesn't have judges, but rather mentors and collaborators. We like to think of each of you as a mentor or collaborator for our students as they work on their science or engineering research. While we do evaluate student projects using a rubric, we do not give out awards based on those scores. We use your scores and feedback to help students reflect on their strengths and areas of growth and as a way to guide and improve our program.

By signing up to be a judge you are committing to:

  • Attending a Zoom OSEF Judge Training on May 20 from 10-11am
  • Reviewing and evaluating your assigned projects on your own time on May 20.
  • Optional: Participating in a zoom call on May 21 with OUSD students whose projects you reviewed to hear more about their project, ask them questions and give them feedback as well as share about your research/job or demo a little activity for the students.

If you are interested in being a judge please create an account on this website and register as a judge!

We look forward to working with you to celebrate our students' learning and research!



This is the first time we are bringing judges into our District Fair and using the Zfairs platform, so we appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we adopt these new practices and tools and we welcome your feedback and ideas.

Reach out to Sarah if you have any questions - sarah.pipping@ousd.org.



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