The 69th Annual Orange County Science & Engineering Fair: March 2024


  • Monday, July 31, 2023 at 8:00 am PST: Project Registration opens – Required for ALL projects! Registration is now open
  • Monday, February 5, 2024 at 11:59 pm PST: Project Registration closes – Required for ALL projects. No exceptions.
  • Monday February 26, 2024 at 11:59 pm PST: Project Submittal Deadline– Including the presentation slide deck, Log book, video, and affidavit. No exceptions. Project submittal will be allowed only for students who have completed their project registration on or before the deadline.
  • Wednesday March 6, 2024 Project Judging for Board Awards (Zoom)
  • Sunday March 10, 2024 Awards Assembly – Chapman University (In-Person)***Subject to change

  • We will be selecting high school and middle school winners for the California Science & Engineering Fair as always!
  • For high school students – there will be a research conference opportunity on April 27, 2024.
  • For high school stuents – there will be an opportunity to be selected as an OCSEF representative to ISEF 2024.
  • For middle school students – there will be an opportunity to be selected for the Thermo Fisher Junior Innovators Challenge (formerly known as the Broadcom MASTERS)

OCSEF 2024 follows a multi-step process:

Step 1 Project Registration: deadline of Monday, February 5, 2024, at 11:59pm. All students must complete registration prior to this deadline in order to submit a project for OCSEF 2024. No exceptions. Go to OCSEF 2024 – Registration
All projects need to be approved by the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) before moving to Step 2 Project Submittal. Don’t wait until February 5th to start your project registration.
Step 2 Project Submittal: deadline of Monday, February 26, 2024, at 11:59pm. All students must complete their project submittal prior to this deadline in order to enter the fair. No exceptions.

Projects registered on or before February 5, 2024 at 11:59 pm PST and approved by the OCSEF Scientific Review Committee (SRC) team will be allowed to move to the project submittal step. The SRC team will review every project registered in our 2024 competition. They will send an approval or ask for more information based on the project description provided. Please note that the SRC must approve your project in order to be able to move to step 2, which is project submittal. 

OCSEF does not have an appeal process. All judges’ decisions are final. 


  • Students who submit duplicate projects will be disqualified 
  • Use STUDENT NAME and STUDENT EMAIL when creating a SurveyMonkey account and completing the OCSEF Application. Students who do not comply with this instruction will be disqualified.
  • Only use PERSONAL email addresses. Do not use a school email address for students. Some district firewalls prevent email delivery from non-school and/or non-district organizations.

Project Registration

All projects require project registration as the first step. The OCSEF is using SurveyMonkey Apply for our 2024 registration software.

Certification Forms

Projects involving any of the following must follow proper state/federal safety regulations and submit the corresponding Certification forms as part of the Step 1 Project Registration process
(1) Humane treatment of live vertebrate animals, not including human subjects
(2) Hazards materials or activities control (i.e. projects involving microbiology, vertebrate animal tissue, hazardous chemicals and/or use of tools/equipment)
(3) Human subjects, including self
(4) Regulated research at a lab/university facility
NOTE: If Certification Forms are required, students must complete the Step 1 Project Registration process, with appropriate certification forms, BEFORE the start of any experiments. The SRC will review the project and send the student a “project approval email”, before their project can move to the Step 2 Project Submittal phase. At this point, the student(s) can move forward with their project.

Safety Review
All projects need to be approved by the SRC before moving to Step 2 Project Submittal. Please contact with additional questions.

Project Submittal

Once a student completes the Project Registration and receives approval from the SRC team, the following project components must be uploaded to the OCSEF system to complete Project Submittal by Monday, February 26, 2024 11:59 pm PST:

  • Slide Deck using the OCSEF template (maximum 12 slides)
  • Video about your project (maximum 3 minutes)
  • Log Book pictures of key pages (5 images)

Affidavit with student and parent signatures Instructions for Slide Deck Presentation

  • Use to the OCSEF Slide Deck templates, and comply with all criteria and formatting clearly outlined in the first two slides of the template. Once the slide deck presentation is completed, save the file as a PDF and upload it when you register your project online. The use of a standard presentation format assures equity in judging. 
  • Science Slide Deck
  • Engineering Slide Deck

Project Video

In the OCSEF 2024 virtual format, every student has to submit a 3-minute video that includes the following. OCSEF compliance team will review every video for time compliance. No more than 3 minutes allowed.


  • Your name, grade and school
  • The title of your project, explaining your question and hypothesis
  • Equipment used in your project


Science Projects

  • Your experimental process
  • Variables that you controlled and tested
  • Size of your test group and number of trials

Engineering Projects

  • The engineering problem you wanted to solve
  • What you built
  • What you did to improve your project


  • Explain your observations, data, charts and graphs.
  • What would be further research ideas or additional questions and next steps based on your experiments?
  • Who might be interested in your findings, and why?

Group Projects

  • If you have a group project, every student must present in the video.
    • Groups of two – each student presents for 1.5 minute each. 
    • Groups of three – each students presents for 1 minute each. 
  • Please combine the videos to one video only for submission. YouTube has some great resources on how to combine videos.  
  • Remember, during a face-to-face interview, each student gets a chance to present and we expect the same in the video as well.