The 70th Annual Orange County Science & Engineering Fair: March 2025

Tentative Fair Schedule

Monday, August 26, 2024 (8:00 am PST): Project Registration opens – Required for ALL projects!

Monday, February 3, 2025 (11:59 pm PST): Project Registration closes – Required for ALL projects. No exceptions.

Monday February 24, 2025 (11:59 pm PST): Project Submission closes – This includes the slide deck, lab notebook, video, and affidavit. No exceptions. Project submission will be allowed only for students who have completed their project registration on or before the deadline.

Wednesday March 12, 2025: Project Judging for Board Awards (via Zoom)

Sunday March 23, 2025: Awards Ceremony at Chapman University (In-Person) **Subject to change**

Affiliated Fairs Selection

  • California Science & Engineering Fair: we will select middle school and high school winners for CSEF 2025.
  • Thermo Fisher Junior Innovators Challenge: we will select middle school winners for TFJIC 2025.
  • International Science & Engineering Fair: we will select top high school projects to represent OCSEF at ISEF 2025. **subject to change**

Multi-Step Fair Process:

  • Step 1 Project Registration: All students must complete registration prior to this deadline in order to be eligible to submit a project for OCSEF. 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 Submission. Don’t wait until the last day to start your project registration.
  • Step 2 Project Submission: All students must complete their project submission prior to this deadline in order to be eligible for judging. No exceptions.

The SRC team will review every project registered and will send an email with either approval or to ask for more information based on the project description provided. Check your email often (including spam folder) for notifications from Please note that the SRC must approve your project BEFORE you are able to move to step 2, which is project submission. Please contact with additional questions.

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


  • DO NOT SUBMIT DUPLICATE PROJECT APPLICATIONS. Students who submit duplicate projects will be disqualified.
  • Use STUDENT NAME and STUDENT EMAIL when creating a SurveyMonkey account and completing OCSEF Registration (do NOT use parent/guardian name or email when creating an account). 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 online registration platform.

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.

Project Submission

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 Submission by the deadline:

  • Slide Deck using the OCSEF template (maximum 12 slides)
  • Video about your project (maximum 3 minutes)
  • Lab Notebook pictures of key pages (5 images)
  • Affidavit with student and parent signatures

Slide Deck

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


For the OCSEF online format, every project must submit a 3-minute video that includes the following. OCSEF will review every video for compliance. No more than 3 minutes allowed.

  • Introduction (name, grade/school, title)
  • Question and hypothesis or problem and design
  • Materials and procedure
  • Science projects – experimental process, variables, # trials, etc
  • Engineering projects – engineering problem, what you built, improvements, etc
  • Conclusion (observations, data, charts/graphs, further research, applications, etc)

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. 
  • You may submit only one video file, so please combine each student’s part into one video. 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.