Santa Barbara County Science Fair

2017 Science Fair

The 2017 Fair was held on March 9th and 10th in UC Santa Barbara's Corwin Pavilion.  The Fair was a great success with over 100 projects presented by 105 students from 14 schools around Santa Barbara County.  The full list of winners is available online.  Congratulations to all of our participants for the results of all their hard work.

This year we nominated 8 students to participate in the Broadcom MASTERS competition in science, engineering, and technology.  Their participation will play out over the next several months, so please stay tuned for updates.

We are also sending 23 projects on to the California State Science Fair to be held on April 24 - 25 in Los Angeles.  We wish them the best of luck as they prepare to take their research to the next level.

Planning for 2018

The 2018 Science Fair will be held in early March, though the dates are not yet set.  The best way to prepare would be to review the Guidelines for Students as you prepare for your research.

Requirements for Projects Involving Vertebrate Animals

In order to help ensure the humane treatment of animals used in research, most projects involving vertebrate animals will require approval in advance from a science review committee.  The only exception to this requirement is for projects which observe the animals in a natural environment.  This approval may be granted by a review committee at your school, an existing review board at a college or university, or you may submit your project the Science Review Committee (SRC) organized by the Science Fair.

To document approval, download and complete the Request Form from our web site.  A completed copy of this form, signed by the reviewing body, should be attached to your lab book.  If you have questions about the review process, please email

Requirements for Projects Involving Human Subjects

In a similar vein with the vertebrate research requirements, we are implementing additional requirements for research involving human subjects.  Starting in 2016, all human subjects projects need receive prior approval from a review body and comply with the Informed Consent rules included in the Guidelines for Students document.  This includes providing each potential subject with a Letter of Information and receiving a signed document of Informed Consent prior to participation.

If the subject is a minor, the Informed Consent form must also be signed by the person's parent/guardian unless the project is clearly very low risk.  To help get started, some basic templates for a Letter of Information and Informed Consent Form are available for download.

To document approval, download and complete the Human Subjects Approval Form from our web site.  A completed copy of this form, signed by the reviewing body, should be attached to your lab book.  If you have questions about the review process, please email

Engineering Division

In 2017 the Science Fair will again pilot new engineering divisions.  Projects competing in these divisions will be judged by different criteria than those in the science divisions.  Please download the sample judging form to see the differences between the engineering and science criteria.



Finally, thanks again to all of our sponsors including:

Raytheon Science and Engineering Council of Santa Barbara UC Santa Barbara


Network of Santa Barbara
County Water Providers
Montecito Bank & Trust




Innovations In Education Video

The SBCEO has put together a nice video describing the various ways to participate in the Science Fair. If you have questions about competing or volunteering, this is worth watching.


You Can Help

The Santa Barbara County Science Fair is a community sponsored and organized event.  If you would like to support the Fair, there are a variety of ways you can help:

  • Judges are the basis for putting on the science fair and we can never have too many.  Judges spend the morning of the Fair interviewing the student-scientists about their work to generate the rankings.  If you have a background in the sciences and can spare four hours on a Friday morning for some fun, we could use the help.  For more information, please email the Judging Coordinator.
  • The organizing committee meets several times over the year in order to plan the details of the Fair.  The members are individuals and representatives from businesses or community groups that are dedicated to raising the profile and quality of science education in the County.  If you or your organization would like to get involved, please contact us.
  • In addition to awarding medals and qualifying projects for the California State Science Fair, competators are also vying for a variety of special awards.  These are donated by members of the community and generally focus on a scientific area or discipline (i.e. watershed, evolutionary biology, electronics, etc.) important to the donor.  If you are interested in participating by sponsoring a special award, please contact us.
  • Finally, we also need donations to make it all possible.  While the fair is organized by volunteers, there are substantial costs for hosting the event.  If you would like to make a tax deductable donation to the Fair, you can do so via the PayPal link at right.


Contact Information

Send general questions about the fair or this site to

Send questions regarding judging to

Mailing address:

Santa Barbara County Science Fair
P.O. Box 6307
Santa Barbara, CA 93160-6307