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Science Fairs | Supporting local, state and international science and engineering fairs

SPIE supports local, state and international science and engineering fairs by providing several Special Awards in Optics and Photonics. Volunteer judges review projects displayed at science fairs and select best projects where students apply optics or photonics related technology to their project.

The Society has awarded over $180,000 in cash awards since 2006 to 877 talented students from elementary through high school.

SPIE volunteers are welcome to judge optics or photonics related projects at science fairs. If you know of a science fair coming up in your area that we should be a part of, contact Ms. Pascale Barnett, Education Services Coordinator, pascale@spie.org.

In 2017 SPIE awarded cash prizes totaling over $16,000 to 83 talented students from elementary through high school. The 2018 year is going strong. Stay tuned for updates below.

Seminole County Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Sanford, Florida (3 February 2018)

SPIE Volunteer Judges: Gerald Holst and Carl King


Rubina Torzaddeh (First Place)
Tuskawilla Middle School
Project: Spectacular Spectrum!


Timothy Sheehan (Second Place)
Crooms Academy of Information Technology
Project: How do Transparent Materials Affect the Speed of Light Waves


Gabriella Conde (Third Place)
Lawton Chiles Middle School
Project: How is the bioluminescence of marine dinoflagellates
affected by changes in the light/dark cycle?

Akron Science, Mathematics and Technology Expo

Akron, Ohio (27 January 2018)

SPIE Volunteer Judge: Julie Vanega

Paul Nemer (First Place)
Firestone Community Learning Center
Project: The Significance of Anti-Phospholipase Antibodies in a Patient with Membranous Nephropathy


Luke Morber (Second Place)
Miller South School for the Visual & Performing Arts
Project: Plant Power


Brenae Greer (Third Place)
National Inventors Hall of Fame Middle School
Project: pH Imbalance

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

Los Angeles, California (14-19 May 2017)

SPIE Member Volunteers: John Tamkin (Lead), Bartosz Bornik, Pramod Butte, Pangyu Ten


Nicky Wojtania (First Place)
Plano West Senior High School (United States)
Project: Cellulose Nanocrystals for Security Applications:
Embedding Non-Optical Signatures Provided by Nanoparticles into Cellular Nano

See more winners from the 2017 Science Fairs that SPIE supported.