February 4, 2023 | Issue 23-2

Upcoming Events

February 18, 2023 - FINAL Registration Deadline for the 2023 Sacramento Regional STEM Fair

February 20, 2023 - Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo $25,000 Scholarship Deadline

February 24, 2023 - VPC Community Involvement and Kathleen Eovino Memorial $2,000 Scholarship Deadline

March 1, 2023 - Berto Diaz Engineering $1,000 Scholarship Deadline

March 18, 2023 - Sacramento Regional STEM Fair

It's Not Too Late To Be A Judge!

Help The Future Youth Today!


If you're an adult who is in possession of a Bachelor's Degree, at minimum, and is interested in becoming a judge for the 2023 Sacramento Regional STEM Fair, it's easier than you think! If you don't fall under one of the following then we'd love for you to join us:


To avoid conflicts of interest, the Sacramento Regional STEM Fair does not allow the following (perhaps otherwise well-qualified) people to serve as judges: 

  • 6th-12th grade school teachers, site administrators of schools with participants, staff, or board members.
  • Parents of or professional mentors of any student participants.
  • Anyone else whose relationship with any STEM fair participant could pose a conflict of interest such as Family, neighbor, or corporate relationships are often too complex for NSEF to enumerate all the cases where you as a judge may find yourself scheduled to evaluate a project whose student(s) you know personally or professionally.

If you can anticipate such conflicts before the day of the event ("my company donated resources to four chemistry projects," for example), please contact the fair coordinator to transfer duties to a volunteer capacity.

Sign up here!

Fun Facts!

The decision has officially been made, the 2023 Sacramento Regional STEM Fair is scheduled to be a virtual event! Our third-ever Virtual Sacramento Regional STEM Fair is scheduled for Saturday, March 18, 2023 – Sunday, March 26, 2023. But what does that mean?


You might be thinking: Do I need to be present for all seven days? How does it all work?


Have no fear, we’re here to guide you!


Weekends and After School. If entirely possible, the majority of judging appointments will be made on weekend days and during after-school hours, to attempt to disrupt school as little as possible. That said, some tiebreaker judging or overflow may have to take place during the school day, in the afternoon. Students will be informed of their judging time slot no later than one week before the start of the Fair.

Students will be scheduled for a one-hour virtual time slot on their assigned day using the Zoom platform. The announcement detailing the date of each category’s judging will be released after the final registration deadline, February 18, 2023.

One-Hour Time slot. Each project will be scheduled for a one-hour virtual time slot on their category day. At their assigned appointment time, students will be welcomed into a Zoom meeting, where they will receive a student orientation and a quick double-check that students have no technical difficulties. After the orientation, students will be sent to a “breakout room,” along with any of their teammates, where the judges will already be waiting. This break-out room is a separate virtual space within the Zoom platform that will allow the students and judges to have “privacy.” At random, Fair Staff will be entering and checking in on different interviews that are ongoing to ensure there are no technical difficulties. Students should take the interview in a private space, without observers, to ensure a successful, confidential judging process. Any student determined to have observers or to be recording their Zoom interview will automatically be disqualified.

Students will have five minutes to give judges a presentation on their project (which can be made using PowerPoint or other presentation software, a trifold board, a quad chart, or some other presentation that involves the student making a live presentation to the judges), and the judges will have five minutes to ask questions of each student. Students will have the ability to share their screens. Once their allotted time elapses, students will be automatically removed from the breakout rooms.

As always, the live presentation and question and answer portion are the most important part of the judging process. Students will return to the main room while judges deliberate and will remain in the main room in case the judges would like to ask any additional questions within the hour. Students will be dismissed on a project-by-project basis by Sacramento Regional STEM Fair staff once their one-hour appointment has elapsed.

Special Circumstances. Students may be called back to a breakout room by the judges during their time slot to allow for additional questions. Additionally, students may be invited to another one-hour appointment on a subsequent day for the purposes of Special Awards judging, tie-breaking, or Grand Awards judging. Students will be asked to watch their email for any follow-up appointments and to promptly respond to requests for any such appointments.

Awards Ceremony. The virtual Awards Ceremony will be hosted on Sunday, March 26, 2023, at 10 a.m. The Ceremony will be broadcasted live on the Sacramento Regional STEM Fair social media accounts. Be sure to follow us @sacSTEMfair on Instagram and Facebook in order to participate in the ceremony. Winners will be posted to the Sacramento Regional STEM Fair website after the ceremony.

2023 Sacramento Regional STEM Fair REGISTRATION DEADLINE is Fast Approaching!

Several of you asked, and we heard you, and listened! The FINAL Registration Deadline for the 2023 Sacramento Regional STEM Fair is February 18, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

Now is the time to do some background research, design your experiment, and REGISTER YOUR PROJECT (Register a middle school project here) (Register a high school project here). Do not start your experimentation yet!

Our Scientific Review Committee (SRC) needs time to examine ALL registrations and approve them for safety and protocol content BEFORE you can perform your experimentation. The SRC is comprised of teachers, scientists, engineers, and various other specialties, and is dedicated to following the guidelines set by the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) to guarantee the safety of the next generation of Scientists and Engineers, like you! We recommend submitting your registration early to ensure that any discrepancies within your registration are fixed before the deadline.

Stay tuned to our social media, newsletters, and emails for more exciting details!

See you at the Sacramento Regional STEM Fair in 2023!

Student Scholarships

Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo

$25,000 Scholarship


February 20, 2023


Meet the following criteria requirements:

1. Be a current high school senior or undergraduate student.

2. Maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

3. In 400-600 words, answer the question: What quality/characteristic do you value most in yourself and why? How do you feel having this quality/characteristic will help you in your life journey?

Find out more on the Bold.org website here.

VPC Community Involvement and Kathleen Eovino Memorial $2,000 Scholarship


February 24, 2023


Meet the following criteria requirements:

  • Applicant must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application.
  • The scholarship applicants will be asked to demonstrate involvement in and service to their communities - broadly defined as geographic communities, school communities, or sports/activities/hobbies.
  • Added weight will be given to those students who have made positive and innovative contributions to improve the "communities" in which they are involved.

Apply here.

Berto Diaz Engineering $1,000 Scholarship


March 1, 2023


Meet the following criteria requirements:

  • be currently attending a high school in the US
  • graduate from that high school by June 30, 2023
  • have a 3.0 GPA or better (on a 4.0 scale)
  • be accepted to a four-year engineering degree program at an accredited, degree-granting university in the US by May 1, 2023
  • begin classwork towards their chosen degree by October 1, 2023
  • plan on obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
  • submit the scholarship application form on our website
  • provide a transcript of classes taken and grades received in high school if chosen as a finalist (we will contact you in mid-March with instructions for emailing your transcript if you are selected as a finalist)

Find out more here.

The 2023 Sacramento Regional STEM Fair will be here sooner than you think!

Support STEM Education efforts in your community by sponsoring the Foundation. The NorCal STEM Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so your donations are tax-deductible! All proceeds go toward our mission to inspire and engage students to become interested in pursuing scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) degrees and careers.

Donate via our PayPal here, or you can mail a check to:

NorCal STEM Education Foundation

455 Capitol Mall, Suite 500

Sacramento, CA 95814

For more information about sponsoring the Foundation, go to our website.


Students in grades 9-12 may enter their life science/biotech-related regional fair projects as long as they meet the criteria listed on the National competition website. Applicants do not need to enter a previous fair to qualify for the Bay Area Challenge; however, we encourage students to submit projects from other ISEF regional science fairs.

To complete an online application for the CLS Bay Area BioGENEius Challenge, click here, select “California (Bay Area).” Submissions must be completed by March 24, 2023. We encourage you to submit your applications sooner, if possible.

When: April 28, 2023

Where:  California Life Sciences Event Center, 165 Gateway Blvd., South San Francisco

The 2023 CLS Bay Area BioGENEius Challenge will include a full day of programming, poster presentations, a career panel and awards ceremony.

Local Challenge Awards:

  • First place: $2,000
  • Second place $1,000
  • Third place $500


  • Honorable mention prizes

The First-place winner of the CLS Bay Area BioGENEius Challenge will compete in the International BioGENEius Challenge, which will take place as a virtual competition at the BIO International Convention taking place in Boston this June (TBD)

International Challenge Awards:

  • First place: $7,500


  1. Students must be enrolled in biology or science-related courses (Grade 9 to 12) in any public or private school within the United States.
  2. Individual Students only may submit ONE project for this competition.
  3. Research presented in 2023 must be NEW research. Projects may be continued research from previous years. Any project conducted in a similar area of research as previous projects should be considered a continuation. If the project is a continuation, explain as completely as possible how the project will differ from previous experimentation because ONLY a new and different research project is allowed. The current year project must demonstrate significant progress. Explain when the actual experimental procedure (not the background literature review) will begin and end because ONLY a 12-month project that occurred within the last 18 months before this year’s International BioGENEius Challenge is allowed.



You must precisely follow the poster guidelines, which can be found here


We encourage Bay Area Challenge candidates to also enter one of the following fairs:

  • Alameda County Synopsys Science & Engineering Fair: March 24-26, 2023
  • Contra Costa County Science & Engineering Fair: March 9-11, 2023
  • Golden Gate STEM Fair: March 13, 2023
  • JSHS Junior Sciences and Humanities Symposium Deadline for Submission January 29th
  • Monterey County Science & Engineering Fair, Deadline for Submission February 17th
  • Sacramento Regional STEM Fair: TBD 2023
  • Santa Cruz County Science & Engineering Fair: March 11, 2023
  • Santa Clara Valley Science & Engineering Fair: March 8-9, 2023
  • Sonoma County STEAM Showcase: March 2, 2023

Science Spotlight

Radio Signal Received From Galaxy Nine Billion Light Years Away

Researchers from Canada and India were able to capture a faint signal from a galaxy called 'SDSSJ0826+5630' from a giant radio telescope in  Pune, India.

At 8.8 billion light years away, this is the most distant-ever radio signal from a galaxy ever captured. This galaxy is closer to the Big Bang than any other galaxy previously detected using radio astronomy — the study of the sky in radio frequencies. The signal was emitted when the universe was 4.9 billion years old. Because the universe is expanding, it took 8.8 billion years to reach the telescope.

The technique used is called "gravitational lensing" or “nature’s magnifying glass". This occurs when the gravitational pull from a closer, but aligned galaxy distorts and bends the light from a distant star or galaxy, causing it to appear misshapen and be magnified—in this case by a factor of 30.

This breakthrough proves it is possible to observe faraway galaxies using low-frequency radio frequencies and help us understand the composition of galaxies at a much greater distance from Earth.

Read more about this out-of-this-world signal here!

Source: “Astronomers Use Ripple In Space-Time To Capture Most Distant Signal Ever From A Galaxy,” Forbes, 01/17/23

12 Million Year Old Whale Skull Discovered In Maryland

A family discovered a 12 million year old whale skull in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland while looking for shark teeth. The skull weighed 650 pounds and measured more than five feet long! The skull was discovered in October but due to its size it took the researchers at the Calvert Marine Museum two months to pull out. According to the museum, it is the most complete fossil whale skull ever recovered in the Calvert Cliffs area.

The team used wooden planks to remove the skull from the sand. From there, they will use tools similar to mini jackhammers to remove the hardened sediments that have encased most of the skull. They firmly believe it was a baleen whale, however, the species is still unknown. The skull has been named "Cody" after its finder, Cody Goddard.

This isn't the first time a fossil as been found in this area. In fact, it is a haven for fossil hunters. A 9 year old girl found a 2.6 million year old megalodon shark on Christmas day, measuring 50 feet long. She has also found over 400 shark teeth, the largest was 5 inches!

Read more about this whale of a tale here.

Source: “'Family discovers 12-million-year-old whale skull at the Chesapeake Bay - and it took researchers months to remove the 650-pound fossil,” Daily Mail, 1/19/2023

NorCal STEM Education Foundation | www.sacSTEMfair.org
Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest