Leading the Science Education Agenda

MSSEF enables thousands of students each year to experience first hand the professional practices of working scientists and engineers through the development of independent research projects, guided by teachers or mentors.  MSSEF supports schools to start/expand science fairs with mini-grants & consultants.  MSSEF empowers teachers to use inquiry and project-based approaches to STEM learning so that their students can better understand their world, think independently and critically, and help to solve everyday as well as global challenges.  MSSEF showcases and celebrates students’ research work through annual Science Fair events.  

The Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair, Inc. (MSSEF) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that was founded in 1949 by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, MIT professors & a group of pioneering K-12 science educators.   

For nearly seven decades, MSSEF programs have advanced science literacy and inspired new generations of science and engineering leaders. Over 30,000 students have participated directly in Massachusetts statewide Science & Engineering Fairs, and many thousands more have been part of the statewide science fair pipeline: regional and school-based fairs across the Commonwealth. In addition to these MSSEF Core Programs, the Curious Minds Initiative (CMI) impacts over 34,000 students each year, providing schools and teachers with the tools, expertise and resources necessary to integrate engaging inquiry and project-based activities into their existing curricula, and to run a high quality science fair program. CMI is currently working with 23 schools, 87% of which are in high-needs underserved school districts.

 

Life Skills for All Students – Embracing Diversity

Science Fair involvement requires a broad range of essential life and career skills: reading, writing, math, critical thinking, ethics, communication and graphic arts. Students must use all of these skills when conducting research, analyzing data and presenting their projects to expert judges and mentors. MSSEF programs are thriving in diverse communities. Currently, 40% of students come from schools in high-needs districts, and over 50% are young women. Students entering the fair interact with highly motivated peers who share similar interests yet come from different backgrounds. For many students, the science fair is a turning point toward college, and new career and life opportunities. “The Science Fair gave me the chance to attend college,” one recent student participant wrote. Many science fair alumni refer to their MSSEF participation as “a life-forming experience” that helped to raise their level of self-expectation, improve their public speaking ability, teach them the importance of perseverance, and give them a taste and thirst for the joy of discovery.

 

History

The Massachusetts Science & Engineering Fair (MSSEF) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that was founded in 1949 by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, MIT professors & a group of pioneering K-12 science educators. . For nearly seven decades, MSSEF programs have advanced science literacy and inspired new generations of science and engineering leaders. Over 30,000 students have participated directly in Massachusetts statewide fairs, and many thousands more have been part of the state fair pipeline: regional and school-based fairs across the Commonwealth.

 

 

Mission

We develop future thought leaders through experiences in science and engineering practices using well-proven programs and novel approaches that empower students and educators to learn in and beyond the classroom.

Vision

We see a future where every student is empowered through learning in science and engineering practices.

 

Our Sponsors

MSSEF is most grateful to its loyal consortium of corporations, individuals, foundations, institutions of higher learning, and professional and trade organizations that underwrite our operations and special initiatives, create a nationally acclaimed Award Recognition Program, and make it possible to develop and implement STEM programs for Massachusetts youth. Simply stated, MSSEF is a small organization that is accomplishing a big mission! We succeed because of our strong partnerships, loyal sponsors and dedicated volunteers.

Donor Salute