ISEF 2020: May 10-15, Anaheim, California | Society for Science & the Public

ISEF 2020: May 10-15, Anaheim, California

The International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the world's largest international pre-college science competition.

"Orange County is excited to welcome some of the most extraordinary young scientists and engineers from around the world when they come to Southern California to compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair in 2020. Our community, which has long believed in the importance of fostering this type of talent, is thrilled to open our doors to the world’s most impressive STEM talent pipeline.”

— Cheryl Braun, Chief Program Officer, Irvine Public Schools Foundation, Chair of the Anaheim ISEF Local Arrangements committee


Making ISEF happen takes help from hundreds of people and organizations. From general volunteers, interpreters and judges to sponsors of our Education Outreach Day program to exhibitors in the ISEF Commons, there are lots of great opportunities for you or your organization to be part of ISEF.

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Students participating in ISEF can find information here.

Meet the emerging generation of innovators

Since 1950, Society for Science & the Public has provided an international stage for the world’s best and brightest young scientists. The International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), a program of the Society, is the world’s largest pre-college science competition. Nearly 1,800 high school students from more than 80 countries, regions and territories — almost half of them girls — compete for nearly $5 million in awards. Alumni have gone on to win many honors, found companies, create solutions and contribute to a more scientifically literate society around the world.

This exciting event features:

  • Almost 10,000 attendees including finalists, parents, teachers, local students, judges, volunteers, sponsors and the press
  • Nearly 1,800 finalists from around the world exhibiting their research (more than 500 finalists are seeking patents)
  • A three-day ISEF Commons spotlighting exhibits from science and technology companies and educational institutions
  • An Education Outreach Day Program where more than 4,000 local students and teachers participate in hands-on science and meet ISEF finalists

Join us in Anaheim in May, 2020, to be part of this unparalleled gathering of emerging STEM talent.

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Highlights from Intel ISEF 2018

ISEF Alumni

Alumni of the International Science and Engineering Fair continuously express how influential the competition was to their lives.

  • "My first time going to Intel ISEF, it was really astounding to meet other finalists from around the world. On the first night there’s the pin exchange, and talking to people from many countries about their research was quite awesome. My favorite was the Alumni Entrepreneur Panel, which showed where ISEF alumni had gone on from their research," says Jeremiah Pate (Intel ISEF 2013-2017). Jeremiah recently visited Stockholm and the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar after receiving the Dudley R. Herschbach Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar Award.
  • "Judge after judge engaged me as a scholar, learning about my work and simultaneously welcoming me into the mathematics community. I signed up to be an Intel ISEF judge as soon as I became eligible so that I could give that same gift to the next generation of scholars," says Scott Kominers (Intel ISEF 2005, Intel STS 2005). Scott, a faculty affiliate of Harvard University's Department of Economics and Center of Mathematical Sciences and Applications, now comes back to judge at Intel ISEF.
  • "Intel ISEF showed me the power that STEM has to change the world, and this has led me to promote STEM in my community, both among my peers and in my school," says Rahul Subramaniam (Intel ISEF 2017). Rahul recently traveled to India after receiving the Intel-Indo U.S. Science and Technology Forum Scientific and Cultural Visit to India Award.

View ISEF alumni.

Rajen Sheth is known as the Father of Google Apps and is responsible for the development of Google Chrome.
Science fairs give people a way to get fascinated by science at an early age. If I hadn’t done science fairs, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today.
Rajen Sheth, Product Director, Chrome, Google, Intel ISEF 1992-1994
Inventing Tomorrow

ISEF on the Big Screen

The Society for Science & the Public is thrilled to be a part of the film Inventing Tomorrow – a documentary following students from Mexico, India, Indonesia and Hawaii as they prepared for Intel ISEF 2016. The film competed and premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

History of the International Science and Engineering Fair

The Society partners with dozens of corporate, academic, government and science-focused sponsors who provide the support and awards for ISEF. The fair began in 1950 as the National Science Fair in Philadelphia and transitioned into an international competition in 1958 with the addition of Canadian, German, and Japanese finalists. Intel became the fair's title sponsor in 1997, and, today, the number of countries participating has reached 80.

Each year, ISEF is hosted in a different city, circulating between Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Phoenix. The Local Arrangements Committees from each city partner with the Society and Intel to provide support for the event, including the recruitment of thousands of volunteers and judges and organizing an Education Outreach Day where over 3,000 middle and high school students visit the finalists and learn more about their projects.

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Onstage at ISEF Los Angeles 2017

Volunteer at ISEF

Thousands of volunteers are needed to run ISEF, and there are various volunteer opportunities. For more information, email

Volunteers serve as general volunteers, interpreters, and judges. All judges have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree and/or six years of relevant experience. Learn more about becoming a judge.

Volunteer at ISEF