Welcome to the Northern Virginia Elementary and Middle School Science and Engineering Fair

Important Dates & Times

Saturday May 01, 2021 at 2:15 PM
Saturday May 01, 2021 at 3:15 PM


Northern Virginia Elementary and Middle School

   Science and Engineering Fair

virtual fair for grades 1-8



  • 1st Place: Rocky Adventure
  • 2nd Place: Can I create plasma from grapes?
  • 3rd Place: What Colored Candles Burn the Fastest?
  • Honorable Mention: How does a wind meter work?


  • 1st Place: Helium Advantage
  • 2nd Place: Wigglebot
  • 3rd Place: Wind Power
  • Honorable Mention: Paper or Plastic


  • 1st Place: Avacado
  • 2nd Place: Mouthwash
  • 3rd Place: 5 Seconds of Terror
  • Honorable Mention: Multiplying Microbes


  • 1st Place: Water Water Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink
  • 2nd Place: Shine Bright
  • 3rd Place: Weapon Detection System Using AI
  • Honorable Mention: Replicating and Testing the Properties of Biodegradable Experimental Material
  • Honorable Mention: The Effects of Coils, Voltage, and Temperature
  • Honorable Mention: Smart Shoe
  • Special Awards (Best Builder): Swimming in the Sand
  • Special Awards (Coolest Coder): Pong
  • Special Awards (Best Invention): Mirror Mirror on the Wall!
  • Special Awards (Best Researcher): Textiles in Response to Variations of a Particulate Matter


  • 1st Place: Water Water Nanotechnology to the Rescue!
  • 2nd Place: Miracle Grow: Hydrophonics is the Way to Go
  • 3rd Place: What UV Light Duration Affects My Sanitation?
  • Honorable Mention: Let Me Sleep! The Effect of Light and Sleep Aid on the Circadian Cycle and Bioluminescence of Dinoflagellates
  • Honorable Mention: Do You Mind the Music?
  • Honorable Mention: The Bacterial Effects of Human Interaction on Surfaces
  • Special Awards (Environmental Science Scholar): Eco-Friendly Acrylic Project
  • Special Awards (Environmental Science Scholar): "Shucking Up Nitrogen:" How Oysters are Able to Mitigate Nitrogen Levels in Rivers and Ponds Near Oceans
  • Special Awards (Excellence in Mental Health): Oh No! I got Stress from School!


  • 1st Place: Ocean Acidification - What Can We Do?
  • Honorable Mention: How to Stop Food Waste in School Cafeteria

Additional Opportunities: 

Questions?  Contact cosacad@gmu.edu and info.nvse@pinnacleacademyedu.com

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The 2021 NVSE Fair

We're excited for you to share your science on the Saturday, May 1st event date! The science fair will be taking place across three virtual platforms:

  • zFairs (va-nvse.zfairs.com) - Poster and document uploading & Project showcase
  • Zoom Room (Link TBA) - Interviews with judges & judge deliberations
  • Zoom Webinar (Link TBA) - Opening ceremony, Parent educational session, STEM exhibits, Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, April 28 at 11:59pm

...is the final date to make adjustments to your files on the zFairs site. Please verify that:

  • All your digital files are uploaded (through Paperwork and Project Registration)
    • The project can be edited up until thre date through Name > Profile > Images
  • Your video presentation link is working (if applicable)
  • Requirements

    • Digital poster (36" tall by 48" wide). See poster format. View detailed instructions.
    • Project video (middle school only) - Vimeo, YouTube, or linkable file format.
    • OPTIONAL: Visual aids
      • Up to three slides, can be uploaded as a single PDF document. No more than two images per slide (including figures, charts, tables, photos, and other graphics)
      • At least 16 font size. paragraphs of text, use bullets as needed.
    • OPTIONAL: Prop video - Less than 2 minutes showing the props you have. Vimeo, YouTube, or linkable file format.

zFairs Registration:

Here's a how-to guide for registration

Schedule of Events (May 1, 2021):

  • 9:00am to 9:30am - Check-in by joining the Zoom Webinar
  • 9:30am to 10:00am - Opening Ceremony 
  • 10:15am to 11:00am - Judging with Student Presenters (Assigned Zoom Rooms) / Parent Educational Sessions (Webinar)
  • 11:15am to 12:00pm - Judging with Student Presenters (Assigned Zoom Rooms) / Live STEM Exhibits (Webinar)
  • 12:00pm to 12:30pm - Lunch Break
  • 12:30pm to 2:00pm - Visit the Showcase
  • 2:15pm to 3:00pm - Award Ceremony (Webinar) 

Fair Support:

If you have questions, either use the contact button in the toolbar or email info.nvse@pinnacleacademyedu.com

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Please check out the educational sessions and STEM exhibits!

Teacher's Schedule:

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Please reach out to cosacad@gmu.edu with any questions.






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Your attendance is required at

- ONE of the two training sessions offered, either on Thursday 4/29 at 7pm or Saturday 5/1 at 8am.

- Pre-judging on your own time on Friday (if you attend the Thursday session) or on Saturday morning (if you attend either sesision)

- The live judging from 10:15-11:45

- Discussion and project ranking with other judges from 12:30-2:00


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You will individually review the projects during the first judging round using the rubric provided here

Then, during the second judging round, you will be in a Zoom breakout room with other judges to interview the students about their projects. A volunteer/chaperone will share the project on the screen. The students will be identified in Zoom by their project number.

It is expected that you will engage with each student by actively listening and asking questions. These questions should be intended to stimulate conversation and figure out the level to which the student understands their project and methods - not intended to stump the child or test their knowledge of a broad field. We want this experience to be enjoyable and an encouraging moment in developing a student's love for science. Additionally, at the middle school level, we want to make sure we are putting forward the best projects to the Broadcom MASTERS national competition.

This video includes good advice for attitude, expectations, and question examples (from 1:35-4:40)




Using ZFairs to Judge Student Projects


Meeting Information:

For security reasons, Zoom links will be emailed to judges.



Any questions not answered here? Email Natalie at cosacad@gmu.edu


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Thank you for volunteering to help with the science fair!

On the day of the fair, you will be responsible for chaperoning the live judging sessions. You will serve as a timer for each student's presentation and Q&A, and will share your screen in Zoom to show the student projects during judging. The following website can assist you if you have not shared your screen before:



Check out our STEM exhibits after the judging round!

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Alexandria/Arlington/Falls Church

Alexandria County Day School
Washington International Academy

Fairfax County

Cooper Middle School
Edlin School
Mantua Elementary School
Nysmith School for the Gifted
Pinnacle Academy
Rachel Carson Middle School
Sandburg Middle School
St. Ambrose Catholic School

Frederick County

Shenandoah Valley CS Regional STEM Club

Loudoun County

The Langley School
Mercer Middle School

Prince William County

T. Clay Wood Elementary School



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