Special Awards Organizations Registration & Information

The Special Awards Program is an integral part of the Colorado Science & Engineering Fair that allows organizations, businesses and individuals to support science education by rewarding and interacting with CSEF participants in specialized areas of interest to the sponsoring organization, business or individual. Special Awards supplement the Grand (place) Awards Program by allowing more participation of professional scientists and by rewarding more students for their outstanding scientific endeavors. Awards may include cash, savings bonds, memberships, subscriptions scientific equipment, computers, internships, etc. Awards given by an organization must have a total value of at least $50 and organizations are limited to a total of 4 awards.

The Colorado Science & Engineering Fair (CSEF), which stresses inquiry-based science education, is the culmination of science fair participation starting in the individual schools and home schools, moving through Regional Science Fairs and on to the CSEF. Outstanding high school students from the CSEF are then sponsored to compete at the Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair.

The goal of the Special Awards Program, in addition to rewarding students for great work in expanding their interests in science and engineering, is to provide a peer interaction with professional scientists and engineers, to peak student interest in science fields to which they may not have been aware of and to provide a bridge to further interaction between professional scientists and students.

Participation in the Special Awards Program is determined by the individual professional organization, business or individual and is coordinated through the CSEF. The Special Awards Program is a simple process. Once the organization has decided to participate, they need to provide an award equal to $50 or greater, identify judges to interview the students and present the award(s) at the Awards Ceremony.

The advantages for sponsoring organizations are many: (1) to support science education in Colorado; (2) to support individual science students in their scientific endeavors; (3) to interact with the top science students in the state on a peer to peer level; (4) to offer advice and help students within their scientific areas of expertise; (5) to invite students to further explore the organization’s area of science; and (6) to invite the winning students to an organizational event. Through your participation in the Special Awards Program, we can assure that you will be awed by the science that these students are producing and will be encouraged to know that quality science education is alive and well in the country.

New organizations wishing to join this prestigious group of Special Award Organizations should review the CSEF Special Awards Program Policy and then submit a new Special Award Organization Registration Form to csef@colostate.edu. You will then be contacted by a CSEF representative.

Returning organizations that participated in previous CSEFs will be emailed their individual registration forms by February 1, 2024 for updating.

Organizations wanting to award scholarships or internships should contact David Holm, the Scholarship/Internship Committee Chair. They should also consult the Special Awards Program Policy for more information.

At the 2023 CSEF, the following scholarships and internships were awarded:

  • Colorado School of Mines awarded seven $1,000 renewable tuition scholarships to deserving 11th grade students from the categories of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Earth & Space Sciences, Energy, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Mathematics & Computer Sciences, Medicine & Health and/or Physics.

Special Award Judges & Presenters are selected by the organizations who are providing the awards. If you have any questions, please contact the CSEF Director (csef@colostate.edu) or your organization’s main contact person for more information.

The following documents will be updated by March 2024 for the 2024 CSEF. Links for the finalist’s abstract review by SAO Judges will be available before Monday, March 11, 2024, but all abstracts may not posted until the deadline.

2024 SAO Judge Welcome Letter

SAO Judge Orientation

2024 SAO Judging Schedule

Parking Instructions

Digital Project Displays in Symposium

Finalist Abstracts

2024 SAO Presenter Welcome Letter

Directions to Awards Ceremony Site

Special Awards Program Policy (from BOD Policy Handbook)

Regeneron ISEF/CSEF Forms (explanation of forms required for competition)

CSEF Category Descriptions

Sample SAO Judging Form

This is the approximate timeline for Special Award Organization registration and notification.

  • January 1, 2024 – Special Award Organization Registration Opens

  • March 1, 2024 – Special Award Organization Registration Closes
    (ALL New Organizations MUST be registered and ALL updates/changes for Returning Organizations MUST be registered by this date to be included in the CSEF programs.)

  • March 11, 2024 – Finalist Abstract Submission Deadline

  • March 31, 2024 – Review of Digital Project Material Begins

  • April 1, 2024 – Deadline to send SAO award money & judges names to CSEF

  • April 11, 2024 – 69th Annual CSEF Judging Interviews

  • April 13, 2024 – CSEF Awards Ceremony

Judges for Special Award Organizations should expect to follow this schedule on the day of judging.

  • 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Staggered SAO Judges’ Check-In (outside Room 302)

  • 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – SAO Student Interviews*

  • SAO Judging Results Due – 5:30 p.m.
    (Results not turned in to the Special Awards Coordinators by this time may not be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday morning or included in the press release.)

*Grand Award Judges will also be interviewing students during this time – please give them the space and time that they need with students in order to get their job done.