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Description of Event

On March 10, 2018, the Tulare County Office of Education will host the Third Annual STEM Expo. TCOE values meaningful, relevant educational opportunities that prepare students for college, career, and life. This event is designed to engage students and families in learning about educational and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The STEM Expo provides students with fun, engaging activities to build knowledge about STEM, including a Science & Engineering Fair, Coding Workshop, Robotics Workshop & Exhibition and MakerSpace. Participants, coaches and the public attend speaker talks and visit vendor and exhibitor booths during the STEM Expo.

This event will be open to the public in an “open house” type of format. 

An Interview with Dr. Stuart Sumida, Ph.D., following his keynote
the 2017 Tulare County Office of Education STEM Expo.


Stuart Sumida, Ph.D, is a paleontologist and comparative anatomist teaching animal and human anatomy ranging from the undergraduate to the medical level.  Dr. Sumida is currently Wang Distinguished Professor of Science, Mathematics, and Engineering for the California State University System, and Professor of Biology at California State University San Bernardino.  

Dr. Sumida has written three books and published over 70-peer-reviewed articles focusing on the evolution of vertebrates, as well as the integration of science in the arts.  He has received funding for his research from the National Geographic Society, NATO, the National Science Foundation, and numerous museums.
Dr. Sumida is considered the world's foremost anatomical consultant to special effect artists and animators, having worked on over 50 feature length films such as How to Train Your Dragon, Mulan, Harry Potter and Kung Fu Panda, for such groups as DreamWorks and Walt Disney Feature Animation, among others.  

To learn more, please view a brief biography of Dr. Sumida, and read an interview with Dr. Sumida in Science and Entertainment Exchange.

How to Create Your Own STEM Expo!

Follow the informational links on this page or email Student Events Coordinator Paula Terrill at, to learn how to create and manage this event for your own organization. 


Science & Engineering Fair Information

The Tulare County Science and Engineering Fair is held as part of the STEM Expo. Participating projects will be put on display to recognize the outstanding efforts and achievements in science and engineering by students throughout Tulare County. Science experts representing a wide-variety of public and private sectors are invited to judge the projects.

The outcomes for the TCSEF are to: 
  • Motivate and develop the interests of ALL students in STEM fields, 
  • Recognize the achievements and efforts of students in STEM, 
  • Encourage independent and/or group research and development, and 
  • Identify exemplary projects that will advance to the California State Science and Engineering Fair. 
Students in grades 3-12 may enter the TCSEF. Projects may enter the TCSEF in one of two divisions: Competitive and Non-Competitive. All projects need to adhere to the scientific method or engineering design process. Project topics will address one of the following categories: 
  • Life Sciences 
  • Earth and Space Sciences 
  • Physical Science: Chemistry 
  • Physical Science: Physics 
  • Engineering and Mathematics 
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences 
The final category placement of each project will be determined by TCOE. 

Competitive Project Information: 
  • Individuals and groups of 2-3 may enter projects. 
  • All who develop the project have the opportunity to be interviewed by judges the day of the event. (Interviews are not mandatory, but it is recommended.) 
  • All projects will be recognized with a participation ribbon. 
  • Each category will have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places awarded. 
  • Judges will select the top 6 TCSEF projects that will advance to the California Science and Engineering Fair. 
Non-Competitive Project Information:
  • Individual students, groups of students, and families of students in grades 3-12 may enter a project in the Non-Competitive division.
  • Non-Competitive projects are an opportunity for newcomers to the Science and Engineering Fair process to become familiar with the event.
  • Non-competitive projects will be recognized with a participation ribbon.
  • Non-competitive projects are not eligible to advance to the California Science and Engineering Fair. 
Each project will require a $10 entry fee.​

Coding Workshop

Coding is everywhere these days, but most people are not aware of it. Students will be given free online resources to support coding at home and at school. 

The outcomes for Coding Workshops are to: 
  • Introduce students to coding, 
  • Explore potential career opportunities, and 
  • Identify free online resources to support coding both at home and at school. 
Students may sign-up for coding workshops on the day of the event. Workshops will be aligned in grade bands: K-5 and 6-12.

Robotics Workshop and Exhibition

Robotics Workshops 

Throughout the day, we will be offering Robotics Workshops to students. 
  • The outcomes for the Robotics Workshops are to: 
  • Familiarize students with the purpose of robotics in everyday life. 
  • Identify the difference between robots and machines. 
  • Identify the main components of robots. 
  • Introduce students to building and programming robots. 
Students may sign-up for robotics workshops on the day of the event. Workshops will be aligned in grade bands: K-5 and 6-12. 

Robotics Exhibition 

Either before or after the workshop students can head over to the Robotics Exhibition area to see what students are currently doing with robotics in the classroom. Students can bring in their pre-made robots and show them off in some of the robotics events set up in the exhibition area. Some events that may be on display are Tug-of-War, Go Fish!, Sumo Bots and many more. 

The outcomes for the Robotics Exhibition are to: 
  • Provide a fun, non-competitive environment to test individual and team robots. 
  • Explore how to critically evaluate the products created by other individuals and teams. 
  • Engage in a collegial atmosphere that fosters continuous improvement. 
  • Promotes critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. 
Individuals and groups of students currently participating in robotics clubs or classes at their school sites may enter into a non-competitive robotics exhibition. Students will engage their robotic designs in a variety of challenges and collaborate with students from other school sites.


There is a revolution going right now. Students have become more and more interested in building things and making them work. 

The outcomes for the Makerspace are to: 
  • Spark students’ interest in creative and innovative ways of thinking and doing, 
  • Explore the tools needed to construct innovations, and 
  • Develop students’ awareness that they are producers by engaging in the Engineering Design Process. 
Students will be able to participate in the Makerspace in an “Open House” type of format. Materials for tinkering and creating will be provided.

Regional Event Details

Supporting a Regional Hub of Excellence

Event to be held on March 10, 2018

Event flyer (Adobe PDF) - coming soon
2018 TCSEF Bulletin (Adobe PDF)

Event Contact Info

Paula Terrill
Student Event Coordinator
(559) 651-0565

Jared Marr
Staff Development & Curriculum Specialist - STEM & CCR
(559) 651-3031 Ext. 3323

Nicole Ray
Staff Development & Curriculum Specialist - STEM
(559) 651-3031 Ext. 3328

Reading 1, 2, 4 & 7-10

Speaking & Listening 1-6

Writing 1, 2 & 4-10

Problem Solving, Project and Presentation

SEP 1-8

Click above or email
to volunteer for this student event

To sponsor this event
download our Sponsorship Packet
or email

Sponsored By

Vendors & Exhibitors

Potential exhibitors include:

  • Industry Partners
  • Non-Profits
  • Universities, Community 
  • Colleges, and Trade Schools
  • Educational Resources
  • Government Agencies
  • Schools/Clubs
The STEM Expo is a venue to connect students, families, and educators with resources provided by both community organizations and vendors.

If you are interested in having a presentation booth at next year's STEM Expo, please email Paula Terrill for additional information.

Helpful Downloadables 

Here are a few downloadable documents to help your organization get started with your very own STEM Expo event.

Science Fair Information and Rules:

Information for Coaches, Teachers, Students & Parents
Event Handbook (PDF) 

Information for Judges

Judges Handbook (PDF) - coming soon
Judges Score Sheet (PDF) - coming soon
Judges Interview Sheet (PDF) - coming soon
Judging Criteria - coming soon

Science Fair Forms

Intent to Participate Form
School Registration Form
Project Entry Form
Project Abstract Form
TCSEF Bulletin

Helpful Websites

CA State Science Fair
Internet Public Library
Library of Congress
Society for Science
Anatomy of a Scholarly Article