There are two distinct types of support for the Fair, both of which are valuable to its mission: to encourage more students to learn about science by doing their own science fair projects and to recognize them and their mentors for their efforts. Science Fair Donors support the direct costs of the Fair which benefit all participants, while Award Sponsors provide awards (other than core Fair awards) directly to individual students.
Science Fair Donors
Although the California State Science Fair is the official science fair of the State of California, it is not directly funded by the State. The Fair is hosted by the California Science Center with its operational details and budget managed by the non-profit California Science Center Foundation. The Fair cannot fulfill its mission without major external funding.
Science Fair Donors provide financial support for the direct operational expenses of the event for the benefit of all participants, including such items as: awards for student winners; facility rental and audio/visual services for the opening ceremony and awards ceremony; rental of tables and chairs for project display; printed materials; Fair photography; promotional items; and limited staffing.
If you are interested in making a donation to the Fair, please contact our Development Liaison, Christy Seki, at (213) 744-2534 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The central activity of the Fair is the judging of projects for category awards, which is done by several dozen panels of expert judges who have been recruited by the Fair specifically for this purpose. Concurrent with this judging, however, many external science-, engineering-, and education-focused organizations interview students at their projects for purposes of their own Special and Recognition Awards.
Special and Recognition Award Sponsors provide awards directly to individual students in the form of cash or other non-monetary recognition. Organizations which have in the past chosen to provide such awards range from universities to non-profit academic and industrial support groups, to commercial organizations interested in supporting scientific and engineering accomplishments among the students of California. The criteria and recipients for all Special and Recognition Awards are determined solely by the sponsoring organization subject only to the overriding requirement that the award determination must be made on bona fide scientific merit.
See also this flyer describing some of these opportunities.