Special Category Awards

Independent judges will circulate to select special category award winners within specific fields of study. These awards are separate from and in addition to the main category awards. There are two different types of special category awards:

  • National Awards provided through the Society for Science and the Public as a part of ASEF’s affiliation with the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).  Most of the awards are designated for high school students, but a few include middle school students.  Many of these awards include their own special judging rubric.
  • Local awards provided by Alaskan organizations that supply their own judges and determine their prizes according to their own criteria.

Note: Organizations may contact us if they wish to expand the description of their awards. The Alaska Science and Engineering Fair offers “Courtesy Pages” to organizations to describe their prizes and give helpful hints to students.

All awards in this list are subject to change at any time. Awards may be added or removed at any time.

If you, your company, or organization are interested in providing a special award, please contact our Special Awards Chair Dorothy Harris.

    National Awards

    • American Psychological Association (APA) and Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS):Outstanding research in psychology under the category of behavioral and social sciences.
    • ASM International Foundation: Best materials engineering project.
    • Association of Women Geoscientists: Award to female students whose projects exemplify high standards of innovativeness and scientific excellence in the geosciences. Special consideration is to be given to projects that increase the public awareness of the geosciences, illustrate the interdisciplinary nature of the geosciences, or promote the sensitivity to the earth as a global system.
    • Broadcom Masters
    • Intel Excellence in Computer Science: The winner is the top first place winner of the computer science category in grades 9 through 12.
    • Intel Sustainability Award for a high school level project.
    • Mu Alpha Theta: Certificate to an individual or group project from grades 9-12 demonstrating the most challenging, thorough, and creative investigation of a problem involving modern mathematics. This project does not necessarily have to be entered in the Mathematics category.
    • Naval Research Laboratory Science Awards
    • Office of Naval Research (ONR) awards to two high school and two middle school projects.
    • Ricoh Corporation: The Ricoh Sustainable Development Award goes to the one individual or team entry, selected from among all the general award categories whose principles and technical innovations offer the greatest potential for increasing our ability to grow environmentally friendly and socially responsible businesses. The winner will receive a certificate, a one-year subscription to Science News Magazine and be entered into a drawing for 2 digital cameras of which one goes to the winner’s teacher.
    • Society for In Vitro Biology: One certificate to be awarded to the most outstanding 11th grade student exhibiting in the areas of plant or animal in vitro biology or tissue culture.
    • U. S. Air Force Awards
    • U. S. Metric Association: Student in grades 9-12 whose project involves a significant amount of quantitative measurement and which best uses the SI (International System) metric system for those measurements.
    • Water Environment Federation U. S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP): The Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) is world’s most prestigious youth award for a water-related science project. The Alaska Science and Engineering Fair would like to promote interest in the SJWP competition.
    • Yale Science & Engineering Association, Inc.: To student exhibiting in the areas of Computer Science, Engineering, Physics or Chemistry.

    Local Awards

    • Alaska Entomological Society: One award to the best project pertaining to insects,  
    • Alaska Fly Fishers: One award at each level for the best water-quality or aquatic life projects.
    • Alaska Geological Society: Awarded to the best geology projects in several age categories.
    • Alaska Professional Communicators: Best abstracts and best display communication in several age categories.
    • Alaska Resource Education: Awards for projects that best present an investigation of mineral, energy or forest resources. Additional awards are given to the winning students’ teachers.
    • Alaska Science and Engineering Fair:  Most Outstanding Middle School Science Teacher, Most Outstanding High School Science Teacher, Middle School Trophy, High School Trophy.
    • Alaska Science Teachers Association
    • American Chemical Society
    • American Society for Microbiology: Alaska Branch. Awards will go to the best microbiology projects at the K-3, 4-6, 7-8, and 9-12 levels.
    • Chugach Gem and Mineral Society, Inc.: Cash prizes for gem- and mineral-related projects.
    • Commissioned Officer’s Association/ USPHS Alaska Chapter 
    • Institute Of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
    • ISEF/ASEF Alumni Awards: These awards are judged by former ISEF attendees and presented to middle or high school students.  The categories being judged reflect the research each alum presented at the International Fair.  The current categories are:  Biochemistry, Social Sciences, Planetary Sciences.
    • McGyver Award: All projects, in which the student has created his/her testing and/or data collecting equipment, are eligible for one award of excellence and four awards of merit to the projects from all levels.
    • National Weather Service in conjunction with American Meteorological Society, Anchorage Chapter:
    • Northern Utility Services: Cash prizes for the best water science related projects.
    • Prince William Sound Regional Citizen’s Advisory Council  (PWSRCAC): Cash prizes for the best oil-spill-related projects at each of the elementary, middle school, and high school levels.
    • PetCo/Kitty and K9 Connection Award: Two Awards of Excellence for elementary school projects related to animals/pets/pet care and behavior.
    • Red Cat Food Technologies Award: An Award of Merit and an Award of Excellence are available to grade 9-12 students in the field of Microbiology or Chemistry whose project pertains to Food/Hospitality Industry Sciences.
    • Ship to Shore Award: One of a kind trophy presented to a grade 9-12 project that reflects the impact of ocean, freshwater, and ecological impacts on the planet.
    • Technology in Action Award:  One Award of Merit and one Award of Excellence presented to a project that explores the science of flight, space or a related topic.
    • US Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Subsistence Management: Projects from K-12 that best present investigations related to subsistence practices and/or resources subsistence users harvest.


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