About NWSE

The Northwest Science Expo is the state-level science research competition for Oregon.  It is affiliated with the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair and the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge.

NWSE has been held for 5th through 12th grade students since 1984. The competition has grown from about 100 high school students in 1984 to 628 middle and high school students in 2019. In 2020, we held our first virtual fair. Students compete in categories encompassing all the scientific disciplines, engineering, computer science and mathematics.

At the high school level, six projects are selected from NWSE participants to compete at Regeneron ISEF, held each year in May. These expenses-paid trips are the highest awards given. In addition, one life science best of fair award and one physical science best of fair award is selected, awards are given for the best projects in each of the fifteen categories, scholarships from public and private Oregon universities are given, and dozens of organizations sponsor special awards.

NWSE 2023 Statistics
High School Students179
Middle School Students271
Total Students450
High School Projects139
Middle School Projects215
Total Projects354
Total Adult Sponsors83
Total Participating Schools53
Award Sponsors35
Total Awards Given309
Total Judges173

The highest middle school award is best of fair, and two projects are chosen each year. The top 10% of 6-8th grade students receive nominations to the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge. Of those that apply nationwide, 30 are selected to compete in the National Competition in DC. Awards are given in each of the middle school categories and many organizations sponsor middle school special awards.