The first Greater KC Science & Engineering Fair was held in 1952 in the basement of the Kansas City Museum. Today this regional fair of the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair, has grown to one of the largest in the region. The GKCSEF serves students from grades 4-12 from 9 Kansas City Metro area counties in public, private, parochial and home schools. The role of the Science & Engineering Fair in STEM education is increasing as educators focus on project based learning. Annually, the GKCSEF hosts over 1,100 students.
The GKCSEF is organized by division (grade level) and category. Divisions are intermediate (grades 4-6), junior (grades 7-8) and Senior (grades 9-12). There are 15 categories covering: Animal Science; Behavioral & Social Sciences; Chemistry; Chemical Energy; Computational Science, Bioinformatics and Mathematics; Computer Systems, Electronics, Robotics; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Energy and Environmental Engineering; Engineering Mechanics; Materials Sciences; Microbiology; Molecular Bio/Chem & Health Sciences; Physics & Astronomy; Plant Science; and Inventions (grades 4-8). Academic awards are presented to the top projects of each division and category, in addition special awards are presented by local STEM organization. Students are competing to win ribbons, awards and cash prizes totaling nearly $7,000.