Bringing the Science Fair Home: Science Center will host Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science Fair in 2020

More than 90 Students expected to participate in this historic competition
Science Fair

A sixth grade student presents her research project to a judge during the 2019 Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair.
PITTSBURGH, September 25, 2019 ― For the first time in its 81-year history, Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair (PRSEF) will be held at Carnegie Science Center on Wed., March 25, 2020. That day, more than 900 middle and high school students from across the region will compete for scholarships and cash prizes as they present their science, math, and engineering research projects.

PRSEF has been held in several Pittsburgh locations throughout the years, including Buhl Planetarium (the predecessor organization of Carnegie Science Center), Duquesne University, La Roche University, Brashear High School, and Heinz Field. After an extensive analysis, the Science Center determined that the addition of the PPG SCIENCE PAVILION™ provides the space required to host the competition.

“The Science Center is excited to host PRSEF in our building, a space that has delighted, educated, and inspired countless budding scientists and engineers throughout the years,” Science Fair Director Nicki Wood said. “We see this as bringing PRSEF home. It’s a true representation of our mission to inspire more young people to pursue STEM careers and cultivate a STEM-literate community.”

Carnegie Science Center will be closed to the public on Wed., March 25, 2020 in order to dedicate the time, space, and resources necessary to host this major competition. The awards ceremony will take place the next evening on Thurs., March 26, 2020 at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.

Covestro PRSEF has been a Pittsburgh tradition since 1940. It is the third oldest science fair in the United States under the affiliation of Society for Science & the Public, which runs the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and the Broadcom MASTERS middle school competition.

Each fall, teachers in 21 counties in western Pennsylvania and Garrett County, Maryland, introduce PRSEF as an extracurricular activity or as part of their academic program. Students in grades 6–12 select a scientific or engineering project from one of 21 categories, and their research plans are reviewed by the Covestro PRSEF Scientific Review Committee to guarantee that proper scientific procedures will be followed. During the competition, judges interview students using the Socratic method to ensure they have a deep understanding of their project and a creative approach to their research design.

Select Senior Division students (grades 9–12) will advance to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), which will be held May 10–15, 2020 in Anaheim, California. At ISEF, Senior Division PRSEF winners will join hundreds of winners from regional fairs in more than 80 other countries across the globe as they compete for nearly $5 million in awards.

Additionally, select category award winners in the Junior (grade 6) and Intermediate (grades 7–8) Divisions will advance to Broadcom MASTERS, a competition that consists of the top 10% of middle school projects entered in fairs around the United States.

School and teacher registration for PRSEF begins Tues., Oct. 1, and student registration begins Fri., Nov. 1. For more information, visit
About Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.