STEM Excellence at 15th Annual Science Fair

After weeks of research, experimentation and summarizing results, over 140 African American students will showcase their projects at the 15th Annual Greene Scholars Program (GSP) Science Fair on January 28, 2017 at Cypress Semiconductor in San Jose.

Scholars will stand before teams of judges representing several leading Silicon Valley companies and hundreds of attendees to share their findings on a wide range of science categories including Physical Science, Life Science, Math and Engineering as well as emerging technologies.

Students Students Students Students

“I am extremely proud of our scholars. Participating in a science fair is not only an excellent way for scholars to understand science concepts more thoroughly, but also a wonderful opportunity to boost other important skills and integrate other subjects into one learning experience.” - Dr. Ayodele Thomas, GSP Director

The GSP science fair is the only African American one in California. As science fair participants, all scholars are required to adhere to scientific methodology, experimental design and to perform experiments and/or comparative product testing with variables. Scholars must also explore numerous periodicals, library books, journals, and internet sources in order to gain a clear and in-depth understanding of the chosen experiment.

The science fair culminates in a special awards gala held the day following the fair where the top three projects are officially announced in each grade level. All participating scholars are applauded for their exceptional work and receive a medal as well as a certificate of completion.

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2016 Synopsys Science and Technology Championships

GSP sent five projects to regional science fair championships this year in Alameda and Santa Clara counties, California.  Selected projects become eligible to go on to compete in state and international competitions, including the prestigious Intel International Science & Engineering Fair.   Our students competed in junior (6th – 8th grade) division in multiple areas of study.

Our five Greene Scholars were among the approximately thousands of aspiring scientists who participated at Synopsys.  We congratulate all our scholars for proudly representing GSP at Synopsys with their excellent projects: Josiah Cannon, Maia Johnsson, Kobi Johnsson, Iyanu Olukotun, and Ayinde Olukotun.  We hope to see all these scholars and more at next year’s championships.

Winners Summary - 2016

Questions commonly asked by science fair judges are as follows:
  • How did you come up with the idea for this project?
  • What did you learn from your background research?
  • How much time did it take to run the experiments?
  • How many times did you run the experiment with each configuration?
  • How many experiment runs are represented by each data point on the chart?
  • Did you collect all the data under the same conditions, e.g., at the same temperature (time of day) (lighting conditions)? 
  • Explain what you mean by (terminology or jargon used by the student)? 
  • Were there any books that helped you do your analysis?
  • When did you start this project? 
  • Are there any areas that we did not covered which you feel are important?
A Day To Remember

For the scholars participating in the science fair, it is a day to remember. Their projects are a source of pride and often ignite the flame of interest to pursue STEM-based activities and careers.  Science fairs forever transform the students due to the culmination of many hours of hard work, discovery, uncertainty, and ultimately completion and success.  For many, it is the first project of such magnitude where they are graded by their community versus their school teachers. The students gain a sense of confidence from the science fair and improve their public speaking skills.

Historical Science Fair Winners

Scholars have advanced to regional, state and international science fairs from our GSP fair. There have been over 800 projects presented in the 14 years and there have been over 60 GSP projects represented at the Regional Synopsys' Silicon Valley Science and Engineering Championship. Scholars in the GSP have garnered the following awards: Intel Promising Young Scientist Award in 2005; Synopsys Fair's Grand Prize-Best of Championship- Biological Science 2006; California State Science Fair participants in Los Angeles in 2004 and 2006; Finalist and official observers for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2005 and 2006.

Historical Winners

Success Acknowledged

The Greene Scholars Program has continued its long-running success in closing the opportunity gap and increasing the number of African American students’ pursuit of STEM-based academic majors and careers. The Greene Scholars science fair has been recognized by many including: Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Diane Feinstein, Congressman Michael M. Honda, San Jose District 2 Councilmember Ash Kalra, Mayor of San Jose Chuck Reed, Mayor of Milpitas Jose Esteves, and State Superintendent Tom Tomlakson of the California Department of Education to name a few.

Greene Scholars Program Partners

The Greene Scholars Program has partnerships with Cypress Semiconductor, Texas Instruments, Cisco Foundation, Google Roots in Science and Engineering (RISE),, Avant! Foundation, NASA Summer of Innovation, Oracle Corporation, Intel Corporation, Comerica Bank, Applied Materials, TE Connectivity, Microsoft, Leslie Foundation and other national and regional organizations. The Greene Scholars Program thanks its partners for their continued support and efforts to ensure cultural diversity in STEM-related education, college majors and careers.


The GSP Science Fair Gala is our biggest yearly fundraiser. Please join us on January 29, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center at 2pm to celebrate. The event will include GSP families, corporate sponsors, dedicated volunteers, Science Fair judges as we award scholarships to our graduating seniors, and honor science fair participants.
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