2023 Synopsys Championship returns to in-person science fair


Victor Gong

Fiona Yan (11) practices presenting her research project at the mock science fair, which was organized by the Research Club on March 6. Fairs were held virtually from 2020 to 2022 due to the pandemic but have since switched back to in-person.

by Edward Huang, Co-STEM Editor

Upper school students attended the 2023 Synopsys Science and Technology Championship hosted by the Santa Clara Valley Science & Engineering Fair Association (SCVSEFA) at the San Jose Convention Center on Thursday, marking the organization’s first in-person science fair in over three years.

Students traveled to the San Jose Convention Center after school on Wednesday to prepare for the science fair and set up their presentation boards. The SCVSEFA required N95 or KN95 face masks to be worn at all times during the designated check-in day and the subsequent judging day, taking caution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the event.

“I think it’ll be really interesting to compete in person this year,” Research Club officer Melody Yin (10) said. “In comparison to virtual fairs, in-person fairs require a lot of setup and technical work like figuring out logistics for a poster board and gathering notebook materials. Though it seems pretty stressful, I think this opportunity is also super exciting since this means that we get the opportunity to really show all the work we’ve done with our project.”

On Thursday, students reconvened at the fair site from 1:30 to 6 p.m. to present their projects to judges and experts in their respective research subjects. Sathvik Chundru (11), who participated in the science fair, emphasized both the benefits and downsides of the Synopsys Championship returning to in-person competition.

Though it seems pretty stressful, I think this opportunity is also super exciting since this means that we get the opportunity to really show all the work we’ve done with our project.

— Melody Yin (10)

“Although you need to put in more work to make a physical poster board rather than just a slideshow, I think that being in-person will be more fun,” Sathvik said. “It’ll definitely make the experience more memorable for both the students and judges.”

To help students prepare for the Synopsys Championship, Research Club held a variety of events and activities throughout the school year focused on developing a research project and giving effective presentations. Melody reflects on the process of running such events and the purpose of holding them every year.

“This year, [Research Club] hosted a mock science fair to run through presentations and give feedback,” Melody said. “I think it’s a really important bonding aspect of the research community since we get to give each other constructive feedback and learn a little bit about each project. In the previous months, we’ve also hosted workshops for abstracts and presentation strategies to prepare.”

Students will find out the results of the science fair on March 26 during the Synopsys Championship Awards Ceremony, where students will be able to qualify for the California Science & Engineering Fair (CSEF) in April and the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in May.