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The Southern Appalachian Science & Engineering Fair (SASEF) is the premier science and engineering competition for students in middle and high school for a 23-county service area of East Tennessee. SASEF has promoted teaching the scientific method in science, engineering, and math since 1952.

The fair is sponsored by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and many local companies and agencies. It is held annually on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus during the last week of March or the first week of April. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fair was hosted virtually in 2020.

There are two divisions of competition — Junior Division for middle school students, grades 6 – 8, and Senior Division for high school students, grades 9 – 12.

SASEF is an official, affiliated regional fair of the International Science and Engineering Fair.

The mission of the Southern Appalachian Science & Engineering Fair, Inc.

SASEF promotes intellectual inquiry in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering through scientific reasoning and methodology as well as sound engineering practices for middle school and high school students in the 23-county region of East Tennessee. SASEF offers a showcase for public presentation of student research that provides authentic interaction and evaluation with professional scientists and engineers who are experts in their respective fields. Participating students will gain important skills related to conducting research and presenting their results that will benefit them in their post-secondary education and careers.

23-County Service Area

Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Monroe, Roane, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, Washington

SASEF Staff Information

Fair President; Leah Berry
Fair Director; Kimberly Gwinn
Pre-College Programs Interim Assistant Director; Dr. Thomas Broadhead
Pre-College Coordinator; Trixie Stengle
Pre-College Programs Associate; Heather McQueary
Scientific Review Committee Chair; Kimberly Gwinn 


Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Student Services Building, Suite 320
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-9493