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American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certificate of Outstanding Achievement for Ability and Creativity in the Atmospheric Sciences

The American Meteorological Society will award two certificates of Outstanding Achievement to student exhibitors in grades 9 & 12. Only projects relating to atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences will be considered.


American Psychological Association Certificate for Achievement in Research in the Psychological Sciences

The American Psychological Association Education Directorate and Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools will award one certificate recognizing outstanding research in psychology under the category of behavioral and social sciences.


Association for Women Geoscientists Student Award for Geosciences Excellence

The National Association for Women Geoscientists will award one certificate to female students whose project exemplifies high standards of innovativeness and scientific excellence in the geosciences illustrating the interdisciplinary nature of the geosciences or promoting the sensitivity to the earth as a global system.

Casey's Research Award

Multiple category awards where 5 middle school projects and 5 high school projects leave our fair with a gift certificate for a free large pizza thanks to Casey's General Store.


Lemelson Early Inventor Prize

The Lemelson Early Inventor Prize is to be given to one project of a middle school student in the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade that meets the invention award criteria: that displays entrepreneurial thinking, demonstrates problem-solving, applies empathy and STEM knowledge to find a practical solution that addresses the problem and promises to improve their life or those of their family or community, and ideally, exemplify environmentally-responsible thinking as part of their research and/or in the creation of the product.


National Geographic That’s Geography! – Cultivating Empathy for the Earth Award

This award is given to one project of a student in 9th-12th grade that meets the award criteria: • Focus on issues of oceans, land, wildlife, human history and cultures, and human ingenuity • Brings geographic concepts and skills to life in new, non-traditional ways • Target underrepresented communities • Have potential for scale • Bring innovation to the space and place

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration awards a “Taking the Pulse of the Planet” certificate. The student’s research project emphasizes NOAA’s mission to understand and predict changes in Earth’s environment; conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our Nation’s economic coastal and environmental needs.

NASA Earth System Science Award

The goal of the NASA Earth System Science Award is to increase awareness regarding the importance of scientific research in the area of Earth system science, the study of the complex system, and the interconnections that occur on Earth. It is presented for the project that best demonstrates insight into Earth’s interconnected spheres. The different spheres that make up our Earth system are the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere (snow and ice), and biosphere.

Office of Naval Research ~ U.S. Navy / U.S. Marine Corps Award

The Office of Naval Research sponsors science that changes the world including discovering the magnetic core, GPS, and smart robots. They award three students demonstrating exceptional work in science and engineering. Two awards for grades 9 – 12 are a certificate, a medallion, and a $75.00 gift certificate. One award for grades 6 – 8 includes a certificate and a medallion.


Regeneron Biomedical Award

Regeneron, the sponsor of ISEF,  will provide one $375 award and a certificate to an exceptional student scientist or team of scientists in grades 9-12 who not only demonstrates an impressive command of biomedical science and research but also embodies Regeneron’s core values and behaviors, known as "The Regeneron Way", which is reflected in the award selection criteria.

Ricoh USA Corporation Sustainable Development Award

Ricoh Corporation recognizes a student demonstrating outstanding efforts addressing environmental responsibility and sustainable development. An individual or team entry is selected from among the general award categories, whose principles and technical innovations offer the greatest potential for increasing our ability to grow environmentally friendly and socially responsible businesses.


Science for Society (ISEF)

3 high school projects will be nominated to attend the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)  to represent Central and Western Nebraska. The CNSEF pays the conference registration fee of $325 for each of these projects to compete in the world's largest pre-collegiate STEM competition. In 2024, this competition will be held in Los Angeles, CA. In 2025, this competition will be held in Columbus, OH.  


Thermofisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge

​Formerly the Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Starrs) is a competition for grades 6 – 8. Nationally the top 10% of these grades are selected for this honor. Up to 5 CNSEF nominees are eligible to register to compete nationally for valuable prizes and awards including the grand prize of $30,000.


In Vitro Biology Award

The Society for In Vitro awards an outstanding 11th-grade student in the areas of plant or animal In Vitro biology or tissue culture. The student receives a letter of congratulations and publicity of their achievement included in the society’s newsletter or on their website at​

​U.S. Air Force Award

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory recognizes one top stem project in grades 6-8 and 9-12 at the CNSEF by awarding a U.S. Airforce sling pack, Power Bank, USB Flash Memory Drive, USB Car Charger, and Official AF Certificate.

​U.S. Metric Association Certificate of Award

The U.S. Metric Association awards one certificate to the student whose project involves a significant amount of quantitative measurement and which best uses the SI metric system for those measurements. The winner receives a 1-year membership to the U.S. Metric Association. 


U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize

The Water Environment Federation awards three certificates to students in grades 9 – 12 and an opportunity to compete in the Stockholm Junior Water Prize with the best project in water environment science. The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is the most prestigious youth award for a high school water science research project. The award recipient progresses to state, national, and international competitions by registering and submitting a one-page abstract on

​University of Nebraska Kearney $12,000 Scholarship

The University of Nebraska Kearney (UNK) will award one scholarship to an outstanding 12th-grade project. Students must be accepted and enrolled at UNK and have no other scholarships. A High School GPA of 3.75 or higher is required.

Yale Science & Engineering Association Award for Outstanding 11th-Grade Exhibit

The Yale Science & Engineering Association (YSEA) awards one certificate and a medallion to the most outstanding 11th-grade student exhibiting in the areas of Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, or Chemistry.

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