December 3, 2022 | Issue 22-12

Upcoming Events

December 15 - Medical Scrubs Collection $1,000 Scholarship Deadline

December 31 - Around the Corner from College $1,000 Scholarship Deadline

January 6, 2023 - Sacramento Regional STEM Fair REGISTRATION DEADLINE!

February 20, 2023 - Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo $25,000 Scholarship Deadline

March 18, 2023 - Sacramento Regional STEM Fair

The 2023 Sacramento Regional STEM Fair will be here sooner than you think!

Support STEM Education efforts in your community by sponsoring the Foundation. The NorCal STEM Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so your donations are tax-deductible! All proceeds go toward our mission to inspire and engage students to become interested in pursuing scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) degrees and careers.

Donate via our PayPal here, or you can mail a check to:

NorCal STEM Education Foundation

455 Capitol Mall, Suite 500

Sacramento, CA 95814

For more information about sponsoring the Foundation, go to our website.


Several of you asked, and we heard you, and listened! The Registration Deadline for the 2023 Sacramento Regional STEM Fair has been extended to January 6, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

Now is the time to do some background research, design your experiment, and REGISTER YOUR PROJECT (Register a middle school project here) (Register a high school project here). Do not start your experimentation yet!

Our Scientific Review Committee (SRC) needs time to examine ALL registrations and approve them for safety and protocol content BEFORE you can perform your experimentation. The SRC is comprised of teachers, scientists, engineers, and various other specialties, and is dedicated to following the guidelines set by the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) to guarantee the safety of the next generation of Scientists and Engineers, like you! We recommend submitting your registration early to ensure that any discrepancies within your registration are fixed before the deadline.

The Sacramento Regional STEM Fair is scheduled to kick off on March 18, 2023, regardless of whether it is in-person or online! The NorCal STEM Education Foundation Board of Directors has voted to hold an in-person fair if possible for 2023, but we are maintaining a contingency plan, based upon what could still happen with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Stay tuned to our social media, newsletters, and emails for more exciting details!

See you at the Sacramento Regional STEM Fair in 2023!

Student Scholarships

Medical Scrubs Collection $1,000 Scholarship


December 15, 2022


Meet the following criteria:

1. Citizen of the United States or in possession of an Alien Registration Card

2. High school senior or enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university

3. Achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0

4. Pursuing a degree in the medical field such as therapy, nursing, medicine, nutrition, laboratory science, dentistry, etc.

5. Answer what inspired you to pursue a degree in the medical field as either type of project: Writing - up to 500 words; or an image - up to 8.5” x 11”, along with a short description.

Find more information on the Medical Scrubs Collection Website here.

Around the Corner from College $1,000 Scholarship


December 31, 2022


Meet the following criteria requirements:

1. Be a current high school student (freshman, sophomore, junior or senior). 

2. live in the US (as a US citizen, permanent resident, or with DACA status) or living internationally, but must be planning to attend college or university in the US. 

Find out more, and fill out the application on the Around the Corner from College $1,000 Scholarship website here.

Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo $25,000 Scholarship


February 20, 2023


Meet the following criteria requirements:

1. Be a current high school senior or undergraduate student.

2. Maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

3. In 400-600 words, answer the question: What quality/characteristic do you value most in yourself and why? How do you feel having this quality/characteristic will help you in your life journey?

Find out more on the website here.

Teachers! Does your class need help figuring out exactly how to register for the STEM Fair? Do you need help getting STEM Fair projects to fit into your curriculum plan? We're available! Contact us at for details and to schedule a meeting or classroom presentation!

Calling all judges! If you're an adult who is in possession of a Bachelor's Degree at minimum, and is interested in becoming a judge for the 2023 Sacramento Regional STEM Fair, it's easier than you think! If you don't fall under one of the following then we'd love for you to join us:

To avoid conflicts of interest, the Sacramento Regional STEM Fair does not allow the following (perhaps otherwise well-qualified) people to serve as judges: 

6th-12th grade school teachers, site administrators of schools with participants, staff, or board members.

Parents of or professional mentors of any student participants.

Anyone else whose relationship with any STEM fair participant could pose a conflict of interest such as Family, neighbor, or corporate relationships are often too complex for NSEF to enumerate all the cases where you as a judge may find yourself scheduled to evaluate a project whose student(s) you know personally or professionally. If you can anticipate such conflicts before the day of the event ("my company donated resources to four chemistry projects," for example), please contact the fair coordinator to transfer duties to a volunteer capacity.

Sign up here!

Support Sacramento STEM Education While you Shop!

Shop on Amazon! Contribute to a nonprofit while you shop online! Shop for gifts, school supplies, and more on Amazon to generate donations for the Sacramento Regional Science And Engineering Fair Foundation (dba NorCal STEM Education Foundation).

All you need to do is register with Amazon Smile here, then shop as you normally would, but from, Amazon can even auto-direct you there once you sign up! The same shopping experience, same prices, but with the added benefit of Amazon's support of the Foundation.

Science Spotlight

Solving Feynman Integrals by Reducing to Linear Algebra?

Feynman Integrals have been the bane of theoretical particle physicists' existence for quite a while now. This is a problem, because the integrals are centrally important to every calculation these physicists make.

Since quantum field theory took root in the mid-1900s, Feynman integrals have been inextricable from the work of theoretical physicists. Adrian Cho from explains them best, "Each integral corresponds to one of the quirky diagrams concocted in 1948 by Richard Feynman to quickly figure out what to calculate for a particular particle interaction. For example, one electron can deflect another when the two exchange a photon, so the simplest Feynman diagram for the process consists of two lines representing the electrons and a wavy line connecting them that represents the photon. The doodle serves a serious purpose: Each line stands for a component in an integral yielding the probability of interaction given each electron’s initial and final momentum.

Even a graduate student can handle that integral. However, electron interactions are much more complex. For example, the exchanged photon can morph into an electron-positron pair and back into a photon, or one electron can emit and reabsorb a particle called a Z boson. Such “perturbations” correspond to Feynman diagrams with one or more closed internal loops, and precise calculations must account for at least the simpler loop diagrams."

Last week in Physical Review Letters, theoretical physicists Yan-Qing Ma and Zhi-Feng Liu announced their development of a new method that reduces the integral to linear algebra.

Want to read more, visit here.

New Minerals Found in El Ali Meteorite.

Scientists at the University of Alberta have discovered at least two minerals in samples of the 17-ton El Ali Meteorite found in Somalia that have never been discovered naturally on Earth before.

The two new minerals were found in a 70 gram slice of the meteorite sent to the University of Alberta for classification. There is a potential third new mineral still under review as of this writing.

The new minerals have been named by the U of A researchers as "elaliite" and "elkinstantonite." The first after the meteorite itself "el-ali-ite" and the second after Vice President of the Arizona State University Interplanetary Initiative, Professor at ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration, and principal investigator of NASA’s upcoming Psyche mission, Lindy Elkins-Tanton.

The researchers from the University of Alberta who discovered the new minerals worked closely with researchers from UCLA and the California Institute of Technology (CalTech).

The two minerals had previously been synthetically manufactured before, so there was record of the minerals to compare to.

These identifications are exciting, because new minerals could lead to new materials for a host of uses later down the line.

Meanwhile, the El Ali meteorite appears to have been moved elsewhere in search of a purchaser. It remains to be seen whether the rest of the meteorite will be available for additional scientific research.

To read more about this discovery, visit the University of Alberta's story, here.

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