The Edison Cup

Annually, our student participants compete for prizes, scholarships, and special awards from local, regional, state, and international levels of competition. Here’s an overview of Prizes and Awards from our Regional Fairs:

Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis Regional Science and Engineering Fair

  • Category Awards, including First, Second, Third, and Honorable Mention (Place Awards), are awarded by Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis RSEF judges for scientific merit.
  • Grand Awards, including Best of Fair, 1st Runner-Up, 2nd Runner-Up, and 3rd Runner-Up (Senior Division ONLY), are awarded by Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis RSEF judges for outstanding scientific merit.
  • Selected winners in the Junior Division are eligible to further compete in the Broadcom MASTERS Competition.
  • Selected winners in the Junior and Senior Divisions are eligible to compete in the State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida.
  • In addition, 30+ companies and organizations present Special Awards.

Special Awards

More than 30 companies and organizations select projects to receive Special Awards at Regional Science Fair. These awards may include cash, tours, and/or tangible items. Judging for Special Awards is based upon the objectives of the participating company or organization, and any project may be evaluated by a Special Awards judge or judges. The Special Awards judges only review projects whose titles fit their criteria of interest. Therefore, it behooves the student to entitle his/her project so the judges have a good idea what the project involves from the title information alone.

Notable Special Award Programs include…

Summer Research Opportunity (SRO): Selected winners in the Junior Division receive scholarship to attend Summer Research Opportunity, a two week student research program hosted by FGCU’s Whitaker Center for STEM Education. A team of FGCU scientists lead a research experience that will hone SRO students’ research skills and improve their science expertise. This program is made possible through the generous support of the Daitch Family Foundation, and other donors.

Thomas A. Edison Festival of Light Regional Inventors Fair

  • Grade Level Awards, including First, Second, Third, and possibly Runner-Ups, are awarded by judges based on Originality, Safety, Research, Marketing, and Presentation.
  • Division Winners are selected in each of three grade levels: Elementary School, Middle School, and High School
  • Elementary, Middle, and High School Division Winners receive an honorary ride in the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade.

Special Awards

Special Category Awards are based on specific merits unrelated to the judges scores. Special Category awards are all donated by private persons or businesses. Exceptions to this would be scholarships offered by local universities, colleges, or foundations where judges scores and special merits are both factored into the selection process.

Notable Special Award Programs include…

Entrepreneur Society of America (ESOA) Gator Cage: The Entrepreneur Society of America (ESOA) is a 501(C)3 not-for-profit community based B2B (business to business) organization dedicated to the education, mentoring and development of entrepreneurs. The ESOA Hatchlings program was started in 2013. The objective of the ESOA Hatchlings program is to work with young budding and aspiring inventors via the Thomas Alva Edison Regional Science & Inventors Fair and the Lee and Collier County School Boards to develop their entrepreneurial spirit via the program, to encourage them to take their idea/invention to the next level and expose them to real world challenges in the process of developing a business.

Elementary Science Expo

  • Certificates and medals are awarded to ALL participants for STEM merit.


How it Works

The Edison Cup is awarded annually to each of the best school-based elementary and secondary STEM academic teams from Southwest Florida that compete in the annual Thomas A. Edison Regional Science and Inventors Fairs (TAERSIF) program.  Points toward The Edison Cup are earned and tracked throughout the year based on participation and performance at TAERSIF-affiliated STEM competitions — Elementary Science Expo, Thomas A. Edison Festival of Light Regional Inventors Fair, Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis Regional Science and Engineering Fair.  One winning elementary school and one winning secondary school will be crowned after the completion of the final elementary and secondary TAERSIF-affiliated STEM competition of the school year.  The TAERSIF Steering Committee will award one Edison Cup to each school in recognition of the schools and their students’ accomplishments in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) endeavors.


The Edison Cup is the embodiment of Thomas Alva Edison’s scientific and innovative pursuits.  The elements of the trophy personify achievement at the highest level, and symbolize the innovation and perseverance associated with the scientific and entrepreneurial excellence that is on display throughout students’ year-long journey in STEM disciplines. The Edison Cup represents hard work, dedication, and an enduring commitment to independent student research.


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