SMCOE’s The Next Big Think to Celebrate Learning

Redwood City, CA – With the upcoming The Next Big Think event, the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) continues to expand its traditional science fair to include visual and performing arts, a showcase of student learning from the county’s school districts, and hands-on learning opportunities.

For more than 30 years, SMCOE has hosted the STEM Fair in an effort to create interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education and STEM careers and publicly recognize the achievements of talented science students in San Mateo County. This year, 250 student projects will be entered into the competition and on display at the event.

To expand participation and recognize that student learning and achievement takes many forms, SMCOE added a Districts Showcase this year to celebrate the work of students in all of San Mateo County’s school districts. As part of the showcase, SMCOE will provide every school district with space for students and teachers to share innovative projects that demonstrate student learning.

Building on the success and popularity of last year’s Art Expo, The Next Big Think will also highlight the visual and performing arts. SMCOE expects that more than 1,000 student works of art will be on display at the event.

“Learning takes many forms, and this year we seek to celebrate this diversity and give more students the opportunity to share their innovative and often interdisciplinary work,” explained San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee. ‘The Next Big Think reflects our vision of excellence and equity in education and creates a space where all learners can feel celebrated.”

To give learners of all ages the opportunity for hands-on exploration, the event will also include a makerspace, hackathon, and other engaging activities.

The Next Big Think is free and open to the public. To learn more or to register, please visit the event’s registration page.


The San Mateo County Office of Education is committed to ensuring excellence and equity in education by inspiring students, investing in teachers, invigorating leaders, and involving communities.