SMCOE Cancels The Next Big Think

The San Mateo County Office of Education has canceled The Next Big Think, its annual celebration of learning that engages more than 2,000 people from across the county. The event was scheduled for Sunday, March 15, at the San Mateo County Event Center.

Due to the very large size of this public event, which focuses on providing hands-on, interactive experiences, and the evolving situation with Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the County Office, in consultation with San Mateo County Health, decided to be extra cautious and cancel this year’s event.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes students, their families, schools and other partner organizations, and the community.

33rd Annual STEM Fair

This year marks the 33rd anniversary of the San Mateo County STEM Fair, where students share their most innovative projects to qualify for the California Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF) and the Broadcom MASTERS. This year, students in sixth through eighth grade must participate in the STEM Fair to qualify for the CSEF and Broadcom MASTERS competitions. High school students who wish to compete will do so through the Golden Gate STEM Fair.

The 2020 SMCOE STEM Fair will still be held, but in a remote/virtual format. All student participants received an email this morning detailing the steps for a video submission in place of the in-person interviews that had been planned. Any students who have trouble with creating a video submission are invited to contact Doron Markus, Science & Engineering Coordinator and STEM Fair Lead at

Solutionary Expo

A solutionary is someone who develops systems-based solutions that do the most good and least harm to people, animals, and the environment; makes compassionate and responsible choices; identifies unsustainable, inhumane, and unjust systems; and brings critical, systems, strategic, and creative thinking to bear on solving problems. The Next Big Think's Solutionary Expo invites individuals to submit any kind of project, such as a poster, video, PSA, podcast, website, documentary, or infographic. The best solutions will be entered into the 2020 National Solutionary Fair. Please contact Doron Markus at for inquiries about the shift to an online competition in light of the cancelation of The Next Big Think.

About The Next Big Think

The Next Big Think is a free public event where students, parents, educators, and learners of all ages can see the latest innovative projects in the STEM Fair, view student artwork displayed in the Arts Expo, see local educational initiatives in the Districts Showcase, participate in hands-on projects and more — all under one giant roof! There’s never been a celebration of San Mateo County learning and innovation quite like this one.