About TAERSIF

 “Rich in history. Full of promise for the Future.”

The Thomas A. Edison Regional Science and Inventor Fairs (TAERSIF) Steering Committee works year-round to organize Regional STEM Events that annually host over 1,000 local students at regional competitions and engage nearly 20,000 students in research projects at a school level. Over the years, our Edison Fairs program has grown into the largest pre-collegiate STEM competition program in Southwest Florida and includes three signature events: Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis Regional Science & Engineering Fair, Thomas A. Edison Festival of Light Regional Inventors Fair, and Elementary Science Expo.

TAERSIF is a sanctioned event of the Edison Festival of Light, as well as an affiliate of both the State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida and Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF).

The Regional Fairs and underwriting of student expenses for the Fairs is possible because of the support from the Fort Myers Kiwanis Club, Lee County and Charlotte County Public Schools, Florida Gulf Coast University, The Edison Festival of Light, The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Hodges University, Florida Southwestern State College, Edison Innovators Association , Imagine Solutions Conference, Caloosa Bromeliad Society, The Imaginarium Science Center, Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Caloosa Veterinary Medical Society, Florida Power and Light, Edison Pageant of Light, Sony Electronics, the Entrepreneurs Society of Naples, the Scientist Society of Southwest Florida, Lee Memorial Health Systems, the Lee County Medical Society and numerous private donors and volunteers.

Our competitions showcase students from Charlotte and Lee Counties who will become our future scientists, technology experts, engineers, mathematicians, and entrepreneurs. The regional program celebrates achievement by elementary, middle, and high school students supported by their parents, teachers, and schools.

The TAERSIF Steering Committee

The TAERSIF Steering Committee is comprised of representatives from Southwest Florida educational institutions as well as public and private organizations and businesses. All parties are interested in promoting a sound education in the sciences, technologies, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields while instilling a working knowledge of each person’s intrinsic right to benefit from his or her creative, problem solving, and critical thinking skills through application of the scientific, inventive and entrepreneurial processes.

Florida Gulf Coast University, the Kiwanis Club of Fort Myers, the School Districts of Lee and Charlotte Counties, and 501(c)(3)’s such as The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools and the Edison Festival of Light serve as fiscal administrators, each in specific areas of the annual program. An endowment fund managed by the Southwest Florida Community Foundation was established in 2001 to provide a more stable source of future funding of the Regional Fairs. For more information on how you can contribute, check out our Sponsors Page.

Steering Committee Members

Roxann Camel
Cynthia Dunham-Derheirmer
Barbara Hartman
Jim Helms
Lee Hughes
Tim Jones
Tracey Lanham
Mark McCreary
Anji McStravic
John Melleky
Shirley Morrison
Gary Nelson
Barbara Rebeor
Mike Savarese
Katie Schlotterbeck
Sarah Von Williamsen
Jason Wikman
Jheri Wilson

Friends and Guests

Randy Antik
Joseph Byer
Edison Festival of Light
Laura Frost
Karl Gibbons
Shelby Gilbert
Melanie Holoway
Sandra Kauanui
Doug MacGregor
Deirdre Mann
Sally Mayberry
M. Eiluned Morgan
Karen Ryan
Joanna Salapska-Gelleri
Reba Singleton
Rick Tully

TAERSIF Mission Statement

…Support the students, teachers and school systems of Southwest Florida in their efforts to expand knowledge of science and extend opportunities to participate in the invention processes;

…offer a relevant, hands-on experience that recognizes the content and processes used in specific projects and inventions;

…provide support to local science and inventors fairs and help produce high quality regional science and inventors fairs that are a valued experience for the student, teachers and volunteers that participate; and

…establish and help direct a self sustaining fund to provide the fairs with a reliable annual source of monies to meet general budget expenses and to recognize exemplary students and educators.