Competition That Emulates a Professional STEM Symposium

Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) is a STEM competition sponsored by the US Department of Defense that challenges high school students from everywhere to achieve, and to build the skills that prepare them for college and career.

The JSHS competition encourages high school students to conduct original research in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and publicly recognizes students with scholarships for outstanding achievement. By connecting talented students, their teachers, and research professionals at affiliated symposia and by rewarding research excellence, JSHS aims to widen the pool of trained talent prepared to conduct research and development vital to our nation.

JSHS Regional and National Symposia, which are held during the academic year, reach more than 8,000 high school students and teachers throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Department of Defense Schools of Europe and the Pacific.

Students must first participate in their Regional Symposium where they compete for selection to present at the National Symposium. Registering to participate in a Regional JSHS event is of no cost to students. However, application deadlines vary by region. (The JSHS website displays a list of regions by state, country, and territory.)

A total of $4,500 in undergraduate tuition scholarships will be disbursed by each region. In addition to scholarships, the top five finalists from each Regional Symposium will be invited to the National JSHS Symposium to present their original research, expenses paid.

At Regional and National Symposia, students’ research presentations will be organized into eight categories: Environmental Science, Biomedical Sciences, Life & Behavioral Sciences, Medicine & Health, Engineering & Technology, Mathematics & Computer Science, Physical Science, Chemistry. The subject category will be assigned based on a review of an abstract in which the student conveys the essential nature of the research conducted and the most significant conclusions reached, as well as the area of research suggested by the student. Regional and National Symposia leadership determine the date and time for students’ presentations.

A total of $192,000 in undergraduate tuition scholarships will be presented to the top three finalists in the National Symposium research paper oral competition in each subject category. Additionally, cash awards will be presented to the top three finalists in the National Symposium research poster competition in each subject category.

Teachers will also be recognized for their exceptional contributions to promoting student research. Many university sponsors who host Regional Competitions present scholarships, cash awards, and other prizes. The availability of these additional awards, type of award, and value vary by region. (Visit the JSHS website for award details.)

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