Apr 12, 2010

The JSHS Scholarship Competition Goes Live in DC

It’s no secret that colleges and universities are upgrading their efforts to recruit strong STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) applicants to fill departments hungry for undergrads with research or other lab experience. College-bound high school students would be wise to take the hint and redouble their efforts to explore this great route to college (and significant scholarship money) by investigating opportunities to showcase skills in these areas.

So how should you get started? One way is to see what other students across the country are doing in the way of scientific research. This year, the Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS) Program is broadcasting student paper presentations on April 30 and May 1, via live video webcast (log on after April 15 for a complete schedule). Finalists from regional competitions will present before panels of judges in a competition that could net them as much as $12,000 and an all-expense paid trip to London.

Long-time Virginia JSHS program director Tom DeVore, chair of the JMU Chemistry Department, encourages high school students to get involved by watching the webcast. “It is an excellent opportunity to see some excellent presentations, get a feel for the competition, and learn something new,” said Dr. DeVore. “I think you will be impressed with the students who have reached this level.”

The JSHS program promotes original research and experimentation in the sciences, engineering and mathematics at the high school level by organizing a series of regional and national symposiums during the academic year at 48 universities located throughout the country and abroad. Literally thousands of students compete in categories including environmental science, life sciences, medicine & health/behavioral sciences, engineering, mathematics & computer sciences, and theoretical physics.

And there is significant money at stake—both at the regional and national levels. Sponsors who support the regional competitions provide scholarships, cash awards, and other prizes in addition to the huge contributions from the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

By the way, teachers can get in on the prizes as well. A $500 award goes each year to one teacher from each of the 48 regions, honoring his or her contributions to advancing student participation in research.

Find out more by visiting the JSHS website, and be sure to set aside time to watch some student paper presentations on April 30 and May 1. I guarantee you will learn something.

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