Science and Humanities Symposium
Celebrates 20th Anniversary
Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980
ALBANY, N.Y. (March 14, 2005) - One of the
nation’s most competitive and prestigious
forums for young scientists will observe its
20th anniversary next week when high school
students and teachers from around New York
State join former participants for a two-day
symposium hosted by the University at Albany.
More than 500 students and teachers from
Westchester to Western New York will convene
at the Holiday Inn Turf on Wolf Road in Albany
March 21 and 22 to take part in The Upstate
New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium
(JSHS), which provides opportunities for some
participants to present their work and for
others to learn from the original research
conducted by their peers. Since its founding
in 1985, the JSHS has cultivated and celebrated
the best in scientific research, inspiring
hundreds of young scientists to continue to
pursue discovery and knowledge.
Each year, hundreds of students compete in
three Upstate New York JSHS regional forums
for the opportunity to present their original,
scientific research at the Upstate NY JSHS
in Albany, but only 30 are chosen. Judges for
the competitions are eminent scientists with
expertise in each of the disciplines represented
by the students’ research.
Finalists are selected from each of five
scientific disciplines, with scholarships awarded
to students receiving Highest Honors, High
Honors and Honors. This year, those earning
Highest Honors and Honors designations will
also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to San
Diego, California, to compete in the national
JSHS for more scholarships and a trip abroad.
Offered for the first time this year is an
Excellence in Chemistry scholarship, which
will be awarded to the presenter who submits
the most outstanding paper in the area of chemistry.
The scholarship is made possible through a
grant from the American Chemical Society -
The 2005 program includes welcoming remarks
by Russell Bessette, M.D., executive director
of the New York State Office of Science, Technology
and Academic Research, and a keynote address,
March 21 at 6 p.m., by Barbara Tewksbury, Past
President of the American Geological Society
and professor of geological sciences at Hamilton
College, on "When the Seas Rise Up: A
Geologist's Perspective on Tsunami." The
second day of the symposium will feature technical
assistance workshops conducted by notable scientists.
At one workshop, a panel of past winners of
the Upstate New York JSHS will discuss their
own experiences with the symposium and its
impact on their academic and professional careers.
John Reinert Nash, who earned first prize
at the 1987 Upstate New York JSHS when he represented
Webster High School, said, “I attended
Harvard College, receiving a bachelor of arts
in chemistry, then went to Madison, Wisconsin,
to pursue a Ph.D. in organometallic chemistry.
The experience of science fairs and symposia
in high school taught me a lot about how to
do science, and especially how to self-motivate.
The ability to communicate well in writing
and in oral presentations is extremely valuable
in almost any career, and careers in science
require these skills extensively. After the
often terrifying experience of presenting science
projects in front of critical judges, speaking
in front of group meetings and technical conferences
later in life is much easier.”
UAlbany Professor of Biology Daniel Wulff
co-directs the Upstate New York JSHS with Assistant
Professor of Physics Susanne Lee, who is currently
on leave and working as a senior professional
staff member at GE Global Research. The symposium
is sponsored by the University at Albany, the
Academy of Applied Sciences, and the U.S. Army,
Navy and Air Force.
Over the past six years, the Upstate New
York JSHS has produced four first-place and
two second-place winners at the national level,
including the 2004 winner, Anna Katrina Shedletsky
of Brewster High School.
For information about JSHS, visit http://www.albany.edu/jshs/ or
contact Mary Cuffe-Perez, Upstate N.Y. JSHS
coordinator, (518) 442-4030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.