Upstate NY Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium


Welcome to the 39th Annual Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

February 28 and 29, 2024

Each spring in Albany, NY, young scientists representing high schools across New York present the results of original scientific research before 600+ fellow students, teachers, mentors and judges at the Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (Upstate NY JSHS).

View the 2023 Program!

View the Runners Up of the Art & Science Competition!

Contact Us

Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium
UAlbany in the High School, University at Albany
1400 Washington Avenue, Management Services Center 312
Albany, NY 12222
Phone: 518-442-4148, Fax: 518-442-4135
[email protected]
Len Behr, Co-Director of JSHS, [email protected]

General JSHS Information
About the Symposium

Each spring in Albany, NY, young scientists representing high schools across New York present the results of original scientific research before 600+ fellow students, teachers, mentors and judges at the Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (Upstate NY JSHS).

For most students, these presentations represent the culmination of a three year Science Research in the High School program that unites students, teachers and mentors in a common research experience. This program has cultivated future scientists from schools in every region of the state.

The high school students chosen to present at the Upstate NY JSHS are finalists from sub-regional forums. Of the hundreds of students who present their papers at these sub-regional forums, only forty-three are chosen statewide to present at the Upstate NY JSHS in Albany.

On the first day of the Upstate NY JSHS, one finalist is chosen from each of five concurrent sessions. On the second day of the symposium, all of the first round winners present before a new team of judges and are ranked from one to five. Scholarships are awarded to first, second, and third place winners. All finalists are given an expense paid trip to compete in the National JSHS.

Over the past twenty years, the Upstate NY JSHS has produced more than five first or second place winners at the National JSHS.

In addition to student presentations and awards, the symposium features a keynote address by a current scientist, and workshops for students and teachers by scientists and scholars working in a variety of fields.

Major funding and support for the Upstate NY JSHS comes from the University at Albany, the National Science Teaching Association, and the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the U.S. Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Awards Offered

Department of Defense sponsored awards for JSHS regional symposia include the following (based upon the availability and release of funding):


For 10 teachers (between all 48 regionals):


  • A $1,000 award. Each region will submit one teacher for nomination of this award. Upon receipt of all the regional nominations, 10 total winners will be selected. Teachers should not be informed of their nomination.

For the regional student finalists:

  • An expense-paid trip to the National JSHS awarded to five student finalists at each regional symposium and one adult (Regional Director or their official substitute). The National JSHS event brings together 245 student finalists as well as educators, judges, and DoD professionals in a program of educational and scientific exchange.
  • An invitation to present their original research investigation at the National JSHS, in either oral or poster competitions.
  • A $2,000, $1,500, and $1,000 undergraduate tuition scholarship is awarded to each of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finalists of the regional symposium respectively. (Note: The scholarship is payable upon matriculation and upon meeting the JSHS scholarship conditions.)

For the national student finalists:

  • A $12,000 undergraduate tuition scholarship is awarded to each of the 1st place finalists in the eight National oral competition categories.
  • An $8,000 undergraduate tuition scholarship is awarded to each of the 2nd place finalists in the eight National oral competition categories.
  • A $4,000 undergraduate tuition scholarship is awarded to each of the 3rd place finalists in the eight National oral competition categories.
  • Each of the eight National poster competition categories awards: 1st place $550, 2nd place $450, and 3rd place $350.
Judges' Decisions

At both the sub-regional and regional levels, the decisions of the judges are final, irrevocable, and may not be questioned by anyone. In the rare event that the directors find a judge to be unsuitable, that judge is simply not asked to return for future symposia.

Student presenters who want feedback on their performance may speak with room moderators who sit in on the judging and are able to comment on the students' strengths and weaknesses. The JSHS sub-regional and regional judges are not to be contacted for comment by presenters. The room moderators provide verbal comment only and that comment is open only to the student presenter and teachers. It is not open to classmates, friends, or others. It is also not to be recorded other than as that student's notes.

Teachers, parents, and students please note: Attendance at the Upstate NY JSHS or either of the sub-regional symposia implies understanding and acceptance of the above.

JSHS Scholarship Form

Registration Materials

We invite you and your science research students to participate in the 39th Annual Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, showcasing the best in science from high schools across Upstate New York.

Whether this is your first year or you are a veteran teacher of science research, you and your students have a lot to gain from the JSHS experience. Past presenters, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in the science industry, cite the JSHS experience as pivotal to their success. The level of science achieved by the student presenters at JSHS is remarkable. Attending the symposium is one of the best ways to interest and motivate young, new-to-research students to pursue scientific study.

All presenters at the Upstate NY JSHS are finalists from sub-regional symposia held at Taconic Hills High School in Columbia County, and Yorktown High School in Westchester County.

Please refer to this website for all the guidelines, forms and criteria you, your students, and guests will need to participate as presenters or attendees for both the sub-regional and Upstate JSHS. It is important that the guidelines are followed precisely. Encourage your student presenters to review the entire website for a full understanding of what is expected of them and how the content and presentation of their research will be judged.

Registration Materials

Registration Packets for the Upstate NY JSHS are due by Wednesday, February 14, 2024.

Registration information will be posted soon!

Preliminary Schedule
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Speaker Presentations

Awards Ceremony
-Keynote Address
-Art & Science Winner Announced
-Speaker Session Winners Announced
-Thursday's Schedule Details

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Final Speaker Sessions

Poster Presentations

Awards Ceremony
-Poster Winners Announced
-Final Speaker Winners Announced
-National JSHS Information
-Closing Remarks

Student Presenters

Student Presenter Abstract Guidelines

Abstract Guidelines

The abstract should accurately convey the essential nature of the research conducted and the most significant conclusions reached. A further purpose of the abstract is to attract the interest and curiosity of the non-specialist reader and thus encourage exchange, discussion, and elaboration between various authors and between authors and readers.

The format for the abstract must be:

  • 250 words maximum paragraph
  • 1-inch margins
  • Justified alignment
  • Times New Roman 12pt font

View the abstract form example. Abstracts must be adequate in length but not exceed these specifications.

The header preceding the abstract body must include:The format for the abstract must be:

  1. Title of the research (bolded and properly capitalized)
  2. Authors’ Name(s)
  3. Category and Sub-Category*
  4. High School Name, High School City, High School State
  5. Name of Teacher(s). Preceed their name with a subheading (Teacher)
  6. Name of Mentor and their Organization. Precede their name with a subheading (Mentor)
  7. Include one line of space between the heading and the abstract body

*Student presenters must state on the abstract the major category and the sub-category of their research. See Eight Categories of Regional and National Symposia. (At the NY Upstate Regional those eight categories will be truncated to accommodate five judging rooms.)
Save the abstract as a .docx and email to [email protected] within 72 hours of your sub-regional.

Abstracts will be included in the symposium program. Please carefully proofread your submission, since abstracts will not be retyped or edited.


  • What you did, how you did it, what it means, why you did it and what you found.
  • Citing of experimentation completed by submission date. (Anticipated experimentation or results should not be included.)
  • Reference to a specific procedure should be restricted to a description of the process employed.
  • State results, conclusions or findings clearly and concisely.
  • Credit any financial sponsorship at the end of the abstract: “Research supported by ...”*

Download Abstract Guidelines

Student Presenter Paper Guidelines

Research Paper Guidelines

Your research should be original, if not completely unique. It must report findings not previously cited in scientific literature. It is important that:

  • Content and style be consistent with professional scientific conference papers. Consult your mentor or your teacher for proper format for your project.
  • Your research is concise and progresses logically from hypothesis to conclusion.
  • Conclusions (negative, positive or inconclusive) demonstrate that you attempted to prove your hypothesis using scientific principles.
  • Correct grammar and spelling are used. Neatness and good presentation are also important.


  • APA Style student format.
    • Times New Roman 12pt font; Page number in top right corner of each page; 1-inch margins; etc.
  • Minimum of 5-6 pages and a maximum of 40 pages, including appendices and references.
  • Double spaced.
  • Maximum size limit is 1.8 Mb.
  • Photography, graphs, tables, diagram, charts, or other graphic representation presented in the paper must be simply presented and comply with the maximum file size limit of 1.8 Mb.

Recommended outline for the research paper includes:

  • a title page, or cover page stating the student's name, school address, and title of the research,
  • acknowledgement of major assistance received,
  • as applicable, statement that "research involving non-human vertebrates or human subjects was conducted under the supervision of an experienced teacher or research and followed state and federal regulatory guidance applicable to the humane and ethical conduct of such research,"
  • table of contents,
  • introduction,
  • materials and methods,
  • results (data or findings),
  • discussion and conclusions,
  • references, or literature cited, and
  • appendices (if necessary but please keep in mind that the introduction is far more valuable in the judging process than appendices of raw data)

E-mail the PDF of research paper to [email protected] within 72 hours of your sub-regional.

Download Research Paper Guidelines

Poster Presenter Guidelines

Guidelines for Poster Presentation

Preparing Your Poster

Posters are graphic representations of completed research and experimentation. Though poster presenters will submit a narrative discussing the contents of their poster, the poster itself should be able to “stand alone” in presenting the experimentation.

The emphasis is on science, not art. Be sure your display is organized and illustrative of your research and experiments. Bulleting information is recommended.

Prepare a brief (5 minute) oral description of your research for the judge teams and be ready to answer their questions.

Once you have presented your findings to the judges, please remain by your poster to speak with other symposium attendees.


  • Posters will be displayed on tables and must be consistent with National JSHS competition dimensions. Failure to adhere to these parameters will result in disqualification of the project from competition. See page 2 of the downloadable guidelines below for a detailed description of the dimensions.
    • Poster dimensions are 36" high x 48"wide.
    • Header boards are allowed and must be no larger than 10” high x 36” wide. The Header board should only contain a title.
    • Posters should be readable from a distance of 4 feet.
    • All posters must be placed on the tables provided. We will not be using easels so make sure posters can stand alone on a table.
    • Wooden boards are not permitted for competition.
  • Display should be organized and professionally exhibited to enhance the presentation and meaning of the research; however, it should not overpower the scientific content.


The following is not allowed as part of your poster presentation:

  • Literature searches or descriptions of anticipated experiments
  • Research apparatus or handouts

Submit your abstract following the guidelines listed on the Upstate NY JSHS website.

*The University at Albany will not be held accountable for posters left unattended*

Download Poster Presenter Guidelines


Speaker Presenter Guidelines

Guidelines for Speaker Presentation


The goal is to make the research you have undertaken understandable and compelling to each and every member of the audience. You must present the process and importance of your work --through concept, research, experimentation and results.

Prepare 12 minutes of uninterrupted oral presentation including visual aids. Your presentation will be timed and managed by a moderator. The moderator will briefly signal you when there are only 2 minutes remaining for your presentation. If necessary, the moderator will also tell you to stop once you reach your 12 minutes. The moderators will also manage the question-and-answer period after your talk.

Important: During the question-and-answer period, students may not show any slides that were not part of their 12-minute presentation.

Practice your presentation to perfect the timing and identify gaps or weaknesses. It should be an unhurried interpretation of your visual aids which outline:

  • Concise review of literature.
  • Experimentation.
  • Results and their significance.
  • Graph variables and distribution of data should be identified and the significance stated.


You must bring a copy of your presentation on a USB drive. All presentations must be loaded in advance, during the registration check-in time, onto the computer in your session room. Presentations must be compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint (preferably saved as a .pptx file). You will be notified of your session room, presentation time and type of computer you'll be using at least one week prior to the symposium. For technical assistance and/or questions about format, you may contact Len Behr ([email protected]) a minimum of ten days before the symposium.


  • Limit each of your PowerPoint slides to a main idea (15 –20 words).
  • Use several simple slides vs. one complex slide.
  • Avoid crowded tabular data.
  • Use a series of slides for progressive disclosure of information.
  • Use duplicate slides to refer to the same slide again, (e.g. slide for hypothesis and the same slide as the basis for the conclusion).
  • Test visibility of slides – especially graphs. When preparing text to be photographed, measure the maximum dimension of the area on paper in inches, then stand the same number of feet away (i.e., If the text area is 9 inches, stand nine feet away) to determine if the text can be easily read.

Speaker presenters at the Upstate NY JSHS must register for the entire symposium and stay through the awards ceremony on Wednesday evening. Absence may only be authorized by Upstate NY JSHS Directors.

Students should be prepared to present a second time on Thursday morning, should they be chosen to do so.

Speaker presenters must also be prepared with a decision to accept or decline their spot as an Upstate NY delegate at National JSHS 2023.

National JSHS will be April 12-15, 2023 in Virginia Beach, VA.

Download Speaker Presentation Guidelines

Statement of Outside Assistance

Student finalists presenting their research paper at the Regional and National symposium must complete this form and submit with the final research paper.

Updated Statement of Outside Assistance form will be shared soon!


Role of Teachers

Teachers are responsible for the following:

  • Submit registration packet to Upstate NY JSHS Coordinator ([email protected]) by the deadline:
    • Registration Form (Excel spreadsheet)
    • Registration Policy (Signed PDF)
    • Permission Form (For all students)
  • Ensure all attendees register via CVENT.
  • Ensure payment is made from the school to the Research Foundation for SUNY.
  • Review the hotel group block information and contact the hotel directly to make reservations and payment. Some hotels have a link for reservations. All hotels will release unreserved hotel rooms from the group block on their cut-off date.
  • Ensure that student presenters follow all the requirements and guidelines for participating in the Upstate NY JSHS (such as abstract/paper format and submission, statement of outside assistance, poster/PowerPoint format requirements, etc).
  • Chaperone students during sub-regional and regional JSHS. Only a teacher can be a designated chaperone.
  • Serve as moderator (optional). To volunteer, contact the Upstate NY JSHS Coordinator. 

Download the Role of Teachers

Role of Moderators

Teachers who have no association with or allegiance to the student speakers will serve as moderators during the speaker presentations.

The moderator is responsible for timing and managing the speaker presentation. Moderators ensure that presentations do not exceed 12 minutes and that the speaker is signaled when there are less than 2 minutes left in their presentation time.

At the end of 12 minutes, if the speaker is not finished, the moderator must interrupt the speaker with an admonition that they may finish the sentence they are on and then stop speaking.

Moderators do not pose questions to the student presenters.

Moderators manage questions at the conclusion of the presentations and gather the judging results. Moderators also attend the judging sessions and compile brief, constructive critiques for verbal feedback to students and teachers upon request.

Moderators compile the judges' ranking of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place students and deliver this information to the Upstate NY JSHS Coordinator.

Download the Role of Moderators

Moderator Instructions

General Duties

  • Introduce each speaker’s name and title of research (refer to info sheet). We recommend asking each speaker in advance for the proper pronunciation of their names and terms used in their presentation titles.
  • Introduce Judges (refer to info sheet).
  • Announce to audience:
    • Turn off cell phones and devices.
    • Maintain a respectful silence and minimize movement during presentations.
    • No photographs or videos may be taken until the Question & Answer period.
    • Announce presentation schedule (below) and ask speakers to acknowledge you (by eye contact or nod) when you signal the two minute warning.
    • No coaching of any kind is allowed from any member of the audience.

Each student’s presentation must adhere to the following timeline:

  • 12 minutes are allotted for each student’s uninterrupted oral presentation.
  • When precisely 10 minutes have elapsed in the presentation, briefly indicate that there are 2 minutes remaining, by standing and attempting eye contact with the presenter. Be sure the student sees and acknowledges you.
  • When precisely 12 minutes have elapsed, stand and remain standing. Student must stop immediately. Begin taking questions from the judges.
  • During Question & Answer period, students may not show slides that were not part of their 12-minute presentation.


It is imperative that the following schedule be followed exactly. This schedule allows approximately 12 minutes between speaker presentations so observers can relocate if they'd like to.

  Presentation Start Time

Presentation End Time
Q&A Start Time

Q&A End Time
Speaker 1 12:30 pm 12:42 pm 12:48 pm
Speaker 2 1:00 pm 1:12 pm 1:18 pm
Speaker 3 1:30 pm 1:42 pm 1:48 pm
Speaker 4 2:00 pm 2:12 pm 2:18 pm
Speaker 5 2:30 pm 2:42 pm 2:48 pm
Speaker 6 3:00 pm 3:12 pm 3:18 pm
Speaker 7 3:30 pm 3:42 pm 3:48 pm
Speaker 8 4:00 pm 4:12 pm 4:18 pm
Speaker 9 4:30 pm 4:42 pm 4:48 pm

Managing Questions

  • 6 minutes are allowed for Question & Answer per presentation.
  • Be sure the student repeats the question so everyone can hear it.
  • Invite questions from only the judges. No more than 2 consecutive questions should come from the same judge.
  • Disallow any questions that, in your judgment, are designed to embarrass or denigrate.


  • The moderator must stay during the judges' deliberations to take notes and summarize comments. Moderators should be prepared to give, upon request, an oral overview of the judges' comments to students and/or teachers. Written comments are not to be given out.
  • The moderator conveys the judges’ decisions to the Upstate NY JSHS Coordinator.

Download Moderator Instructions


Final Session Recorder

Final Session Recorder Instructions

The Final Session Recorder has the responsibility of sitting in on the deliberations of the finalist judges, and recording the judges' comments on each of the five student finalists.

This includes:

  • What the judges liked about the presentation and/or research
  • What elements could have been improved
  • What elements should be added
  • What elements should be deleted from the presentation

Judges’ comments will not be handed out in handwritten form.

Upon request, the recorder will verbally relay any comments made by the judges to the teachers and/or student presenters.

The results of the final deliberations will determine:

  • 1st and 2nd place winners will go on to compete as oral presenters at National JSHS
  • 3rd place winner will present their poster and be designated as an alternate in the event that the 1st or 2nd place winner cannot compete at National JSHS oral competition.
  • 4th & 5th place winners will present their poster.

Download Final Session Recorder Instructions

Role of Scientist Mentors

Mentors are the guiding force behind the success of students presenting their work at JSHS. Through the Science Research in the High School program, students work closely with a mentor who assists them with their scientific research. The mentor -- from the sciences, academia or the business world -- provides the impetus and guidance a student needs to bring his/her research topic through the stages of experimentation and analysis to the conclusions and, indeed, revelations, that are unveiled at the JSHS. Mentors are encouraged to attend the JSHS.

Download the Role of Scientist Mentors


Role of Judges

The director of the Upstate NY JSHS and its affiliates make every effort to ensure that the judges at all symposia (sub-regional and regional) are the best judges available.

Sub-regional Symposia

Wherever possible, only current research professionals are invited to serve on the panel of judges for each sub-regional symposium. At the least, all judges have master’s level science proficiency. The judges evaluate the submissions of abstracts and research papers and select the students whose original experimental research distinguishes them in the speaker or poster categories.

While each sub-regional symposium is structured slightly differently, all judges follow defined criteria for choosing winners. Ranking and advancement to the regional symposium is determined by each sub-regional judging panel.

Regional Symposium

At the regional level, all judges are either university science professors or current research professionals at other local institutions. The majority of our judges see this symposium as a valuable asset to the local science community and serve for many years.

Download the Role of Judges & Judges' Decisions

Poster Judge Duties, Criteria and Score Sheet

Duties & Judging Criteria

Judges must choose a 1st place winner for their group.

JSHS recognizes students for original research achievements in the sciences, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). The overall test is that students demonstrate valid investigation and experimentation aimed at discovery of knowledge.

Download Poster Judge Duties, Criteria and Score Sheet

Speaker Judge Duties, Criteria and Score Sheet

Speaker Judges (Wednesday): Your task if to select 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from your session based upon the students’ Oral PowerPoint presentation.

Final Session Judges (Thursday): Your task is to rank the five finalists from 1st through 5th place.

JSHS recognizes students for original research achievements in the sciences, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). The overall test is that students demonstrate valid investigation and experimentation aimed at discovery of knowledge.

Download Speaker Judge Duties, Criteria, and Score Sheet

Sub-Regional Symposia

Westchester/Rockland JSHS


  • Location: Yorktown High School
  • Date: Saturday, January 20, 2024 (with a snow date of January 21st)
  • Deadline for Registration: October 20, 2023
  • Deadline for Students’ Paper & Abstract Submission: November 17, 2023
  • Teachers will receive registration information directly.
  • WES/ROC Student Information Booklet

Guidelines for students can be found on this website.

Teachers requiring further information or assistance may contact Paul Rubeo or Len Behr.

Eastern NY JSHS


  • Location: Taconic Hills High School, 73 County Route 11A, Craryville, NY
  • Date: Saturday, January 27th, 2024
  • Deadline for Registration: Friday, December 1st, 2023
  • Deadline for Students’ Paper & Abstract Submission: December 1st, 2023

Registration Information - Coming soon

Guidelines for students can be found on this website.

Teachers requiring further information or assistance may contact:
Eastern Sub-Regional Coordinator Linda Hopkins ([email protected])
or Science Research in the High School Director Len Behr ([email protected]).

Central Western NY JSHS


  • Location: Zoom
  • Date: Saturday, February 26, 2022
  • Deadline for Online Registration: TBD
  • Deadline for Students’ Paper & Abstract Submission: TBD

Registration Information

Teachers must submit the Registration Form to Len Behr with student presenters’ research paper, statement of outside assistance and abstract.

Guidelines for students can be found on this website.

Teachers requiring further information or assistance may contact Len Behr.

Previous JSHS

The 38th Annual Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium was held on March 8 & 9, 2023.

View the Program