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JSEHS: A Brief History

For over forty years, the Missouri JSEHS has provided Missouri high school students the opportunity to network with other students and community scientists, share original research and compete for prizes and scholarships.  This annual event, supported through a grant from the U.S. Army Research Office and endorsed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, is a celebration of science and student achievement.  Students, accompanied by their sponsoring teacher, will spend two days engaged in activities devoted to science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM).  This program recognizes the role of humanities at all levels of exploration.  Papers will be evaluated with an underlying precept…that the best research and solutions for problems reflect an understanding of and an attempt to enrich, at some basic level, the human experience.

The next Missouri Symposium, scheduled for March 14-15, 2014, is one of forty-eight regional symposia held at universities nationwide.   Winners of the regional event proceed to the national JSHS program (www.jshs.org) which is tentatively scheduled for late April, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (The Missouri Symposium includes an E for Engineering in our acronym.  We are directly tied to the national JSHS program.)

Symposium Objectives/Activities

  1. To foster the attainment and mastery of state and national performance and process skill standards in the sciences, engineering and mathematics.
  2. To promote research and experimentation in the sciences, engineering and mathematics at the high school level.
  3. To recognize the significance of research in human affairs and the importance of maintaining humane and ethical principles in the application of research results.
  4. To seek and identify talented youth and their teachers, recognize their accomplishments at symposia and encourage their continued interest in participation in the sciences, engineering and mathematics.
  5. To broaden students’ awareness of career possibilities in the academic, industrial and governmental communities.
  6. To increase the number of future adults capable of conducting research and development.

Over the two days attendees will:

  • Participate in student research paper presentations
  • Compete for awards and prizes
  • Engage in or observe a spirited debate
  • Participate in a poster session
  • Visit local research facilities and meet working scientists
  • Participate in workshops
  • Engage in career discussions
  • Meet peers who share similar interests
  • Attend a banquet and social mixer
  • Form new friendships and science-centered networks

Who Can Attend and Who Receives Funding?

Students: Any Missouri high school student (grades 9-12) who is enrolled in public, private or home school and has conducted or is currently conducting a scientific study is eligible to apply. Only those students submitting research will be considered for funding to cover all costs of attendance.  Seniors submitting original research papers will receive first consideration.

  • Up to five students per school may be funded.
  • There is no limit to the number of students who may apply and attend from each school.
  • The cost of attendance for those students not receiving grant funds is $150.00.
  • The cost of attendance for those students not receiving grant funds and not requiring a hotel stay is: $75.00. 

Student Observers: (students who are not submitting or conducting a research project) may attend but must pay the $150 fee to cover hotel and symposium costs.  All students attending are expected to participate in all symposium activities.

Teachers: All teachers are welcome.  As a general rule, one teacher will receive funding to accompany every five students who attend from their school.

First-time Schools:  If your school has never participated in the Missouri JSEHS, one teacher and up to four students (juniors and/or sophomores) are welcome to attend as our guest.  All students are encouraged to submit a research project if they are working on one, but it is not required for first-time guests.

Parents and Public Observers: Parents and other guests are welcome to attend paper presentation sessions, view posters and observe the debate and the final paper competition. Student presenters and their room assignments will be posted on this site, the week before the event. There is no charge to observe these events.

Travel and Accommodations

  • Up to five students and one teacher from each school may receive funding to cover the cost of the symposium.
  • Participants and their sponsoring teachers will spend Thursday night March 12, at a nearby hotel.
  • Travel to and from the Maryville campus is the responsibility of all participants. Transportation to and from all field trip sites is provided.
  • One free additional night at the hotel will be provided to participants traveling from locations beyond a 150-mile radius from Maryville.
  • Space permitting, participants who are not receiving the additional funded night may receive the hotel’s reduced rate for one extra night (either before or after the symposium).   Any participant paying for an extra night must arrange for this through the hotel.
  • Participants are expected to participate in all parts of the symposium, however, students residing in the St. Louis area are not required to stay overnight at the hotel.  Any unfunded participant who does not stay at the hotel will be charged $75.00 to attend the symposium. This fee covers all food and activities.
  • Students and teachers are encouraged to seek financial assistance for travel from their school districts or local service organizations such as the Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary, Jaycees, etc.

Associated Costs

Expenses for room, meals and symposium activities will be paid for those students selected to attend. Hotel and all associated symposium costs for those students and teachers who do not receive funding is $150.00. All efforts have been made to keep costs to a minimum.
For those not receiving grant funds and not staying in a hotel, the cost is $75.00.

The National Program

Winners of the regional event proceed to the National JSHS program. One of the Maryville JSEHS directors and at least one participating teacher will receive funding to chaperone the Missouri regional delegates. Teachers who are willing to pay all associated costs are also welcome to attend as observers.

Because each school district has unique policies regarding students’ traveling to competitions, all students selected to present papers at the regional level, should come to the Missouri symposium prepared to advance to the national level. This means they should know , before arriving,  their school’s policies and have permission from their school and their parents to attend the May National event.

All information about the National program is available online at www.jshs.org.  The Missouri  symposium coordinators will help launch efforts to register students for the National competition. Teachers and schools are responsible for communicating any details of the trip with parents and students.

Chaperones will contact students before departure and arrange meeting times/places so that the entire delegation arrives together.


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