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firstplaces.jpg (33558 bytes)Once a year, young Texans from all over the state, travel to Texas A&M to compete in the Texas Junior Academy of Science, a science research competition for high-school students. The purpose of this event is to allow students an opportunity to communicate their research results and to promote discussion of their work with scientific colleagues. These high schoolers, who have won in their own districts, present their research in sub-fields of social or physical science during this two-day event. Two winners, one from the Natural Science division and one from the Physical Science division, will then travel to Washington D.C. to represent Texas at the national conference.  All high schools in Texas are eligible and encouraged to compete at the Texas Junior Academy of Science competition.

The 2000 Texas Junior Academy of Science

On April 11 & 12, 2000, the College of Science and Center for Mathematics and Science Education hosted the Texas Junior Academy of Science on the campus of Texas A&M University. On the first day of competition, each student presented a paper on research results completed during the previous year in one of the eligible categories: Behavioral and Social Science, Biochemistry, Botany, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, Medicine and Health, Microbiology, Physics, and Zoology. After the judges had selected the winners in each category, these students made their presentations again in the Finals the following day

They Came From Around the State of Texas
Students from around the state of Texas came to present their research at the 2000 TJAS competition, with certain areas such as Plano and San Antonio being particularly well represented.  We also had several new schools join us for the first time ... WELCOME! and we hope to see you back again next year.  The number of presenters also increased, making this the largest TJAS competition we have ever held!  A total of 99 students presented their research and 3 additional students participated as observers.

Schools who had students participating this year included:

  • Academy for Science & Health Professions -- Conroe
  • Brackenridge High School -- San Antonio
  • Clark High School -- Plano
  • Fox Academic & Technical High School -- San Antonio
  • Health Careers High School -- San Antonio
  • Jasper High School -- Plano
  • John Jay Science Academy -- San Antonio
  • John Marshall High School -- San Antonio
  • MacArthur High School -- San Antonio
  • O'Connor High School -- San Antonio
  • Plano Senior High School -- Plano
  • Plano West Senior High School -- Plano
  • San Marcos High School -- San Marcos
  • Seguin High School -- Seguin
  • Shepton High School -- Plano
  • Taft High School -- San Antonio
  • Texas Military Institute -- San Antonio
  • Tom C. Clark High School -- San Antonio
  • Vines High School -- Plano
  • Williams High School -- Plano
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And the Winners Are ...

On the first day of the competition, students presented their work in one of 12 categories, competing against other students within the same category.  The categories make up two divisions -- the Natural Science Division and the Physical Science Division.  On the second day, the winners of each category presented their work, competing against other students within the same Division. First, second and third place Division winners were chosen for each of the two Divisions.

The Natural Science Division consists of the following categories:  Behavioral and Social Science, Biochemistry, Botany, Medicine and Health, Microbiology and Zoology. 

The winners of the Natural Science Division were:

1stnatural.jpg (26255 bytes) First place in the Natural Division went to Michael Buhrmester, Jasper High School.  The winner received a commemorative plaque and a $250 travel award to be used toward travel expenses to the National AAAS meeting in San Francisco. 

Michael's presentation was entitled: Elderly Memory on Trial.

2ndnatural.jpg (25179 bytes) Second place in the Natural Division went to Debra Hsiung from Health Careers High School. She was presented with a commemorative plaque, medallion and a $200 travel award to be used toward travel expenses for her trip to National AAAS meeting in San Francisco.

Debra's presentation was entitled: Cloning and Characterization of Novel Isoforms of Telomere Repeat Binding Factors

3rdnatural.jpg (25785 bytes) Third place winner in the Natural Division is Todd Blumberg of Vines High School.  He was presented with a commemorative plaque, medallion and a $150 travel award to be used toward travel expenses for his trip to National AAAS meeting in San Francisco.

Todd's presentation was entitled: The Antimicrobial Properties of Human Breast Milk

 

The Physical Science Division is made up of the following categories: Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Math and Computer Science, and Physics.

The winners in the Physical Science Division were:

1stphysical.jpg (23324 bytes) First place in the Physical Division went to Stephen Lin, Shepton High School.  The winner received a commemorative plaque and a $250 travel award to be used toward travel expenses to the National AAAS meeting in San Francisco. 

Stephen's presentation was entitled: Intelligent Memory.

2ndphysical.jpg (24995 bytes) Second place in the Physical Division went to Stan Pozmantir from Clark High School. He was presented with a commemorative plaque, medallion and a $200 travel award to be used toward travel expenses for her trip to National AAAS meeting in San Francisco.

Stan's presentation was entitled: Brushless Electric Motors: A Third Year Study

3rdphysical.jpg (23364 bytes) Third place winner in the Physical Division is Greg Holwitt of MacArthur High School.  He was presented with a commemorative plaque, medallion and a $150 travel award to be used toward travel expenses for his trip to National AAAS meeting in San Francisco.

Greg's presentation was entitled: The Detection and Synthesis of 8-Nitroguanine in DNA

 

Volunteers: The People Who Make This Event Possible!

It takes months of preparation to host the Texas Junior Academy of Science each year.  It could not be done without a staff dedicated to making this event a successful and fun competition.  Vince Schielack, of course, serves as "our leader" but the organization behind TJAS is Anne Turner and Nancy Magnussen,  the coordinators of the event.  By the time students arrive to participate, infinite details have been ironed out and most catastrophes successfully avoided through careful planning.  Remember to thank all 3 of them for the hard work it takes to make this event happen!  An excellent slate of judges, veteran scientists and experts in their areas, volunteered their time to offer encouragement and suggestions to the scientists of tomorrow. Dr. Vince Schielack, director of TJAS and also a judge, observed that the judges found the students' projects to be of excellent quality and even somewhat humbling when compared to their own high school experiences. anne.jpg (21810 bytes)
bestjudge.jpg (22625 bytes) In addition, the Judge of the Year Award was presented, amidst enthusiastic applause, to Terry Gruber of the Texas A&M Chemistry Department. Terry judged both days and offered insight and advice to numerous students, both during the presentations and afterwards on the comment sheets that each presenter received. This was her second year to assist with the judging of this event. In addition to TJAS,  Terry helped with the several of our other outreach activities this spring -- as a Board Member for Women in Science and Engineering, and as a presenter for the Chemistry Road Show during Texas Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. We greatly appreciate her efforts to help make our Educational Outreach events meaningful experiences for the students!

This event is sponsored by the Texas Academy of Science, an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

2001 Texas Junior Academy of Science
Plans are already underway for the first Texas Junior Academy of Science of the new millenium!   The event is scheduled to be held on April 10 and 11, 2001.  It will once again be held on the campus of Texas A&M University, in the Memorial Student Center.  Maps and hotel information will be available as we near the time of the event.

The registration fee will $32 per entry which includes the banquet on Tuesday evening. Fees for accompanying adults will be $12 to cover the cost of the banquet.  All fees must accompany registration form! Please plan accordingly with your school financial officers.

Rules and entry forms for the competition follow.

Rules for the 2001 Texas Junior Academy of Science
For Whom:
Any high school student is eligible to present a paper on an original research project if all requirements are met. No group projects may be presented.

Requirements:

  1. A sponsor or school that is a member of TJAS.
  2. Student needs to be qualified through a regional Junior Academy of Science. (Special permission from state counselors [contact Vince Schielack] if regional qualification is not available)
  3. Submit entry form and registration fee of $32 per entry.  Entries will not be included in program until fees have been received.
  4. Abstract of research paper and entry form should be received no later than two weeks prior to state meeting (limit of 150 words on abstract).
  5. Important Rule!!!
    Research paper may be no longer than 20 typewritten pages. 
    It must be stapled in the upper left hand corner. 
    It may NOT be bound!
    Front side of page only!!
    10 point minimum font (12 point preferred!) and 1.5 minimum line spacing
    .
    No other materials will be given the judges.
  6. Two copies of papers for judges at the time of presentation.
  7. If any portion of the project has been submitted previously to TJAS, this must be stated in the abstract and in the oral presentation. The project must be divided into part I and part II, specifying the school year the work was done. For example, Part I, 1997-98, Part II, 1998-99.

Categories:

  • Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Space Science
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Math and Computer Science
  • Medicine and Health
  • Microbiology
  • Physics
  • Zoology

Limitations:
Presentation of paper must not exceed 12 minutes. Audiovisual aids may be used. Overhead and slide projectors will be provided; other equipment must be provided by participant.   For power point presentations, student must bring own laptop computer and LCD projector.

Judging:
1. There will be two judges for each category.
2. Any student who ranks first in his or her category will be eligible to participate in the final round of judging.
3. Preliminary judging will be on Tuesday.
4. Final judging will begin on Wednesday.

ENTRY FORM FOR TJAS

 

Hotel Accommodations for the Regional Competition

The hotel that we will reserve for the 2001 TJAS competition is the Hampton Inn in College Station.  It is located at 320 Texas Avenue South, a half block north of the University and convenient to many restaurants.  Contact the Hampton at (979) 846-0184 regarding your hotel room needs.

Reservation deadlines will be posted when known!

 

A list of tours and activities of scientific interest will be available for students and sponsors.

 

For more information, please contact:

TJAS Director:
Vince Schielack
vinces@math.tamu.edu
(979) 845-2831
Educational Outreach and Women's Programs Office:
Anne Turner or Nancy Magnussen
outreach@science.tamu.edu
(979) 845-7363

Another Important Link: Texas Academy of Science homepage.