Wisconsin-Upper Michigan JSHS guidelines

Any high school student, grades 9–12, from Wisconsin or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is eligible to present a paper on an original research project if all requirements are met. Students may present a report on work done as part of a class project, science fair project, or summer research project. Students should report on individual contributions to research. If students are part of a larger group, the presentation should focus on individual contributions in the larger project and properly acknowledge the contributions of other students, mentors, and/or teachers. For team research that cannot be divided into individual presentations, a team leader should be selected to present the results of the group work. In this case, all JSHS directives applying to individual research investigations will apply to group work. In the event the group presenter of the regional group is unable to present at the National level, this opportunity will be passed on to the next ranking project. This decision is made since the judges’ evaluations and scores pertain to the individual presenter.  

To be considered, students will be required to select a research topic (categories described below), conduct an experimental, field, observational, or applied research study, and submit an abstract and paper describing their discoveries. Qualified scientists will review the papers and students whose papers are selected will be invited to present their findings orally or in a poster session at the regional symposium on January 25–26, 2020. The top ten research papers will be invited to present orally at the regional JSHS and all others will present their work in a poster session. The student’s teacher or parent/guardian will be required to accompany the student to the regional symposium. Please review the deadline dates to know when and what items need to be submitted to participate.


  • Environmental science (pollution and impact upon ecosystems, environmental management, bioremediation, climatology, weather)
  • Engineering; technology (including renewable energies, robotics)
  • Physical Sciences—physics; computational astronomy; theoretical mathematics
  • Chemistry (including chemistry-physical, organic, inorganic; earth science-geochemistry; materials science, alternative fuels)
  • Life sciences (general biology-animal sciences, plant sciences, ecology; cellular and molecular biology, genetics, immunology, biochemistry)
  • Medicine and Health; Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Mathematics and Computer science/computer engineering; applied mathematics-theoretical computer science
  • Biomedical Science


  • Statement of research assistance (see template). 
  • Abstract of research paper is limited to 200 words (see template).
  • Research paper may be no longer than 20 typewritten pages (see template). 
  • PowerPoint for research paper presentation (review guidelines at
  • Look over judging rubric when writing paper and preparing for presentation.


  • Presentation of paper must not exceed 12 minutes. Questions from judges will not exceed 6 minutes.
  • A session moderator will aid the student speaker in maintaining this schedule and in fielding questions from the audience.  
  • The procedure for maintaining time includes a 10-minute signal for the student, and finally a 12-minute signal. 
  • Available audio-visual equipment in each session include: 1) LCD projector; 2) projection screen; 3) laser pointer; and 4) PC-based computer with PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat.
  • No written handouts or models are permitted.  
  • Remember, you are the expert. No one in the audience knows as much about your research investigation as you. Therefore, remember to explain your research in enough detail so the audience will understand what you did, how you did it, and what you learned.
  • Whenever possible, avoid jargon or unnecessary terminology. If it is essential to use specialized terms, remember to explain the specialized term briefly. Give your audience enough time to understand what you are trying to convey.
  • Graphs, tables, and other representations help explain your results.  Keep them simple and uncluttered. Focus on important information; for example, remember to name the variables on both axes of a graph, and state the significance of the position and shape of the graph line.
  • Deliver your presentation at a comfortable pace. It helps to practice your presentation before a non-specialized audience. Practice will help perfect the presentation and the timing. Do listen to the advice of your non-specialized audience but also get help from a teacher or other advisors as needed. 


  • The first round of judging will occur when students’ written abstracts and reports are reviewed by a scientist or expert in the field.  
  • Judging of the oral presentations is the final step to select student delegates who will advance to the National JSHS.