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Teachers are invited to help at the Symposium/Essay reading session in January 2023. 
Details here.

[Symposium | State Essay Contest | International Science/Engineering Fair]

STEM Exhibition Symposium

The Symposium is part of the annual Chicago Public Schools Exhibition Student STEM Research. The Symposium is an opportunity for the exchange of ideas between a high school student presenter and a panel of university and industrial scientists in a particular area of science or mathematics. Emphasis is placed on a studentís inherent scientific interest and their ability to express themselves completely and correctly in oral and written form. Symposium entrants are required to conduct original research as a basis for the Symposium paper. However, this research need not be exhibited at the Citywide STEM Exhibition. The research paper requirements for exhibits and the Symposium are identical. Research involving humans, non-human vertebrates, human and vertebrate animal tissue, microorganisms, and recombinant DNA may require appropriate endorsement.

Entry Procedure

Papers only go through the approval process first. Any high school student who desires to participate in the Symposium must fill out the 2023 Regional STEM Exhibition Project Registration form:, selecting Symposium (only projects selected by their school are allowed to enter the Exhibition). Within the form, you will submit your research paper no later than January 13, 2023, for evaluation and selection. Please do not send paper copies or email. Late papers will not be accepted.

FOR RESEARCH PAPER: Upload Abstract, Safety Sheet, Endorsement(s) - if applicable, Title Page, Table of Contents, Acknowledgements, Purpose and Hypothesis/Real World Problem, Background Research, Materials and Methods of Procedure, Results, Conclusions, Reference List. The page limit of 30 pages (plus endorsement pages) also applies to Symposium papers.

Students whose papers are selected will be notified and given a complete set of instructions for participation in the Citywide Symposium. Judge feedback will be sent to all students. Examine the Symposium Paper/IJAS State Checklist linked in the Documents tab on the left for helpful information in completing the Symposium paper.

Symposium Papers

The Symposium paper is the same as the Research Summary and Abstract described in previous sections of the handbook. A high school student who plans to enter a project in the Citywide STEM Exhibition and wishes to participate in the Symposium needs to submit their required documents and their research paper as outlined above. Papers submitted by the due date will be read and evaluated by the Screening Committee. Any papers that do not follow the guidelines in the STEM Exhibition Handbook will not advance to City. Each school is allowed to submit to the Symposium Committee no more than 30 research papers. The total of 30 papers includes both Symposium papers and Essay papers.

Symposium Sessions

An orientation meeting for all finalists will be held before the Symposium date to familiarize the students with the Symposium locations and available audiovisual equipment which may include an LCD Projector and screen. Participants will be given complete details as to procedures and scheduling for their presentation in the program.


Each finalist will be given 10 minutes to present his/her paper, followed by a five-minute question-and-answer period. All participating students must remain for the entire morning or afternoon session. The main task of the participant is to present (in the time allotted) a recapitulation of his/her Research Summary, highlighting the Purpose, Hypothesis, Review of Literature, Materials, Results, and Conclusion(s).


Judges will not accept revisions of student papers after they have been received from the Symposium Committee.