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Teachers are invited to help at the Symposium/Essay reading session in January 2022. 
Details here.

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

STEM Exhibition Symposium

The Symposium is part of the annual Chicago Public Schools Student STEM Exhibition. The Symposium is an opportunity for the exchange of ideas between a 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 his/her ability to express himself/herself 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

Any high school student who desires to participate in the Symposium must submit the Official Symposium  Entry Form, Abstract, Safety Sheet, Endorsement(s) (if required), Photography Consent Letter and research paper to the Symposium Chairperson, Lucy Young via email at no later than January 16, 2023 for evaluation and selection. Please do not send paper copies to her school. Late papers will not be accepted.

Please submit documents as follows:

1) Signed Official Symposium Entry Form as one separate pdf.

2) Signed Photography Consent Letter as one separate pdf.

3) Abstract, signed Safety Sheet, approved Endorsement(s) (if required), and research paper all in one pdf.

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 in the 2019-2020 Handbook 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 also wishes to participate in the Symposium needs to submit their required documents and their research paper as outlined above. The page limit of 30 pages also applies to Symposium papers. Each copy to be entered in the Symposium must be accompanied by the 2022 Student STEM Exhibition Official Entry Form for Symposium and Essay Competition, an IJAS Safety Sheet, and the appropriate endorsement(s) if applicable. The student is required to do original research. Symposium papers are due to Lucy Young at, by 16January th, 2023. There will be no extension of the deadline. Papers submitted after the deadline will not be accepted and a reply will be sent to the author as having missed the deadline. 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 be returned to the student. 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 Program

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.