Symposium Outreach Opportunities

UF’s Center for Precollegiate Education and Training (CPET) provides a variety of opportunities for faculty, postdocs, doctoral candidates and lab managers to engage in outreach during our annual Junior Science, Engineering, and Humanities Symposium (JSEHS), including hosting a lab visit, serving as a competition judge,  reviewing high school student research papers, facilitating presentations, and meeting with research poster presenters.

Event Overview:

Annually, over 250 middle and high school students, teachers, and parents attend JSEHS to explore University-level research through lectures and lab tours, to discover the academically and culturally rich opportunities at UF, and to present their own student research at poster and speaker forums.  The Florida Regional JSEHS selects best-in-state high school research projects for scholarship awards and a sponsored trip to the National Competition for the opportunity to compete for an additional $16,000 in scholarship money.

For complete listing of symposium events and details, visit the Florida Regional JSEHS webpage.


Please complete our sigJSEHS Outreach Form to participate in any of the following JSEHS outreach opportunities. 

Reviewing 11th and 12th Grade Student STEM Research Papers- Faculty, Practitioners, Post Docs, PhD Candidates, and Research Lab Coordinators (Mid-November)

Volunteers to read and review three to five student research papers are needed in all STEM fields, including medicine, veterinary science, dental school, engineering, math, computer science, and all science disciplines.  Reviewers provide feedback for the selection committee to identify the top 24 research papers to compete at the Florida Regional JSEHS.  It is our goal to provide aspiring researchers with a valuable pre-professional develop experience. Therefore each student’s paper is read by three reviewers and aggregated, anonymous comments are provided to the student to help each improve research, critical thinking, and writing skills.

Judging the Student STEM Research Speaker Competition- Faculty, Practitioners, Post Docs, and Research Lab Coordinators (1-day, late January or early February)

The Student STEM Research Competition selects the Best-in-State research projects for scholarship awards and a sponsored trip to the National Competition.  The 1st and 2nd Place winners represent Florida at the National Competition for the opportunity to win an additional $16,000 in scholarship money.  The 3rd and 4th Place winners present their research in poster format for awards and prize money.

Panels of expert judges evaluate six research presentations during the main judging round. 11th and 12th graders selected for the Student STEM Research Speaker Competition (see Reviewing Papers above) present their original research in a 12 minute talk to a judges’ panel and symposium participants.  Each student presentation is followed by up-to six minutes of questions from the judges.  The top eight projects overall (2 projects from each judges’ panel) move onto the summary round where students present a short research summary and answer questions from all judges.  The top four projects are selected as winners.

Judging the Competitive Poster Session- Faculty, Practitioners, Post Docs, PhD Candidates, upper-level Graduate Students, and Research Lab Coordinators (2 hours, late January or early February)

Twenty upper-level high school students are selected to present their original research in the Competitive Poster Session.   Each judge evaluates four to six research projects that broadly represent his or her field of expertise.  Judging criteria are provided and winner selection is based upon scored feedback.  The top research poster represents Florida at the National Competition for the opportunity to win awards and prize money.

Lab Tours- 45 minute session (2 sessions available, late January or early February)

Lab Tours are the most popular event at the Florida Regional JSEHS.   In small groups of students and teachers, JSEHS participants tour research labs to explore the cutting-edge research and facilities at UF.  All faculty are invited to participate, including faculty in science-art studios.

During tours, faculty engage visitors with an introduction to the research lab followed by a demonstration or brief hands-on activities.  For many of the student participants, this is their time speaking with a researcher or visiting a lab.  Lab staff also leave time for visitors to ask questions.

Facilitators for the 9-10th Grade STEM Research Presentations- Science Education Majors, Graduate Students or Post Docs with teaching experience (2 hours, late January or early February)

The non-competitive speaker sessions provide opportunities for younger high school students to present their library or bench research, to develop professional verbal-presentation skills, and to prepare students for future science competitions.  Facilitators should have strong leadership skills and presentation experience.  Facilitator training is provided prior to the session. All Florida Regional JSEHS participants attend the presentations and participate in the feedback and discussion process.

General Poster Session- All Members of the University Community (1-hour, late January or early February)

Students and faculty are invited to visit with and provide feedback to middle and high school students presenting their research or scientifically inspired art work at the Florida Regional JSEHS General Poster Session.  In keeping with the high academic rigor of the event, the JSEHS participants highly appreciate the opportunity to present their work to you and receive feedback from you.  Posters and displays are in a variety of topics; therefore students and faculty from all disciplines of are requested to participate, particularly in the sciences, engineering, medicine, art, and humanities.