Junior or high school students interested in participating in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science must register with a school sponsor. If your school is not affiliated with PJAS and you would like to participate, contact the PJAS Region 3 Director with your name, grade and school for more information. Region 3 includes junior and high schools in Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties.
See the Resources page for Registration forms. All Sponsors must register before students. Registration deadline is January 10, 2023. NO registrations will be accepted after this date. Please use your existing account (if applicable). If you need help with registration logins, please send an email to the Registration Support.
PJAS Qualifying Projects
There are four types of PJAS projects a student may independently complete to enter the Regional and State competitions. Please use the Presentation Guidelines for Science, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Engineering presentations as a guideline to determine if a presentation meets the necessary requirements.
Science projects involve formulating a hypothesis, designing an experiment, and carrying out the experiment to test the hypothesis. Attention must be given to the scientific method, control variables, and number of trials. For PJAS competition the student must give a 10-minute or less oral presentation describing the experiment using PowerPoint or another presentation program saved in a PDF format.
Mathematic projects are expository, not experimental, in nature. The student should select and research a topic. The topic should not be one that is covered in the student’s regular mathematics class. It could be supplemental or at a grade level above that of the student. For PJAS competition the student must give a 10-mintue or less oral presentation on their topic. Attention must be given to correct mathematical notation, vocabulary, and methods.
Computer projects may take several forms. The most common is writing a program that could be used to perform a practical task. Other examples would be a comparison of data compression routines, an evaluation of the efficiency of operating systems, or an effort to improve Internet security. For PJAS competition a computer demonstration of the project is not allowed. The student must give a 10-minute oral or less presentation describing methods used, problems encountered, and the finished product.
Engineering projects involve the application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, processes, and systems. “Scientists try to understand how nature works; engineers create things that never were.” An engineering project should state the engineering goals, the development process and the evaluation of improvements. Engineering projects present identified problems with a distinct purpose. A proposed solution with a potentially unique approach is presented to address all aspects of the problem. The presentation should provide findings that suggest additional work to address other aspects of the problem.
All science projects must be conducted under one of the following categories:
- Behavioral Psychology (BEH) The systematic investigation of mental phenomena for both humans and animals, especially those associated with consciousness, behavior, and the problems of adjustment to the environment. This includes but is not limited to projects involving psychology, learning perception, perception problems, and educational testing.
- Biochemistry (BC) The study of chemistry within living organisms with emphasis on the process. This includes but is not limited to projects involving: blood chemistry, protein chemistry and plant genetics.
- Biology (BIO) This category is for life science projects which do not fall into any other category. This includes but is not limited to projects involving: human medicine, dentistry, dermatology and allergies.
- Botany (BOT) The study of plants. This includes but is not limited to projects involving: plant physiology, plant anatomy, plant pathology, and plant genetics.
- Chemistry (CHM) The study of the composition of matter and how it can change. This includes but is not limited to projects involving: physical chemistry, organic chemistry (other than biochemistry), inorganic chemistry, and chemical engineering.
- Computer Science (CS) The development of computer programs, algorthims, computer languages, and hardware. If the project deals with the use of computers as a tool to obtain, analyze, or present data, the project should be placed in to category of its major thrust.
- Earth and Space (ES) The study of the earth and extraterrestrial bodies and the processes affecting them. This includes, but is not limited to projects involving: geology, oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy.
- Ecology (ECO) The study of the interactions and relationships of living things to their environment and to each other. This includes but is not limited to projects involving: pollution, environmental alterations, and ecosystem analysis.
- Engineering (ENG) Using mathematics, science, and design principles to solve practical problems. This definition includes the traditional engineering disciplines, such as electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering, but can include forward looking interdisciplinary areas, such as energy engineering, nanoengineering, and data engineering.
- Mathematics (MAT) The study of numbers both pure and applied. This includes, but is not limited to projects involving algebra, calculus, geometry, statistics, topology, operations research, and number theory.
- Microbiology (MIC) The study of organisms ONLY at the microscopic level. This includes but is not limited to projects involving: bacteriology, virology, protozoology, mycology, algology, palynology, fungal and bacterial genetics, and yeast.
- Physics (PHY) The study of matter and motion. This includes but is not limited to projects involving: the traditional subset of physics (i.e. statics, dynamic, optics, acoustics, heat, and electricity) and applied physics (mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering).
- Zoology (ZOO) The study of animals. This includes but is not limited to projects involving: animal physiology, animal anatomy, animal pathology, and animal genetics.