Superintendent’s Memo #207-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 14, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Virginia Junior Academy of Science

It is my pleasure to announce that the 2016 Virginia Junior Academy of Science (VJAS) Research Symposium will be held on May 17-19, 2016, at the University of Mary Washington (UMW).  VJAS, a state chapter of the American Academy of Science, is dedicated to the advancement of science by discovering and encouraging scientific aptitude among Virginia’s middle and high school students.  VJAS has been ranked among the top three Junior Academies in the nation for nearly three decades and serves over 40,000 students per year.

In developing science research to present at the Academy, students learn how to conduct research, draw conclusions, and make public presentations.  All student science research receives feedback from experienced scientists and science educators. Students who present at the Research Symposium have an opportunity for publishing their science research and receive awards and scholarships.

The deadline for submitting papers for this year’s Symposium is February 24, 2016.  VJAS continues to be an outstanding example of how mathematics and science programs around the Commonwealth are using different teaching and learning resources to improve student achievement of the state’s learning standards.  Relating science, mathematics, and engineering concepts to practical applications, first-hand experiences, and systematic research have proven to be a formula for student success across the STEM disciplines.

For more information, including the VJAS Handbook and how students can become involved in the VJAS, please visit or contact Susan Booth, VJAS director, at