Before I get too into this, incase none of you know, I'm a member of the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science. Attempting to keep it short and succint, here is what a typical year in PJAS will look like and what we do in PJAS:
PJAS- Create your own hypothesis about any topic you choose, test it, create a presentation, present it, move on depending on score.
Typical Schedule: (Meetings every Thursday, and increase in dates coming up to meets)
June-September: Formulate your own hypothesis about a topic, then start researching.
September-January: Start and then Complete project (testing, speech, etc)
February or March (depending on region, events, etc): You go to a regional meet held at a school somewhere in your Region and present your presentation to a panel of 3 judges. Your judges are "experts" in your field of study who listen to you, write comments down, and when your done presenting ask you questions about your topic (some extremely hard, some painless). If you recieve a First Award, or a First Award Perfect Score, you move on to states.
Mid April-Beginning of May: Continue practicing for States. We have to have our entire speech memorized (approx 8 minutes) before we go. Worse case senario: before you present.
Date of State Meet (Varies each year due to their graduation)3 Day event held at PSU. (Sunday-Tuesday)
You present the same presentation as you did at the regional meet (unless you are me and change the whole thing 72 hours before you leave ) . The difference is that your judges are a lot stricter and more analytical on your presentation and data. Another difference is that if you recieve a First Award or a First Award Perfect Score, then you are elligable to earn an award. (perfect scores are rare, firsts are also rare, 2nds are very common. My school is some of the best there is with over 20 first/first and perfect and only 4 2nds last year. No 3rds and thankfully no Honorable Mentions)
Luckily, I recieved the rare First Award Perfect score in the morning/high school award ceremony. I then went to the middle school award ceremony to support a few of our other members (and to learn how to keep scores when the seniors leave). Finally, at the Special Awards Ceremony, I recieved an award for Physics/Mathematics (I guess they choose a person from math and Physics) for my testing of Loop designs and was 1 of 4 of the hundreds of people qualified to recieve it (came with 75 bucks too).
Now that you know about the somewhat crazy schedule, time to talk (even more) about my this years project that will require a lot of SSC's help.
I am testing another version of my last year's Project, I will be testing Inverted Loop Designs for a(n) (Inverted) Roller Coaster. I will need your help because I will need some help on the shaping of the loops and the drop that's being researched right now.
This might become the new thread for this project, but please help me out again, I've already given SSC the credit for helping me with the shaping of the loops last year after my judges asked me about how I built it. I'd like to explain how you all helped me again which definately made the judges think that this is still really cool.
Thanks for reading all this if you did. If you have any Q's, feel free to ask away because I'll be happy to respond.
EDIT: Here is my thread on SSC showing a typical PJAS project. The speech is exact and gives you an idea of what my presentation looks like.
PJAS PRESENTATION-SLIEDS INCLUDED- AS OF 5/14/11
EDIT #2: A pic off Facebook. High Schoolers. I'm in the blue holding up the Perfect Award paper on the left. (Yes the kid in the middle does have a fro)