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New Jersey State Science Day 2021

Since the 1950’s, State Science Day has been inspiring students in New Jersey to careers in STEM.  The competition has been reenvisioned in 2021 to foster growth in the scientific and engineering practices through authentic, community-based problem solving.  This new competition is co-sponsored by New Jersey Science Teachers Association and the Research & Development Council (R&D Council) of New Jersey

PDF Flyer for distribution HERE

Statement of purpose: Competition to acknowledge high school students’ use of science and engineering practices to define a problem in your community with a focus on its marginalized and/or underserved members, and to design a solution.

Who: Individual 9th - 12th grade students in New Jersey (public/charter/private/vo-tech/homeschool)

Application Submission: A slide deck (downloaded as PDF) and submitted on this Google form:  https://tinyurl.com/NJSSD2021

Honor a teacher: Student applicants will nominate a science teacher who has supported their interest in STEM. 

When: In honor of March being NJ STEM Month, completed projects must be submitted via Google form by March 22, 2021 EXTENDED TO March 29th at 11:59 pm.  Winners will be announced in April. 

Award: For each county*, two student winners and their nominated teachers will be recognized as outstanding in science at a virtual event hosted by the R&D Council of New Jersey in May 2021. Winners will be selected by a judging committee using a rubric based on the Required Task Components

* Magnet/vocational high schools compete together in their own category with their own two winners.

2021 Challenge: 

Considering issues of equity and social justice, design a solution to reduce the impacts of climate change in your community through adaptation and/or mitigation efforts.

Definition of Terms:

Community: School, town, county, or state of New Jersey
Equity & Social Justice: justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society
Impacts of Climate Change graphic from the Environmental Protection Agency: 

Proposal template slide deck can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/y5rnsezh


Required Task Components

Video Pitch

Record & embed a short video (max 3 minutes) in which you explain the significance of the problem and outline your proposal for solving it.  

  • Video may include edited components that underscore the seriousness of the problem and the applicant’s passion for addressing it. 

  • Video must include the student speaking as a narrated voice-over or directly to the camera. 


One-paragraph summary that outlines the problem, its effects on the identified community, and the proposal to address it. 

  • Hint: this is usually the last section completed, once all other sections are composed. 

Problem Identification

Define a problem to be solved that is related to the impacts of climate change.

  • In discussing the problem, define the community you are focusing on,  describe who is impacted and how, and explain why you selected it. 

Background Information 

Provide a summary of background information you consulted to help in your understanding of the problem in the community. 

  • Identify how the climate change impact relates to a change in temperature, change in precipitation, and/or change in sea level rise. 

  • Describe the relationship between the identified problem and your chosen community.

  • Consider the use of visual data.

Proposed Solution

Design a solution that is either a:

  • Mitigation plan for reducing or eliminating factors contributing to climate change, or

  • Adaptation plan for preparing for impacts of climate change

Impact of Solution

Explain how and why the proposed solution would address the identified problem. 

  • Use evidence to support why this solution would work.

  • Describe potential intended and unintended consequences of the proposed solution.

Next Steps 

Describe the next steps needed for implementation of the proposed solution. 

  • Describe who needs to be involved in the implementation.  

  • Describe the timeframe for implementation. 

  • Describe how the implementation would take place. 


Include list of resources in APA format that can include 

  • Use a variety of resources including but not limited to: podcasts, websites, local interviews, news articles, official local communications, etc. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Bettyann Howson at StateScience@gmail.com or 201- 787- 0108

PDF Flyer for distribution HERE

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