2024 AJAS Annual Program


About AJAS

The American Junior Academy of Sciences (AJAS) is the only US honor society recognizing America's premier high school students for outstanding scientific research. Each state's Academy of Science nominates high school students as AJAS delegates. The chosen delegates are then invited to attend the AJAS annual conference. The AJAS mission is to introduce, encourage, and accelerate pre-college students into the professional world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Each state's Academy of Science determines the guidelines by which their AJAS delegates are chosen. In many cases, the Academy of Science organizes a Junior Academy of Science. Under the direction of the Junior Academy, a statewide scientific research competition is held.
The winners of these competitions are nominated to represent their state at the AJAS conference. Interested students and mentors should contact their state Academy of Science for information on how to get involved.
AJAS meets annually in conjunction with the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) annual meeting. AAAS is the largest scientific organization in the world and the publisher of Science. AAAS serves as an authoritative source for information on the latest developments in science and bridges gaps among scientists, policy-makers and the public to advance science and science education.
During the conference, AJAS delegates:
  • tour local institutions of scientific importance,
  • share their research with their peers and with other scientists,
  • participate in interactive laboratory experiences
  • attend conference sessions
  • gain exposure to cutting edge technology,
  • meet world-renowned scientists,
  • participate in field trips, plenary lectures, and small group meetings
At the end of the meeting, the students are inducted as lifetime Fellows into the American Junior Academy of Science.
AJAS is very unique because it is not a competition, rather it is a conference that celebrates student success by introducing them to the social, cultural, intellectual, and professional aspects of STEM professions. AJAS is a program of the National Association of the Academics of Science (NAAS). NAAS is the national organization for the state science academies and is an affiliate member of AAAS.

2024 NAAS-AJAS Program 

Current as of February 9th, 2024 12:30pm MST

In-person events in Denver, CO.: Feb. 14 to 17, 2024

Helpful Notes
  • No Virtual events will be conducted for this conference
  • Hilton Denver City Center Hotel address: 1701 California St, Denver, CO 80202
  • Colorado Conference Center address: 700 14th St, Denver, CO 80202
  • During AJAS schedule breaks, all AJAS Student Delegates have access to (and are encouraged to attend) AAAS Annual Meeting events and sessions. (see AAAS program)   
  • Pack at least one business formal and one business casual outfit.
  • Pack for winter weather. Bring comfortable, weather-resistant footwear.
  • Don't forget to bring your poster materials.
Wednesday, February 14
  • Registration, Hilton Denver City Center Hotel, Denver Room                                                      2:00-5:00pm
  • Committee Meetings for Adult Volunteers, Hilton Denver City Center Hotel, Denver Room    5:00-6:00pm
  • Opening Reception and Keynote Speakers, Hilton Denver City Center Hotel, Denver Room  6:00-8:30pm
    • Keynote Speakers: Colonel Jennifer Aupke and Colonel Jake Hammons from The United Air Force. 
    • Beverages and hors d'oeuvers provided
Thursday, February 15
  • Air Force Academy Tour                                                                                                             6:30am-4:30pm
    • Meet at The Hilton Denver City Center Hotel prior to bus departure at 6:30am. A boxed breakfast will be provided courtesy of AJAS to be eaten on the bus. The itinerary includes a walking tour of the visitor center, state-of-the-art teaching labs, and planetarium. Lunch will be held at your choice of local eateries at your own expense, starting at 1:00pm. Mid-morning snacks will be provided. Busses depart at 2:00pm for the shuttle back to Colorado Convention Center in time for the Opening Plenary Session.
    • Important Notes:
      • Dress Code: Business casual. Dress for comfort and safety in labs including long pants/skirt and comfortable, close-toed shoes. There will not be time to stop at the hotel between the tour and the plenary session presidential address. What you wear to the lab tours, you will wear to the presidential address.
      • Participants 18 and older must bring a government-issued ID, attendees 18+ without an ID will not be permitted to enter the Air Force Academy. Participants 17 and under do not need an ID. 
  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science Tour                                                                               9:30am-2:30pm
    • Funds are being provided for breakfast by John Kaup. Chaperones to meet John in lobby between 6:30 am and 7:30 am.
    • Shuttles to and from The Hilton Denver City Center Hotel and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science will leave the hotel at 9:30am and 10:00am and will depart from the museum at 1:30pm and 2:00pm, returning to the hotel. Delegates can alternately take the metro to the AAAS conference for the plenary and scientific sessions. Lunch is not included on this tour. Food is available at the museum.  
  • AAAS Sessions (see AAAS program)                                                                                       12:00pm-5:00pm
  • All AJAS Student Delegates and Observers MUST arrive at The Denver Convention Center by 4:30pm
    • If you do not receive your name badge at AJAS registration, please arrive at Denver Convention Center as early as possible to pick up your name badge. AJAS staff will be on site starting at 3:30pm to assist. 
    • All AJAS students must be seated in the marked-off seating at the plenary hall by 4:45pm sharp!
  • AAAS Plenary Session: President's Address                                                                           5:00pm-6:30pm
    • Speaker: Keith Yamamoto
    • AJAS Student Delegates will be recognized at the beginning of this session. 
  • Welcome to Colorado Reception                                                                                               7:00pm-8:00pm
    • Join the AAAS President, Dr. Keith Yamamoto, and AAAS members at the reception  in the Convention center immediately following the plenary
    • Food and beverages served
Friday, February 16
  • Breakfast, The Hilton Denver City Center Hotel                                                                       6:45am-8:15am
  • AAAS Sessions (see AAAS program)                                                                                       8:00am-5:00pm
  • NAAS Board Lunch Meeting (Invite only)                                                                              11:30am-12:30pm
  • Formal Honors Banquet and Tours, The Denver Aquarium                                                  2:00pm-10:00pm
    • Shuttles will run continuously between The Hilton Denver City Center Hotel and The Denver Aquarium starting at 2:15pm until 9:15pm. 
    • Tours will occur roughly between 2:00pm and 5:00pm. The Banquet will be held after 5:00pm.
    • Do not miss this fun event! Join us at The Denver Aquarium for backstage tours, the opportunity to meet a porcupine on a leash, and then enjoy a formal dinner with peers and aquarium staff. State delegation pictures and a group photo will be held during this event.
    • Opportunity to meet Caroline and Phil for impromptu video interviews at the aquarium.
      • Optional: Bring your poster to share in the video. 
    • Dress Code: Business Formal
Saturday, February 17
  • Breakfast with Scientists, Hilton Denver City Center Hotel                                                   7:30am-11:00am
    • This breakfast, sponsored by NAAS, is the premier event of the 2024 NAAS/AJAS Annual Conference! Breakfast runs from 7:30am-10:00am, with a short talk from a keynote speaker in between conversations. Coffee and post-event socializing will be available until 11:00am.
    • AJAS Student Delegates will eat breakfast with premier scientists in a relaxed social setting. Typically, groups of about six student delegates sit around a breakfast table with two professional scientists. After the introductions there is no particular agenda other than to start talking; however, the intense curiosity of the delegates—combined with the passion of the scientists to discuss their work and career paths—often results in fascinating discussions that have long-lasting impacts on everyone involved. In the middle of the event, the students will switch tables and have the opportunity to talk with other scientists. 
    • Dress Code: Business formal, dress to impress. Wear or bring comfortable shoes for events later in the day
  • AJAS Poster Session, AAAS Convention Center Expo Hall                                                 12:30pm-4:00pm
    • Posters will be presented at the following times: (Session A) 12:30pm – 1:00pm, (Session B) 2:00pm – 2:30pm, and (Session C) 3:30pm – 4:00pm. 
    • Check for your assigned poster presentation session.
    • Delegates will set up their posters prior to their assigned session time and will take them down after their session is complete.
    • When not presenting, delegates are encouraged to either attend AJAS poster sessions or AAAS events.
  • AAAS Closing Plenary Reception, AAAS Convention Center Expo: Plenary Room            5:15pm-7:00pm
    • Join us for an informational panel featuring speakers Willie May, Kaye Husbands Fealing, Michael M. Crow, and Margaret Hamburg.
  • This is the end of the NAAS-AJAS Annual Conference. AJAS Participants are encouraged to continue attending AAAS functions as you desire.  (see AAAS program)   
    • Dinner on your own.

In-person Travel and Arrival information

Those traveling to the in-person event should plan to arrive in Denver, Colorado, by early afternoon on Feb. 14, 2024 (Wed). If arriving by air a Denver Regional Transportation District train ride to Union Station, and then a free bus, is can provide transportation to the hotel  https://www.rtd-denver.com/services/rail/rail-system-map .
Conference registration is at the Hilton Denver City Center, on Feb. 14, 2024 (Wed), between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm. Conference events start shortly thereafter in the Denver conference room, downstairs.
Plan to depart Denver, CO starting on the morning of Feb 18, 2024. A late Saturday evening departure is also possible.
Be aware that the AAAS Annual Meeting is held from Thursday, February 15, 2024 through Saturday, February 17, 2024 (one day shorter than previous years) and its many events are available for all NAAS-AJAS delegates with deluxe access (which includes all AJAS Student Delegates). https://meetings.aaas.org/