Celebrating its 30th year, the Junior Conference offers students in Grades 1 through 12 a friendly platform to present their own research before an audience of their peers, as well as professional engineers and scientists. A unique program offered during the Aerospace Conference, the Junior Conference will be held in Big Sky, MT on Monday, March 3, 2025 and Tuesday, March 4, 2025. If you are interested in participating in the Junior Conference, please be aware that the registration process has changed.

In response to rising demand, the 2025 Junior Conference will offer up to two sessions (March 3rd and 4th), and increase enrollment from 25 to 30. Even with these changes, however, it is possible that the conference will be unable to accommodate everyone who would like to participate, so please pay attention to the steps to register:

  1. Juniors must first register as the “guest” of an Aerospace Conference registrant.

  2. Once they have registered the junior as their guest, the adult registrant can submit an abstract on the junior’s behalf through their registration portal.

  3. Wait for an email from a Junior Conference committee member confirming that your abstract has been approved.

  4. If you are waitlisted, do not be discouraged, because spaces can become available as the conference draws near.

Please note that registering as a “guest” or uploading an abstract does not guarantee you a spot in the conference. If your abstract has been accepted to the conference, you will receive a confirmation email and information to help you prepare. Abstracts are not “judged”, but are approved in the order received, so the earlier you submit, the better.

Key Dates:

October 1, 2025 - Registration opens for main conference

November 30, 2025 - Registration for the Junior Conference opens

  • Registration will close when enrollment reaches 30

  • Juniors who do not make it into the conference will be offered a place on the waitlist

January 14, 2025 - Abstracts Due

  • Upload to website through account of adult registrant

February 11, 2025 - Final Presentations Due

  • Upload to website through account of adult registrant

March 3, 2025 (2 to 3:30 pm, tentative) - Session One for younger grades

March 4, 2025 (1:30 to 4 pm, tentative) - Session Two for older grades.


You may view a small sampling of presentations juniors have given in previous years on this webpage.


Regards,
The Junior Conference Committee

Rich Terrile and Christine Terrile, Co-Chairs

Joseph Minnichelli, Support

Richard Terrile, Support

If you have any questions, please contact Christine at christine@aeroconf.org


IEEE Junior Conference

 

The IEEE Junior Engineering and Science Conference provides a unique opportunity for budding engineers and scientists to share their work during a special session of the larger IEEE Aerospace Conference.  Open to students in grades 1st through 12th, the Junior Conference allows registered Juniors to present their own research before an audience of their peers, as well as adult engineers and scientists.  Afterward, Junior authors are expected to field questions from the audience on their work.  Presentations typically run from three to ten minutes, depending on grade level.

 

A fixture of the IEEE Aerospace Conference for over twenty-five years, the Junior Conference has helped hundreds of students develop crucial research and presentation skills in a supportive environment.  Many former Juniors have gone on to work in science and engineering fields, and some have even returned as senior authors.


Ryan Green received the CTS Scholarship in 2016 after giving his fifth presentation.







 

Junior Conference Success Stories

 

Jessica Millenbach (Webster) presented her first paper at the 2004 Junior Conference when she was in the 5th grade.  She continued presenting until she finished high school in 2011.  Jessica credits the experience with helping her develop friendships, get scholarships, and open up job opportunities. 

 

Upon her undergraduate graduation, Jessica joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) where she has since worked as a Contract Manager and in various Business Analyst roles in the Autonomous Systems Division and The Communications, Tracking and Radar Division. After completing her Master in Business Administration (MBA), she went on to work as the Sustainment Contracts Manager on the F-35 Program at Northrop Grumman, and has since returned to JPL where she is now the Business Analyst for the Autonomous Systems Division.





Nicholas Terrile began presenting at the Junior Conference when he was 10, and gave a total of nine presentations.  His favorite presentation was “The Ethics of Intelligent Machines“.  Nicholas says the experience helped him develop public speaking skills, and provided material for college applications.  

Nicholas went on to pursue an advanced degree in Computer Science, and has begun a career as a Software Engineer at Google.




Writing Your Paper

Topics 

Topics with direct or tangential relationship to science, engineering or mathematics are encouraged. Papers should fall into one or more of the following 3 categories:

  • An original idea accompanied by supportive reasoning and data
  • An experiment, invention or field work
  • A review summarizing a topic of interest

Length

The PPT or PDF presentation can be of any length, from 5 to 10 slides, and from a few minutes (5 min maximum for grades 1-5) up to ten minutes (for 6-12).


Submitting your Paper

Due date for your PPT or PDF is no later than Tuesday, Feb 11

You should have had an abstract in before Jan 14

Procedure to Submit Abstract

  • At aeroconf.org, log in with blue button on the top right
  • Under Menu, select "My Submissions" and "Submit Junior Paper"
  • Fill out fields and attach the release form, click "Save"

Procedure to Submit Paper 

  • Make sure you have an abstract acceptance email
  • At aeroconf.org, log in with the blue button on the top right
  • Under Menu, select "My Submissions" and "Junior Submissions"
  • Select "Upload Paper"
  • Attach the file and click Save

The committee will prepare proceedings to be distributed at the conference to all the participating Junior Engineers/Scientists.

The title page of your presentation should consist of a short biography, including your grade, educational and sporting interests, and any other pertinent information.


Overview

Who is eligible to participate? 

Any student, 1st grade through high school, attending the conference as an official guest of a registrant is eligible to present a paper as a Junior Engineering & Science Speaker.

Procedure:

  • Let us know your interest by having the parent or guardian conference attendee sign in to the website and, acting as proxy, use the normal conference abstract submittal process. Abstracts due date is Tuesday, Jan 14
  • Complete the form with title and abstract
  • Select session number 15.01 (Track 15 will open in December.)
  • You will receive an E-mail confirmation of receipt
  • Wait for an email confirming acceptance of your abstract (it might take a few days)
  • PowerPoint presentations or PDFs due date is Tuesday, Feb 11

The Presentation:

Speakers at the Junior Conference should prepare a PowerPoint Presentation or PDF. Help from an adult is definitely allowed and encouraged, but the contents of the presentation MUST be the student's work. A laptop Mac with Microsoft Windows, PowerPoint, and PDF, LCD projector, a pointer, and a screen will be available for presenters. They will have an opportunity to practice prior to their presentation if they wish.


Example presentations are available for your reference:

2020 Best Presentation by Levon Tabirian (12th grade) - Refining Cosmology: A Novel non-Doppler Cosmological Redshift Model

Example Presentation by a 4th grader- The Prisoner's Dilemma

Example Presentation by a 3rd grader- Living Lights (Bioluminescence)

Example Presentation by a 2nd Grader- The Shuttle


If you have any questions contact the Junior Conference Committee:

Christine Terrile, Co-Chair

christine@aeroconf.org

Richard Terrile, Co-Chair

rich.terrile@jpl.nasa.gov