Department of Defense Dependents Schools students from across the Pacific are planning to again gather near Tokyo to explore scientific research during the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

Students in the region have been attending the symposium for more than 20 years, according to DODDS officials.

It introduces students in eighth through 12th grade to original research, science, math and engineering.

Students learn about research and experimentation and the importance of research in human affairs. The symposium helps expose them to academic, industrial and governmental opportunities, officials said.

During the three-day seminar beginning March 21, students will present their research, visit research facilities and compete for scholarships. Local military and civilian scientists judge the projects and award scholarships to the top winners.

DODDS students from Japan, Okinawa, Guam and South Korea are scheduled to attend.

The symposium is held 30 miles north of Tokyo in Tsukuba City, home to the National Science Foundation and related universities.

Last year more than 125 students participated. About the same number are expected this year, officials said.

In addition to tours and seminars, the students will have hands-on demonstrations, presentations and trips.

The symposium is significant this school year as the DODDS Pacific and Guam districts implement a new science program that includes new course materials, teacher training and a variety of science opportunities.

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