MyAMATYC   |   Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Report Abuse   |   Sign In   |   Join AMATYC
Student Research League Official Rules
Share |

Student Research League (SRL)

SRL Home

SRL Official Rules

2020 Registration

Faculty Mentor Duties / Information
Evaluation Process

Presentation Materials

Past Team Champions

Past Competition Questions














Two-year colleges in any of the eight Regions of AMATYC may enter either an individual student or a team of two or three students. Each college may enter more than one team, but each team must have a different Faculty Mentor.

Each student is eligible to compete if s/he meets the following criteria:

  1. Student is enrolled at the sponsoring institution and is taking courses during the Challenge Problem period (when the problem is posted to when it is to be submitted). Part-time students are eligible.
  2. Student has successfully completed a minimum of 12 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) of college work by the end of the Challenge Problem period, including courses in progress at the time of the Challenge Problem period which are completed successfully.
  3. Student has not earned a two-year degree (or higher) or if s/he has not achieved junior standing (or higher) at a four-year institution.
  4. Student is not enrolled in a four-year institution or in high school at the time of the competition.
  5. Student is not a previous grand prize winner either as an individual or on a team.
  6. Student must have knowledge of college-level math and have access to digital technology.

The SRL Coordinator or AMATYC President shall approve eligibility.

Official transcripts and a letter signed by the student(s) and local Faculty Mentor certifying eligibility will be required in order to receive awards the top three prizes.



To register, Faculty Mentors should visit the AMATYC website at All registrations will be handled electronically. Once all fields are completed and transmitted successfully, your registration will be confirmed by an acknowledgement email from the AMATYC Office. If you register and do not receive an acknowledgement confirmation, you will need to contact the AMATYC Office to be sure your form was transmitted correctly. Registration begins January 1st. Registrations are due by March 15th for that competition year.
Due to the current extenuating circumstances we have extended registration to March 18, 2020.
Changes to team members and Faculty Mentors may be made to teams after they have officially registered, but changes must be completed by March 19th at midnight.

NOTE: Before beginning, the Faculty Mentor must know the login information for their institution (not their personal membership login). Please talk to your department chair to see if they have the login information. If they do not, you may contact the AMATYC office at




The fees are $35 per college (for the first team) and must be received by AMATYC no later than March 15th. If a college enters multiple teams, there will be an additional fee of $20 per team. This money is used for prizes and for printing/mailing expenses. All registration will be handled electronically. Registration begins January 1st.

Institutional members as of March 15th will have the fees for one team waived. Each additional team will require an additional fee of $20 per team.



Faculty Mentors are full-time or adjunct instructors at an eligible institution.

The Faculty Mentor will be responsible for the eligibility of each individual/team student(s). The Faculty Mentor is also responsible for the proper administration of the SRL policy.

FAQs regarding the preparation of students before the competition as well as assistance allowed during the competition may be found here.

The Challenge Problem will be posted on the Past Competition Questions page of the SRL website on the first morning of the competition. Faculty Mentors should verify that the students are able to access the question. If there are any problems with the post, contact the SRL coordinator immediately.

Once the competition begins, the Faculty Mentor may not provide any assistance that directly relates to the solution of the problem including, but not limited to, finding/suggesting sources, providing a mathematical model, and editing the submission.

The Faculty Mentor will be asked to submit feedback to the SRL Coordinator the week following the close of the competition.




1. Challenge Problem

The Challenge Problem is an open-ended STEM problem and is at the center of the SRL. The Challenge Problems will be selected to allow multiple approaches and to take advantage of the full range of student creativity. Each Challenge Problem will have a scope that admits numerous links with two-year college mathematics. Sources of the Challenge Problems include fields in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and education, but are not limited to them.

2. Problem Research

The team will use the Internet as its main investigative avenue for gathering digital information. Other forms of investigation, including interviews with individuals, are also encouraged. Each Challenge will be designed to involve the team member(s) in research to understand the Challenge Problem, collect data on the Challenge Problem, and determine its mathematical characteristics. All forms of research are needed to support the following elements: scientific inquiry, experiential learning, and understanding the Challenge Problem, proposing hypotheses, testing hypotheses, and stating the results.

3. Job/Career Research

The Job/Career Research component is the workforce investigative avenue for gathering background information about STEM occupations. During the research about the Challenge Problem, the team will encounter creative and brilliant work that has been done by many people in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics occupations.

Teams are required to research (and most likely interview) two STEM individuals who are tied to the field or theme of the Challenge Problem.  Teams are highly encouraged to integrate information received from the experts about the Challenge Question and their career (which may include areas such as academic background, job environment, job average yearly pay, career outlook, and similar jobs/careers.)  While some teams may prefer to put this required content into an Appendix, teams that integrate it in the narrative seamlessly may receive higher points for this category.

4. Mathematics Tools

The mathematics tools component is the main vehicle that will be used throughout the process of modeling the solution to the Challenge Problem. The team will be required to select the mathematical tools that best fit the Challenge Problem and use them to understand the problem, create a mathematical model that approximates the data collected, and design a potential solution that can be defended in the team's Thesis Defense.

5 Thesis Defense

The competition entry will require the team to organize what they have learned and express their results in the form of a Thesis Defense. The Thesis Defense is an organized, coherent synthesis of information based on the Challenge Problem, Problem Research, Job/Career Research, and Mathematics Tools. The Thesis Defense will use experiential learning and include data collected with reference citations (APA), a mathematical model with a discussion of the mathematical tools used and the rationale for the chosen model, implications and predictions, the design of a possible solution to the Challenge Problem, recommendations for further research, as well as the information about jobs and careers related to the problem.


The individual/team student(s) will have an assigned Challenge Problem period to complete their Thesis Defense. The SRL entry is not to exceed 15 pages* (title page, table of contents, resources, and appendices that may contain, but are not limited to code or spreadsheets are excluded as part of the 15 page maximum) and must follow APA formatting and style guidelines.

The entry must be submitted electronically to AMATYC via Smartsheets as directly by instructions emailed to the Faculty Mentor (partial Thesis Defense will be accepted).  Submissions are due by noon for the student/team's time zone on the final day of the competition.


The entries should be sent in a Word document with all of the appropriate content as well as in PDF form in which the title page and any other pages that contain information about the team (including names of the team, Mentor, or the college) must be altered to remove that information to allow for anonymity during the review purposes.

Both files names should contain the college and the Faculty Mentor's last name (ex: Springfield Community College Simpson). The PDF file name will be altered by the SRL Coordinator before submittal to the Evaluators.

Students must also provide feedback to the SRL Coordinator regarding their experience in the competition.



Academic Integrity is a serious matter within the SRL Challenge. Infractions include, but not limited to, copying the work of individual(s) or oral interviews without proper recognition in the Thesis Defense Reference Citation Section (using APA format) and Thesis Defense is written by anyone other than the individual/team student(s). An individual/team student(s) may seek counsel from the team's Faculty Mentor regarding SRL Policy, but not seek information about the Challenge Problem solution. If it is found that an individual/team student(s) has violated the Academic Integrity of the SRL Challenge, their Thesis Defense will not be reviewed and those student(s) will not be allowed to participate in future SRL Challenges.



The administration of the SRL challenge shall comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any accommodation will be in accordance with the procedures used on the campus where the challenge is administered.



Because the SRL Challenge Problem doesn't require campus activity, campus disaster circumstances will normally not interfere with the solution of the Challenge Problem. If a disaster circumstance does occur and the individual/team student(s) is unable to complete the Challenge Problem due to the disaster then AMATYC SRL will refund their registration fee with proof of circumstances.




Submissions will be evaluated by volunteers from the AMATYC Region of the college submitting the entry. In the event that enough faculty from a given Region do not volunteer, it may be necessary for volunteers from another Region to evaluate some of the entries. The top 3 teams from each Region (that receive a minimum qualification score) will become Regional Finalists. A team of STEM professionals will then do the final judging from those entries and determine the top three overall entries for the nation.

The SRL Thesis Defense Coordinator will verify and summarize the overall results. The results of the year's competition are final once printed and distributed.



Certificates will be awarded to all students submitting an entry. In addition, members of the top three teams in each AMATYC Region will receive an official AMATYC SRL t-shirt and their colleges will receive a plaque.


The Grand Prize for the qualified team is a $1000 scholarship per team member (up to $3000 per team). The scholarship is to be used to continue the student(s) education at an accredited four-year institution.


The 2nd Place Team will receive a $500 scholarship per team member (up to $1500 per team).

The 3rd Place Team will receive a $250 scholarship per team member ( up to $750 per team).


All prizes, plaques, certificates, and scholarships are sponsored by AMATYC.

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal