Chemistry / Biochemistry
The science that deals with the composition, structure and properties of chemical processes and phenomena of substances and the transformation that they undergo.
Projects in this category could involve physical chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, materials, plastics, fuels, pesticides, metallurgy, soil chemistry, etc. This category also includes the chemistry of life processes such as molecular biology, molecular genetics, enzymes, photosynthesis, blood chemistry, protein chemistry, food chemistry, hormones, etc.
The following requirements apply to Biology/Microbiology; Chemistry/Biochemistry; ComputerScience; Earth and Space Sciences; Engineering; Mathematics; Medicine and Health; and Physics.
1. Only one (1) project can be entered per competition.
2. Submit one copy of a typed 8-½ inch by 11 inch, double-spaced scientific paper must accompany the project to be submitted.
a. The content of the paper, which should not exceed twenty (20) pages, should include:
1. a short introduction describing the background and purpose of the work
2. an experimental section including both methods and results,
3. and a concluding section discussing the results and their implications.
b. Tables, graphs, charts, maps, photographs, raw statistical data, etc. should be included whenever possible.
c. They must also include references used and acknowledgments of any individuals who served as direct academic resources.
d. The student’s name, page number and unit name and number (Coraopolis NAACP #26AB-B) must be on the top of each page.
3. Supporting documents must be submitted with the scientific paper.
The contestant is to make an oral presentation (minimum 5 minutes)
a. This time limit does not include the time required for judges' questions and contestant responses.
4. Contestants must provide a display board for each qualifying entry.
a. No display boards are permitted to appear in more than one competition.
b. Additionally, the content of each display board must be relevant to the competition.
c. Items used for demonstrations can be transferred if needed.
5. Contestants are responsible for providing their own equipment.
6. The NAACP ACT-SO Program will provide electrical power and display tables if requested in a timely manner.
7. Contestants must submit a STEM Verification Form from a qualified scientist or science teacher
a. Qualified scientist or science teacher must have an earned professional degree or license.
b. This person can also serve as a coach, working closely with the student during the course of the project to ensure the accuracy of the student’s research and qualifications for entry.
8. A STEM Verification form must be submitted for each qualifying STEM competition entry.
S.T.E.M. Projects will be judged by the following criteria:
• Quality of Research
Scientific Approach/Method (20 pts.).
Validity of Information (10 pts.)
Validity of Conclusion(s) (10 pts.)
• Depth of Understanding / Oral Presentation
Knowledge Gained and Creativity (20 pts.)
Thoroughness & Individual Work (20 pts.)
• Written Report (10 pts)
• Visual Presentation (10 pts)
If a contestant qualifies for Nationals:
a. Student must submit Six (6) copies of the supporting documents
b. Student must also submit six(6) copies of the paper
c. All copies must be submitted to the ACT-SO Chairman no later then two(2) weeks after the local competition ends.
d. ACT-SO Chairman will use these materials to prepare a packet to be sent to national.
ACT-SO SAFETY PROCEDURES
In order to ensure a safe environment for our contestants, we request that you carefully review the NAACP ACT-SO Safety Procedures listed below.
The NAACP ACT-SO Program prohibits the use of the following materials for display:
• Living organisms (ex: plants, animals, and microbes)
• Dried plant materials • Taxidermy specimens or parts
• Human or animal foods
• Human/animal parts or bodily fluids (e.g. blood, urine. Note: dried animal bones, histological dry mount sections, wet mount tissue slides, teeth, hair, and nails are acceptable)
• Soil or waste samples
• Preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals (inclusive of embryos)
• Laboratory chemicals, including water
• Dry ice or other sublimating solids (i.e. solids which vaporize to a gas without passing through a liquid phase
• Poisons, drugs, controlled substance, hazardous substances or devices (i.e. firearms, ammunition, or reloading devices)
• Sharp items (syringes, needles, or pipettes)
• Flames or highly flammable display materials which vaporize to a gas without passing through a liquid phase
• Batteries with open top cells Contestants are advised to use photographs and other visuals for presentation.
Due to the potential for serious harm to the contestants and others, any project that displays any of the above items at the National ACT-SO Competition will be disqualified.