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The following requirements apply to Biology/Microbiology, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Computer Science, 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 double-spaced scientific paper to accompany the project submittted. 

3. The content of the paper, which should not exceed twenty (20) pages, should include:

  • a short introduction describing the background and purpose of the work

  • an experimental section including both methods and results

  • a concluding section discussing the results and their implications

4. Tables, graphs, charts, maps, photographs, raw statistical data, etc. should be included whenever possible. 

5. They must also include references used and acknowledgements of any individuals who served as direct academic resources. 


6. Contestants are responsible for providing their own equipment.


7. Contestants must provide a display board for each qualifying entry. 

  • No display boards are permitted to appear in more than one competition. 

  • Additionally, the content of each display board must be relevant to the competition. 

  • Items used for demontrations can be transferred in needed'



5. The NAACP ACT-SO Program will provide electrical power and display tables if requested in a timely manner.


6. Contestants must submit a STEM Verification Form from a qualified scientist or science teacher with an earned professional degree or


    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.

NOTE: 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)




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.

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