STEM Guidelines




1. Only one (1) project can be entered per competitive area.

2. Six (6) copies of a typed 8-½ inch by 11 inch, double-spaced scientific paper must accompany the project to be submitted. The content of the paper, which should not exceed five (5) pages, should include: a short introduction describing the background and purpose of the work, an experimental section including both methods and results, and a concluding section discussing the results and their implications. Tables, graphs, charts, maps, photographs, raw statistical data, etc. should be included whenever possible. They must also include references used and acknowledgments of any individuals who served as direct academic resources. The student’s name, page number and unit name and number must be on the top of each page. Six (6) copies of the supporting documents, as well as the six copies of the paper must be submitted two (2) weeks prior to date of the regional competition.

3. The contestant is to make an oral presentation explaining his or her project. The oral presentation should not exceed five (5) minutes. This time limit does not include the time required for judges' questions and contestant's responses.

4. Contestants are responsible for providing their own equipment.

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 license. 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.


STEM 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)


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.





Please click on: "A Handy Guide For Planning, Executing, and Presenting ACT-SO Science Projects"

STEM Verification Form