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.

Requirements

  1. Only one (1) project can be entered.
  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 acknowledgements 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 on or before the specified deadline.
  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 the judges to ask question and for the contestant to respond to the judges’ questions.
  4. Contestants are responsible for providing their own equipment. Tables will be provided by ACT-SO.
  5. Contestants must submit a Science 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.

Judging Criteria

  • Quality of Research (40 pts)
    1. Scientific Approach/Method
    2. Validity of Information
    3. Validity of Conclusion(s)
  • Depth of Understanding (40 pts)
    1. Oral Presentation
    2. Knowledge Gained and Creativity
    3. Thoroughness
    4. Individual Work
  • Written Report (10 pts)
  • Visual Presentation (10 pts)

Downloads

 Print & Download the Requirements & Criteria for this Category
 Print & Download the S.T.E.M. Planning Guide
 Print & Download the Requirements for All Categories
 Mentors Coaching Log
 Mentors Evaluation Form
 S.T.E.M. Verification Writ