ACT-SO 101

ACT-SO is a major youth initiative of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  ACT-SO provides a forum through which youth of African descent demonstrate academic, artistic and scientific prowess and expertise, thereby gaining the same recognition often only reserved for entertainers and athletes.

ACT-SO is rooted in the firm conviction that all students can succeed and compete at the same or superior levels as their counterparts in classrooms, boardrooms and laboratories across this nation and abroad.

ACT-SO is a year-long youth achievement program that begins in August  of each year in local communities nationwide. In more than 200 local communities throughout the U.S., ACT-SO adult volunteers recruit students and mentors. Students work with mentors to from August to April to develop their projects and performances for the local competition.

Local Activities

• August:   Local programs kick off annual ACT-SO activities
• September through March/April:   Local programs conduct mentoring and enrichment activities
• February/April:  Local programs host ACT-SO competitions

Once local competitions are held, the gold medalists (those with scores between 95-100 in their category) are invited to compete on a national level. The National Competition, held every July in conjunction with the NAACP National Convention, is the ACT-SO culminating event.

National Competition

• March/April through July:   Students continue their local mentorship and enrichment programs to prepare for the National Competition.
• July:   Annual activities culminate with National Competition and Awards Ceremony

Participation Opportunities

ACT-SO is a community based program that provides multiple opportunities for involvement. Community members may participate as:  Chairpersons, mentors, sponsors, organizers, competitors, benefactors, educational partners, etc.. The program receives support from schools, local businesses, community organizations, churches, foundations, major corporations and individuals.  For more detailed criteria and information about how to get involved, please contact the National ACT-SO office. 

Students can select up to 3 categories of competition  from a total of 26 offerings. The 26 ACT-SO categories of competition include:

SCIENCES:

BIOLOGY/MICROBIOLOGY
The science of life or of the origin, structure, reproduction, growth and development of living organisms collectively.

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.

COMPUTER SCIENCE
The science that deals with the theoretical aspects of computers including storage and the transformation of data using computers.

EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCES
The body of sciences that include geology, mineralogy, physiography, oceanography, meteorology, climatology, astronomy, speleology, seismology, geography, etc.

ENGINEERING
Technology.  Projects that directly apply scientific principles to manufacturing and practical uses.

MATHEMATICS
The science of numbers and their operations, interrelations, combinations, generalizations, and abstractions of spaced configurations and their structure.  Development of formal logical systems or various numerical and algebraic computations and the application of these principles.

MEDICINE AND HEALTH
The study of diseases and health of humans and animals.

PHYSICS
Theories, principles and laws governing energy and the effect of energy on matter.

HUMANITIES:

MUSIC COMPOSITION
The science or art of arranging music by ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination or in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity.

ORIGINAL ESSAY
A brief examination of a subject in prose usually expressing a personal view or interpretation of a subject or topic.

PLAYWRITING
A literary composition developed for the stage.

POETRY
A composition, marked by language chosen for its sound, beauty and evocative power.

THE PERFORMING ARTS:

DANCE
To perform a series of rhythmic and patterned bodily movements usually performed to music.

DRAMATICS
The art of staging or acting plays.

MUSIC INSTRUMENTAL/CLASSICAL
The art of performing with a device used to produce music with tones of the late 18th and 19th centuries characterized by an emphasis on balance, clarity, and moderation.

MUSIC INSTRUMENTAL/CONTEMPORARY
The art of performing with a device used to produce music with the tones of the present.

MUSIC VOCAL/CLASSICAL
The art of performing with the human voice rhythmic tones or sounds of the late 18th and 19th centuries characterized by an emphasis on balance, clarity, and moderation.

MUSIC VOCAL/CONTEMPORARY
The art of performing with the human voice rhythmic tones or sounds to produce music with the tones of the present.

ORATORY
The art of speaking in public eloquently and effectively.  (This is not a dramatic presentation.)

THE VISUAL ARTS:

ARCHITECTURE
The science, art or profession of designing buildings or outdoor spaces.

DRAWING
The art of representing forms and figures on a surface by means of lines.

FILMMAKING
The art and process of making motion pictures.

PAINTING
The art of laying on paints with a brush or a knife.

PHOTOGRAPHY
The process, art and technique of taking images recorded by a camera and reproducing them on a photosensitive surface.

SCULPTURE
The art of making three-dimensional figures or designs.

BUSINESS:

ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Refers to owning, organizing, and managing your own business by providing a necessary product or service.