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…with prizes for winning posters, such as mine tours, a Mining Adventure Day at The Havey Quarry, and possibly a week at a Rock/Mineral camp, among others.

Are you a student in 3rd through 12th grade that resides in New England? Here is your chance to study gems, geology, and minerals and present your results in a display at the New England Mineral Conference (NEMC). Winners receive prizes and are invited to be our guests at both Education Day and the Friday evening session of our annual Conference.

Click here to print a PDF of this Poster Contest information. Click here for the Poster Contest entry form and the Permission Slip.

Click on each topic to learn more.

Submission Deadline: Friday, April 12, 2019 to

Announcement of Winners: Monday, April 22, 2019

Presentations of Awards: Friday, May 10, 2019

Display of Posters at NEMC: Friday & Saturday, May 10 & 11, 2019

Any student (public, private, homeschooled) that is in New England in grades 3 through 12. You can work alone, or as a group. We just want you to learn more about rocks, minerals and gems in New England, to have fun doing it, and to be recognized for your good efforts! These are the four entry categories:

Here's our definition of a Poster Session: "A graphic and concise way that researchers present their studies." We want this to be simple for you, a fun way to learn something about geology, minerals, and rocks, and will hopefully ignite a spark in your to learn more. You don't have to make a physical poster or print one; we'll take care of that. You send us a digital file, and we’ll take it from there. We do want you to "think" about what you're learning, so we are looking for evidence of your analysis of information, by use of a data table, graph or written or visual comparisons.

Here are the guidelines:

  1. Each poster must be submitted electronically to
  2. A Poster Session Entry Form must accompany your poster submission. Both home and school contact information is required, so we can contact the winners and award their prizes.
  3. Get it to us by the deadline. Send it to us as a pdf or doc. We don’t have the ability to convert other specialized programs.
  4. Make sure all the fonts on your poster are AT LEAST 18pt.
  5. Make sure your poster is in PORTRAIT format (not landscape) and must fit 24" wide x 36" high.
  6. Your poster needs to speak for itself; no audiovisual equipment can be used for it, including laser pointers.
  7. We won't be editing your poster for you, which means we will not fix spelling or formatting errors. Please make sure your poster comes to us finished.
  8. For group projects, each participant must fill in their personal information on an individual Entry Form, naming the others in the group on the appropriate line.
  9. Posters chosen as winner will be notified and will be invited to attend the opening session of the Conference. Prizes will be awarded in each of the following categories:
    • 3rd through 5th grade
    • 6th through 8th grade
    • 9th through 12th grade
    • Small Group (maximum of three members)
  10. Glogster or any other poster-making programs are not allowed.
  11. Posters will remain on display throughout the conference.

NOTE: The most accessible way to create a large poster is by using Google Drawing or Google Slides, and change the size under "File> Page Setup> Custom> 27 x 36 inches." Students work at it as a drawing, and when it is finalized and checked for spelling they can save it as a doc or pdf file and sent it to NEMA. Here is a great website that explains the process: For readability, we find it best if students use font sizes of at least 36 for text and at least 48 for titles.

Topics can be picked by students and/or their teachers. Posters with gem & mineral themes related to New England will be given preference over non-mineral posters. Make your topic broad enough to you can analyze the information and come to your own conclusions. Hands-on experiments or original research are highly encouraged.

We want you to be creative and use your imagination. Here are some ideas to get you started on your thinking:

Poster Resources

Study Resources for topic ideas:

See also the ‘Links’ page on the NEMC website for reading and study resources.

We have adopted some rules from the International Rules and Guidelines for Science Fairs, the Society for Science & the Public, and the Rules of the Maine Science Fair.

Ethics Statement

Scientific fraud and misconduct are not condoned at any level of research or competition. This includes plagiarism, forgery, use or presentation of the researcher’s work as one’s own, and fabrication of data. Fraudulent projects will fail to qualify for competition. The New England Mineral Association reserves the right to revoke recognition of a project subsequently found to have been fraudulent.


  1. A student must be in grades 3–12 or equivalent and not have reached age 20 on or before the annual poster entry submission date.
  2. Each student may enter only one project.
  3. Team projects may have two or three members. Teams may not have had more than three members. Teams may not substitute members in a given research year.
  4. A research project may be a part of a larger study performed by professional scientists, but the project presented by the student must be only their own portion of the complete study.

All Projects

  1. All projects must adhere to the ethics statement above.
  2. Projects must adhere to local, state and U.S. Federal laws, regulations and permitting conditions.
  3. No potentially hazardous biological agents may be used in your research.
  4. No hazardous chemical, activities or devices may be used in your research.
  5. Introduction or disposal of non-native species, pathogens, toxic chemicals or foreign substances into the environment is prohibited.
  6. Exhibits must adhere to NEMA display requirements.

NEMC Display and Safety Rules

Only flat printable posters are allowed. They must be submitted electronically/digitally.

Size Limitations - 24 in (61 cm) wide, 36 in (91.4cm) high in portrait format. Preferred submission is a pdf or doc format. Do not use a specialized program. Submissions should be sent by the annual poster entry submission date, to: ADDRESS

Not Allowed in the Project

Allowed at Project BUT with the Restrictions Indicated

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