Call For Entries!

The North Carolina Division of Air Quality (DAQ) invites seventh-grade students to participate in the annual AQ-IQ Contest. Students create a project that highlights an air quality issue and provides a solution to that issue. The projects can be a poster, artistic project, video or game, and students can work with as many as three of their peers. The project puts students in the role of presenting the information, which is one of the most effective ways to learn. The contest is correlated with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction Essential Standards in Science, Technology, and Social Studies.

Students are asked to:

• Research an air quality problem,
• Look for solutions to the problem, and
• Create a project to help others learn how to help our air be cleaner.


Any seventh-grade student in North Carolina may participate.  We encourage students to work in small groups and find an adult sponsor (teacher, parent, etc).

How do I register?

You can register and sign up to participate by completing an online Registration Form

Project Types

Projects usually fall into four categories, including but not limited to:

1) Posters,
2) Online interactive,
3) Artistic/creative or
4) Video.  

Criteria for Evaluation

Projects are evaluated based on their facts, quality and creativity.

Due Date

Submissions accepted from March 2-March 6, 2021 at a N.C. DAQ Regional Office or by email.

Regional Award Ceremonies

Project Due by March 12, 2021, but can be turned in at any time until midnight of that day.

The Special Award Categories are focused on technology and how it can be used to better understand and solve our air quality problems. The Division of Air Quality will recognize the best project in the four categories at the State Recognition Ceremony in July of 2021.

• Air Pollution Monitoring and Control Technology
• Cleaner Cars, Cleaner Commutes, and Cleaner Air
• Pollution Free Electricity Technology
• The Science and Technology of Understanding and Reversing Climate Change

Video: Learn more about the AQ-IQ contest!

Regional Award Ceremonies:

There will be regional award ceremonies for the Western Region, Central/Piedmont Region, and Eastern/Coastal region. You may self-select any region based on your location on your registration form.

Note: Depending on the number of statewide entries, a larger statewide AQ-IQ award ceremony may be held in June or July.  Location and specific date to be announced.  In general, entries will compete against other entries from their regions.  However, the best regional projects may then be evaluated in the statewide AQ-IQ Contest for a statewide award.

Contact Keith Bamberger with question at or call 828-296-4553. Learn more about the AQ-IQ contest here.

The contest has been modified to be an excellent asynchronous distance learning activity, and is correlated with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction Essential Standards in Science, Technology, and Social Studies:

  • Science: 7.P.2: Understand forms of energy, energy transfer and transformation and conservation in mechanical systems.
  • Science: 7.E.1: Understand how the cycling of matter (water and gasses) in and out of the atmosphere relates to Earth’s atmosphere, weather and climate and the effects of the atmosphere on humans.
  • Technology: 7.SI.1: Evaluate information resources based on specific criteria.
  • Technology: 7.TT.1: Use technology and other resources for assigned tasks.
  • Social Studies: 7.G.1: Understand how geography, demographic trends and environmental conditions shape modern societies and regions.
  • Social Studies: 7.E.1: Understand the economic activities of modern societies and regions.

Current forms are also available on the Office of Environmental Education website.