Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for a student to complete the NSU-SOS program?

The entire program takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. Students will spend the most time, approximately 60 minutes, completing the Scavenger Hunt and this portion of the program can be done over several class periods or at home. Students must register, take the Pre-Quiz, complete the Scavenger Hunt, and take the Post-Quiz all within the same month in order to compete for the monthly NSU-SOS Trophy.

Can home school students participate?

Yes, home school students can participate in the program by registering under “Home School” in their respective states. However, home school students cannot compete for the NSU-SOS Trophy at this time.

Can private schools participate?

Yes. The NSU-SOS Internet Challenge is available FREE to all private and public elementary and middle schools.

Can a non-school such as an after school program, church group, or boy/girl scout troop participate?

These types of requests are handled on a case by case basis and you must contact the NSU-SOS program office at [email protected] for more information.

Is there an NSU-SOS program for high school students?

The NSU-SOS Internet Challenge is designed for 3rd through 8th grade students. With the help of an adult sponsor (preferably a teacher), high school students can get involved with the program and earn community service hours by learning how the program works and helping classes of elementary and middle school students participate. For more information contact the NSU-SOS program office at [email protected]

There is also an online cyber citizenship quiz designed for high school students at

How do you protect the privacy of NSU-SOS student participants?

No student personal information is stored in the NSU-SOS database. During student registration, NSU-SOS collects and holds each student’s name in temporary memory until the registration process is complete.

Do I need to install software or download anything on my computer to participate in the program?

No. Only an internet connection is needed to participate in the program, no downloads or installation required.

How are the winning schools determined each month?

A school wins the NSU-SOS Trophy by having the highest team score in the country. A school’s team score is calculated by adding together the top 20 students’ Post-Quiz scores. There is a separate NSU-SOS Internet Challenge for each grade 3rd through 8th so there is a winning school at each grade level.

What topics are covered by the program?

Click here to view the Topics by Grade grid.