|Chicago Metro History Fair Website Rules|
The website category is open to schools whose teachers have taken the CMHEC training.
Teachers are encouraged to contact CMHEC for more details, or go to the Certification page now. Teachers may take advantage of our online website training course and certificate program beginning October 10 through January 13, 2015. Upon receiving certification, teachers may allow students to build websites that can be entered into the History Fair competitions. Teachers and students will gain further access to the website rules and guidelines, and the school's name will appear on a list of certified schools.
The NEW Website Category Rules
Wondering what has changed? Read the Summary of the New Rules and Clarifications.
Download the NEW Website Rule Book
WEBSITE PENALTY POINTS (High School only)
High School websites that violate the rules will be subject to penalty point deductions. Junior Division websites will not receive separate penalties.
Website Competition Notes
The following materials should be posted on the website under a navigational tab titled “References.” Post these files as PDF files—do not use Google Drive or Scribd.
- Summary Statement
- Annotated Bibliography, separated between primary and secondary sources (see pp. 4-5)
The website must be created within the NHD Website Editor beginning at the school level. Do NOT attempt to create a site elsewhere and transfer it. The editing system gives students a URL that looks something like http://12345678.nhd.weebly.com—projects that are not created within the NHD Website Editor will be disqualified. Teachers must submit the URL, student email address, username, and password for each project advancing to the History Fair by the deadline.
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! When you have completed your entry, make sure that you hit PUBLISH to ensure that your most recent revisions are visible to the viewer. You will see saved changes on your editing screen, but they are not visible to the viewer until you publish the site. You will be blocked from editing your site during judging. The editor will reopen after judging is complete to allow advancing projects an opportunity for revision.
- Students should not hide the thesis and introduction. The home page is the first encounter that judges have with the project. The home page should provide a “road map” for the project by introducing the argument.
- History Fair websites should be interactive. Consider integrating clips from a variety of media (video footage, interview excerpts, etc.), pop-ups that permit detailed viewing of sources, music, interactive timelines or maps, etc. Remember: interactive features should enhance your historical argument, not distract from it.
- Student-composed text should offer a historical interpretation or argument. Quotations, visuals, and multimedia elements are evidence for the argument you are trying to convey.
- Remember to PUBLISH all changes to your site so they become visible to the viewer!
- Spend time considering the overall organization of the website and how to best construct the navigational menu. Organize on paper before touching a keyboard.
- Judges cannot open files stored in Google Drive and may have difficulty reading files stored in Scribd. Upload the Summary Statement and Annotated Bibliography as PDF files.
- Remember to preview the website on several different computers and in several different browsers.
Rules for All Categories
- Exhibits, documentaries, websites, and performances may be completed individually or by a group of 2-5 students. Papers are individual only. All students in a group entry must be involved in the research and interpretation of the group’s topic.
- Topics must connect with Chicago or Illinois history in order to advance to the state contest. Non-Illinois topics are permitted at the regional and finals competitions.
- Teachers often require integration of the National History Day theme, but the theme is not required by the Chicago Metro History Fair. Projects registered as “NHD eligible” will be assessed on how well their project integrates the NHD theme.
- Students may research, create, and enter only one project each year. Sharing research in multiple projects is not permitted. Revising or reusing an entry from a previous year—whether one’s own or another student’s—may result in disqualification.
- Entries submitted for competition must be original and have been researched and developed in the current contest year.
- Students are responsible for the research, design, and creation of their own project, as well as operating their own equipment and materials. Students may receive advice from adults on the mechanical aspects of creating an entry and/or reasonable help necessary for safety, but the work must be completed by students. Feedback on the student’s work is permissible (help proofreading; suggestions or questions based on the student’s ideas, etc.). Materials created by others specifically for use in the entry violate this rule.
- Each project is required to have a Summary Statement and Annotated Bibliography. [See “Required Materials” ]
- Word counts must be provided for exhibits, websites, and papers. Time lengths must be provided for documentaries and performances.
- Exhibits, performances, and documentaries will be judged and interviewed at the public competitions. Papers and websites are judged in a separate stream, which may have different deadlines for submission. Paper and website entrants will have an opportunity to share their projects at the competitions.
Interviews: Students should not prepare a formal, verbal presentation; however, they should plan to respond to questions posed by judges. The interviews are important to the History Fair experience, but the entry is judged on its merits alone.
- Plagiarism is unacceptable, and constitutes grounds for disqualification. [See www.plagiarism.org for further guidance.]
- Items potentially dangerous in any way—such as weapons, firearms, animals, etc.—are strictly prohibited.
- The Fair Use Doctrine allows students to use pre-existing materials (photos, footage, music, etc.) for educational purposes, including student productions like History Fair; therefore, students need not seek formal permissions within the context of the competition. However, if the project is shown in non-educational settings, then permissions should be sought as appropriate.
- Teachers may have additional rules/restrictions for the History Fair at individual schools. Students should comply with all rules set by their teacher.
All projects must include an Annotated Bibliography and Summary Statement. In the bibliography, each source should be annotated with a short description of how the student used that source. The bibliography must be divided between primary sources (sources from the time period or written by someone with firsthand knowledge) and secondary sources (sources written after the time period, typically by a historian). Bibliographies must follow either the Turabian or MLA style format. Include all sources that contributed useful information, perspectives, or visuals, but not necessarily every source consulted. Annotations may describe why students placed the source as primary/secondary if it is not immediately obvious; and, in the case of web sources, may also describe who sponsors the site. Bundle photos or other materials from the same collection into a single citation. Cite oral history transcripts, questionnaires, or other supplementary materials in the bibliography—do not provide copies of them. Students must acknowledge all sources used in the development of the entry in the annotated bibliography in order to avoid plagiarism.
The Summary Statement provides the project’s thesis, a summary of the argument, and information about the development of the project. The form is available on the History Fair website. Except for websites, the Summary Statement and Annotated Bibliography should be printed on plain, white paper and stapled together. The Annotated Bibliography and Summary Statement are not included in the word count.
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