Editor’s Note: This essay contest for Ohio students is a great Newspapers in Education project for ONA member newspapers. Please consider promoting this contest by both reaching out to schools in your area and also running ads about the contest, which can be downloaded in both color and B&W versions along with a web-only ad.
(COLUMBUS) – The State of Ohio War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission announces a research contest open to any Ohio student ages 13 to 18 and in grades 7 through 12. The contest boasts $10,000 in cash prizes.
“We are very grateful to our sponsor, Medical Mutual of Ohio, for providing the funding for this contest,” said Joseph H. Zerbey IV, chairman of the commission.
The research project may take the form of an essay, a Web site, a podcast, or a Powerpoint presentation.
“Our goal is for students to present historical narrative and interpretation in a compelling and informative manner,” said Dr. Peter Hahn, a Commission member and chairman of the history department at The Ohio State University. “Not only do we want them to conduct research for the contest, but we hope they share it with their classmates. We want all Ohio students to know the rich history of Ohio.”
Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners in each grade category. First place winners will each receive $3,000. Second place winners will each receive $1,500, and third place winners will each take home $500.
Students in grades 7 to 9 should prepare submissions based on one of the following prompts:
1. How did Ohio’s geographic location, including its proximity to Lake Erie, shape its strategic importance to the U.S. war effort against Britain during the War of 1812?
2. What were the major causes of the formation of the British-Native American alliance in the old Northwest Territory? How important was the encroachment by U.S. farmers and pioneers upon Native American lands in the development of this alliance?
Students in grades 10 to 12 should prepare submissions based on one of the following prompts:
3. Analyze the military campaigns within Ohio during the War of 1812 or the military campaigns involving Ohio soldiers beyond the state’s borders. In either case, identify the strategic aims of the commanders of the U.S. troops and assess the reasons why their operations succeeded or failed.
4. Analyze the role of Native Americans in Ohio and contiguous states in the War of 1812 and the war’s impact on Native Americans in Ohio.
The contest is open to any Ohio student aged 13 to 18 and in grades 7 to 12 in public, private, charter, parochial, or home school. The deadline for submission of all materials is January 31, 2014.
Contestants must not reveal their identity on the essay, PowerPoint, podcast or Web site. This is to ensure “blind review” by the judges.
Projects will be judged on accuracy and clarity in presenting historical events, persons and places, quality of assessment of the issues raised in the prompts, understanding of the larger context surrounding the events being examined, and cogent style and creativity of the final product.
For a complete list of rules and to enter the contest, students should visit www.Warof1812.ohio.gov/contest.aspx.