Monday, September 28, 2009

Caddo Social Studies Fair 09 instructions for students, parents and teachers

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Region I
Social Studies Fair 2009

The Region I Social Studies Fair annually presents an exhibition of work prepared by social studies students from the parishes of Caddo, Bossier, and Webster, says Toussaint Battley, Caddo social studies superviser. Major purposes of the Region I Social Studies Fair are:

1. to recognize and reward outstanding scholarship and achievements of social studies students;
2. to provide students and teachers with an opportunity to put into practice ideas and principles of Americanism and patriotism as taught in the social studies;
3. to provide students and teachers with an opportunity to relate to their daily lives the ideas and principles taught in the social studies;
4. to give students and teachers an opportunity to compare and see what others are doing in the social studies;
5. to give students in the social studies an opportunity to interpret the cultural, social, political and economic forces of our times;
6. to encourage students and teachers to exchange techniques and ideas that have been successful in their classrooms;
7. to encourage students to do creative research and discover ways in which they can contribute to the development of society;
8. to lead students to draw more heavily upon all areas of social studies as a means of broadening and deepening their social concepts;
9. to arouse public interest in and appreciation for the broad areas of content in the social studies;
10. to develop an appreciation and understanding among the public for the abilities of youth; and,
11. to encourage an awareness of the world of work.

Project Topics and Disciplines

Anthropology: Ancient civilizations, Native Americans, customs, festivals, types of shelter and food, religion, etc.
Economics: Money, manufacturing, trade, transportation of goods and services, communication, inflation, stock exchange, common market, government budgets, etc.
Geography: Ecology, foreign countries, lands and people, maps, flooding, rivers, lakes, cities, conservation, etc.
History: Story of mankind, historical events, places, biographies, personalities, wars, etc.
Political Science: Government agencies, FBI, crime, U.S. Constitution, courts system, international governments, etc.
Sociology: Families, crime, mental health, propaganda, life styles, dreams, television, media, etc.

Projects should be related to a subject being studied and should assist the students and class in learning more about the subject. Group and/or class projects as well as individual projects may be entered in all three divisions. Group projects and individual projects will be judged separately and separate awards will be given. Major emphasis should be places upon projects which call for methods of research and inquiry rather than “show” displays or “collections” of objects.

Division I Division II Division III
(Grades 4-6) (Grades 7-8) (Grades 9-12)
1. Anthropology 1. Anthropology 1. Anthropology
2.Economics 2.Economics 2.Economics
3. Geography 3. Geography 3. Geography
4. History 4. History 4. History
5. Political Science 5. Political Science 5. Political Science
6. Sociology 6. Sociology 6. Sociology

It is the privilege of each Division I school to send four entries to the regional fair. A Division II school will be permitted to send six entries to the regional fair this year. A Division III school will be permitted to submit eight entries this year. A school having more than one division, such as a grade 6-8 middle school may enter in more than one division. All schools are encouraged to hold a local fair to select winners who will be eligible for the Regional Fair. If a local school fair is not conducted, selections of winners in each division should be made by a committee.
All projects must be classified by exhibitors at the time of entry according to the above academic disciplines within the social studies area. Teachers should be careful to see that all projects are placed in the appropriate subject matter category. Final decisions as to categories will not be made by the regional director. History and sociology categories are generally entered heavily, particularly in Divisions I and II; you may wish to encourage your students to work on projects in other categories. We especially encourage increased participation of Division III students.
The following specific regulations should be kept in mind by both the students and their sponsoring teachers:
1. Projects must conform to grade level and academic discipline. Group projects must have ONE designated spokesperson for the judging period; other members of the group will be asked to leave the hall during judging.
2. The exhibitor should be prepared to give a maximum five-minute explanation of the project to the judges including a three-minute presentation and two minutes for questions and answers.
3. Projects are limited to dimensions of 30 inches front to back and 36 inches wide.
4. All visual or audiovisual projects must be accompanied by a paper which shows the purposes, methods, conclusions, references and other supporting work appropriate to the type of project.
5. The projects must stand by themselves and be self-explanatory.
6. The exhibitor must furnish all auxiliary equipment, such as extension cords, light bulbs, etc.
7. Displays must be modified or improved between the Regional and State Fairs; however, the major theme must be maintained.
8. Fair Directors (local and regional) may make final decisions on matters pertaining to fairs if these matters are not covered in the Fair regulations.

All students going to the Social Studies Regional or State Fair should be familiar with and agree to abide by these regulations.

1. Projects must conform to Division level and to academic discipline at both the Regional and State competition. Group projects must have one person designated as spokesman for the group. Other members of the group will be asked to leave the hall during judging. (A group project is one in which at least two students were involved in its development.) The Social Studies Fair director cannot assume responsibility for incorrectly completed forms. No projects will be changed from one category to another at the Regional or State Fair.

2. The exhibitor will be allowed a maximum of five minutes to explain, defend and answer questions on the project. It is mandatory that student presentations not exceed three (3) minutes in order to give judges time for questions. Judges will use an additional two (2) minutes for questions and answers.

3. Projects are limited to a table space of 30 inches deep (front-to-back) and 36 inches wide (side-to-side). All elements of the project must fit within the space assigned at the Fair and not encroach on adjacent space. No part of the project may be under the display table. No project may exceed 100 pounds in weight and 100 inches in height. Projects must be self explanatory, stand by themselves, and have back/ and or side boards. (See picture in accompanying project guide.)

4. All projects must be accompanied by a paper with the appropriate elements. These elements must include a properly written:
Title page
Table of contents
Body of research paper
Footnotes (Division III only)
Bibliography (Sources specifically cited in paper)
References (Sources generally used to prepare paper)

(See Social Studies Fair Guide for additional information and examples.)

In regional competition these and other elements MAY be required by the Regional Fair Director. Winning projects at the State Fair MUST include the aforementioned elements. Footnotes are required for Division III winners only. Any standard bibliographic form for citation (APA, MLA, Chicago Style, Campbell, Turabian, etc.) is acceptable. All information (including oral information) must be properly cited.

The abstract is a brief (250 words or less) summary of the content and purpose of the project. (See the Guide to Social Studies Fair Projects in the Bulletin for an illustration.)

Project papers in Division I and II MAY be handwritten or typed; Division III papers must be typed.

5. Cassette players, light bulbs, batteries, etc. must be provided by the entrant. All projects requiring electricity must be accompanied by a minimum 50 foot extension cord. Also, projects using computers must have electrical surge protection devices. All equipment must be contained within the space allocated for the project.
6. The entrant’s name, school, hometown, or other identifying information is not to be visible anywhere on the project or research paper unless it is specifically related to the project. Entrants are not to wear school uniforms or other identifying clothing.
7. No live animals or any type of embryos or fetus may be exhibited. Only properly prepared animal skins, hides, or stuffed animals can be used in exhibits.
8. The State Fair is not responsible for valuables left on display, especially audio-visual or computer equipment.
9. Only one student will be present to defend a project-even in group projects.
10. No individual will be allowed to defend more than one project. No substitute presenters are allowed.
11. There is to be no communication between the student and the parents, teachers, or other participants while a student is being judged.
12. No projects are to be removed until after the awards ceremony. (This is to prevent damage to projects on display and as a courtesy to students who will receive awards later in the Awards Ceremony.)
13. Projects not removed after the awards ceremony will be removed and discarded by Fair site personnel during clean-up operations.
14. Parents and guests will be asked to leave the Fair during the judging. When the judging is completed, the parents and guests may enter the Fair.
15. Do not leave your project until the judging in your division/discipline has ended. (Notification will be given to students in the Fair site at the end of judging in each area. If you division/discipline has been dismissed and you have not been judged, contact a member of the State or Regional Fair Committee immediately!)
16. Do not bring food or beverages into the project display area.
17. Students must strictly adhere to instructions given by Fair and LSU/LSUS Security personnel.
18. No additional entries from regional competitions will be accepted the day of the State Fair. Only entries certified by regional Fair Directors and received at least ten (10) working days prior to the State Fair are acceptable. If a registration form was not sent in from a regional competition because of an error at the Regional competition, the student must be prepared to present evidence that he project is eligible and the necessary Fair fee has been paid.
19. Do not block either the aisles or exit/entry corridors, especially during the awards ceremony.
20. If you have a problem or need information, please contact a Fair committee person stationed on the stage for assistance and official information.
21. Projects may be modified or improved between fairs; however, the main theme, title, and discipline must be maintained.
22. The regional and State Fair Directors have the authority to make decisions not covered in these regulations on all matters related to their respective Fairs.
23. Decisions of judges are final and are not subject to review or appeal.
24. Failure by a student, parent, or teacher to adhere to Fair regulations on all or requests from Fair Committee members will result in disqualifications of the associated student project.
25. Parents and/or school personnel are responsible for the supervision and safety of the entrant. The Social Studies Fair Council is not responsible for supervision.
26. Displays of archaeological materials/human remains should be limited to those: (a) from the ground surface (not dug up); (b) from private property (not state or federal); and (c) not associated with any sort of human burial or contain any human remains. Students can contact the Division of Archaeology, P.O. Box 44247., Baton Rouge, LA, 70804; (504)342-8170 for booklets about archaeology. ( Refer to state law 1991- Act 704, house Bill No. 1446)
27. Judges’ evaluation forms for projects will not be made public following the conclusion of the state fair.


1. Food services are located on the LSUS campus and in the area immediately adjacent to campus. (Food may not be brought into the project display area.) Telephones and rest room facilities are available within the Fair site at designated locations.
2. Please observe all LSUS campus parking regulations, especially during loading and unloading of projects in front of the Fair site. A special area near the Fair site has been designated for loading projects. Do not leave your vehicle there while registering for the Fair. You must move your car to a designated parking area immediately. Failure to adhere to LSUS parking regulations will result in your car being towed away. A FINE MUST BE PAID TO RECOVER YOUR VEHICLE!
3. Once projects are set up for display in the Fair site, students are both free and encouraged to visit the LSUS campus until time for judging.

A Guide to Social Studies Fair Projects

This portion of the Social Studies Fair Bulletin is intended to identify key elements in a social studies fair project, describe how those elements should be developed, and offer incidental information for teachers and students about how to initiate, develop, and present a social studies fair project.

This information is intended for teachers, students and fair committee members. Teachers are an essential resource in the development of social studies fair projects. Therefore, it is important that they have proper, accurate information about fair projects to share with their students. Students will find this guide and any additional information given by their teacher useful in developing projects. Hopefully, it will avoid the wasted time students spend casting about for scattered information related to the projects. The information here also can be useful to fair committee members who must respond to many questions from both teachers and students about social studies fair projects. Finally, the information within this section can be of use to judges who must decide which project, among many, is worst worthy of recognition.

The Basics of a Social Studies Project:
The development of every social studies fair project should consider these things:
A. A Topic
B. A physical display
C. A research paper
D. An oral presentation
How to select a topic:
The best way for a student to select a topic is to identify something that they are curious about. Students always have questions about many different topics, subjects, events, people, and places. The student should identify one of these things or anything else they might be curious about and begin to think about it.

In considering a topic these things should be kept in mind:
1. Value- -The topic should she light on some significant aspect of human experience.
2. Originality- - If a project has been the subject of a previous investigation, the proposed new study should either furnish substantial new evidence or provide a significant new interpretation.
3. Practicality- - Sources must be available which one may use conveniently and without fear of censorship. The scope of the subject should be neither too limited nor too broad.
4. Unity- - Every project must have a unifying theme, or be directed to a certain question or thesis, so that there is a point of departure, the development of the subject, and specific conclusions.
There are limited topics for study, especially at the local level. These include studies of business, churches, governments, biographies, community changes, and other such topics. It must be understood, however, that any one phase may involve one or all of the social sciences. For example, the evolution of business represents one phase of economics; its impact on people involves sociology; and its influence on people involves psychology. Even though the project encompasses many disciplines, it must be entered for competition in the discipline of major emphasis.
In selecting a topic the student should exercise care about the scope of the project. The project topic should not be so broad that it cannot be given good in-depth treatment. Conversely, the student’s topic should not be too specific. For example, a topic such as World War II might be too broad, and it might be too difficult to cover everything about that historical event in one comprehensive project. On the other hand, a topic such as Louisiana in World War II might be too narrow because information on Louisiana’s involvement in the war would be too limited. Some topics in between would, perhaps, be more suitable. Some examples are the War in the Pacific, the bombing of the Pearl Harbor, the allied invasion of Europe, the development of the atomic bomb, or the Battle of the Bulge.

It is possible that a student might be able to successfully create a project on World War II or Louisiana in World War II. The key is how the student treats the topic. A student might be able to create a project with a unique perspective on both of these topics. However, great care should be given to find the middle ground between topics that are too broad and topics that are too narrow.

Once a responsible topic is selected, a title could be given to the project. The title should be short and descriptive and create a picture of the project. It should pique the judges’ curiosity and spark an interest in learning more about the project associated with the title. It may be that the best title could be assigned after the research is completed.

Once the topic and/or title is selected the student should begin research. Information can be gathered from many sources, especially school, public or college/university libraries.

Sources of information concerning one project may require only questionnaires to a sample of people and the tabulation of results; another project may be based on the study of manuscripts and/or newspapers; and still another project may be based on governmental publications or those of some specialized agency. The following are fruitful sources of information for researchers in the social sciences:

A. Newspapers, magazines, published letters, memos;
B. Unpublished manuscripts (wills, letters, deeds, church minutes, diaries);
C. Government publications (international, national, state and local);
D. Publications by private agencies, physical remains, (buildings, battle areas, artifacts);
E. Oral interviews, polls and questionnaires, photographs, sound recordings, and films.
F. The Internet
As a rule, a good researcher uses a variety of these, and the use of one leads to another.

Students should consult general reference materials first if they have no background information at all or if the topic is not current. Some suggested reference sources of this type are:
Atlas and gazetteers
Yearbooks and Handbooks
Biographical Dictionaries
The Internet

If the information is very current, information can be found through the use of:
Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature
Vertical files
Newspapers or news magazines
Current biography
The Internet

One of the most powerful tools for library research (other than the librarian) is the card catalog or the electronic card catalog. This invaluable tool will allow the student to look up information according to the title of a book, subject or author and will provide the location and in the case of the electronic card catalog, status of availability of the materials.

Another excellent, often overlooked source is community people who can offer oral information about a wide range of topics and events. Students with appropriate topics can find these people a fine source of information which can enrich their projects with unique and often unusual information unavailable from other sources. Other information can be secured from community people in the form of questionnaires or surveys.

Social Studies and other teachers with responsibilities for developing skills should not miss the opportunity to provide appropriate instruction in these areas to students working on fair projects. Reading, writing, research and reference, study, thinking and other skills instruction should be coordinated with the development of social studies projects.
Project Display

The display is the physical representation of your theme or topic. It must fit within a space 36 inches wide and 30 inches deep. It cannot weigh over 100 pounds or be taller than 100 inches. The project may take one of several forms:

A. Visual projects- This type project relies primarily on visual elements to convey to the judges the meaning of the project.
B. Audio projects- This type project relies primarily on audio elements to convey to the judges the meaning of the project.
C. Audio-visual projects- This type project relies on both audio and visual elements to convey to the judges the meaning of the project.

In all forms, the student should still have a research paper and should be prepared to give an oral presentation to the judges.

Some other points to remember about the physical appearance of the project are:

A. The title of the project must be on the display
B. The materials used for the project can vary, but it should be safe, strong, light weight and self-supporting.
C. Use attractive materials and lettering.
D. Words should be seen easily from a distance of three to five feet.
E. Choose colors which have good value contrast. Value contrast is the amount of darkness or lightness in a color. For example, navy-blue letters on a yellow background are easier to read than orange letters on a yellow background. Some colors you can use for good value contrast are:
White on black - Orange on purple - Black on Yellow - White on purple
Black on orange - Navy-blue on yellow - Yellow on Kelly-green - Purple on yellow

F. Avoid the use of purchased items and little plastic figures. Be creative; make your own figures from available materials or handmade items. Use original materials or pictures where possible and avoid the use or over-use of photocopies.
G. Do not use flammable, toxic or there dangerous materials or objects.

Various project media can be included in the project. These include:

Charts Diagrams Documentaries Photographs
Murals Graphs Maps Mock-ups
Statistical analysis Surveys

The Research Paper

A well developed research paper must accompany each social studies fair project. The research paper must include these items:

1. Title Page:
Good titles usually are short, descriptive, and create pictures in the minds of the audience. A title should hint at the subject without telling the whole story like a riddle that sparks interest because it makes the listener think.
2. Table of Contents:
All major elements in the paper should be listed with the appropriate page number.
3. Abstract:
It is a brief (approximately 250 words) summary of the content, purpose, and reference sources used in the paper. The purpose of the report should be based on the questions you asked or the problem you identified. The following is an example of an abstract.
Example of an Abstract
This project is about the internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II. The project will describe the historical background for popular sentiment against Japanese-Americans living on the west coast of the United States at the beginning of World War II. The project will show that the internment of these people was not only an act to increase national security, but was a part of a great effort to calm an alarmed American public frightened by the sudden attack on Pearl Harbor. Further, the project will show that the internment of the American citizens was inconsistent with the principles of the U.S. Constitution.

Information for this project was secured from various sources including books, periodicals and government documents. Also included will be taped interviews with legal experts and Japanese-Americans.

This project intends to demonstrate that even in time of national emergency, citizens must be careful to insure constitutional rights.
4. Body of Paper:
This part of the paper tells the story of the project. It should include information about the basic purpose of the report, relevant questions asked, and information gathered for the research. The length of the paper may vary depending on the type of project, but it should be of adequate length to appropriately cover the topic.
5. Conclusion:
The general ideas the student discovered or learned from doing the project should be concisely described in this section.
6. Footnotes:
Any information (including oral interview information) directly cited in the report or paraphrased should be properly indicated in the body of the research paper. Footnotes are required in Division III research papers.
7. Bibliography/ references:
All books, articles, and other sources, including interviews, which were used in the report must be listed. Any of the standard bibliographic or reference styles, such as American Psychological Association, Turabian, University of Chicago, Modern Language Association, etc. may be used.
The Oral Presentation

Each student must give an oral presentation to judges on their project. The student should also be prepared to respond to any questions that might be asked about the project. The oral presentation should be concise, to-the-point, and in logical order. Responses to questions should also be concise and to-the-point. These are some things that will help in the oral presentation and when responding to questions:

Keep eye contact with the judges Stand on both feet
Dress neatly Stay within the time limit
Integrate the display into the presentation Use conversational speech
Relax, speak slowly and clearly

There are several things that should not be done during the oral presentation. These include:
Chewing gum or tobacco moving nervously
Standing in front of or obscuring the project using note cards or notes
Putting hands in pockets Wearing heavy jewelry or distracting clothing

Parent Involvement

Appropriate parent and teacher involvement in a social studies project is essential. Both parents and teachers should remember that the most important ingredient in any project is the amount of work the student accomplishes, how much knowledge he or she acquires, and how much initiative is displayed. Many abilities are developed: researching, organizing, outlining, measuring, calculating, reporting, and presenting. These involve the reading, writing, arithmetic, and social skills so much a part of successful daily living.

There are some points that both teachers and parents should keep in mind:

A. Parents and teachers should support and encourage involvement in the social studies program.
B. The emphasis should be on student achievement and learning and not strictly on “winning.”
C. It is appropriate for parents and teachers to work with students to insure that projects are safe.
D. Some forms of parental or teacher involvement which are welcomed include:
Suggesting project ideas
Suggesting reference sources
Transportation to libraries, businesses, museums, and other places that are sources of project information
Being a good listener for practice oral presentations
Offering general constructive criticisms
Giving encouragement to students
Monitoring construction of projects to insure safety