White Rose Student Research Contest

The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education is pleased to announce its annual White Rose Student Research Contest, open to 8th-12th grade students.
Submit Your Entry
Questions about the contest?

Contact Shelly Cline, MCHE’s Director of Education, via email or 913-327-8194.

Contact Shelly
Questions about the contest?

Contact Shelly Cline, MCHE’s Director of Education, via email or 913-327-8194.

Contact Shelly

About the Contest

The 2020-2021 contest theme is Propaganda.

Propaganda is the utilization of a message to sway opinion – be that in the form of advertising a product or selling a political message. In 21st century America, the word propaganda carries a connotation that makes us uneasy. We equate it with manipulation for negative purposes. Much of this perspective is born out of the propaganda from World War I and World War II.

During the Nazi period, propaganda was used for a variety of purposes ranging from electioneering to preparing the highly integrated German society to view their own neighbors as inferior beings worthy of exclusion and, eventually, annihilation.

Much of Nazi propaganda focused on amplifying and creating differences among those under Nazi control. Some propaganda promoted “Aryan” ideals and sought to win supporters by making people feel included in the racial community of Nazi Germany. Other examples aimed to highlight the perceived dangers of posed by those the Nazis wished to exclude from society.


Contest Instructions

Using at least 3 of the documents provided below, plus a minimum of 2 outside resources, prepare an essay or documentary that addresses all parts of the following topic:

  • Research: Analyze two examples of Nazi propaganda – one aimed at inclusion and the other aimed at exclusion. Describe the goals and methods of Nazi propaganda as seen in your examples. Be sure to discuss when they were produced and for what purpose. Who is being targeted for inclusion/exclusion?
  • Reflection: American philosopher Eric Hoffer wrote, “Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.” What is Hoffer trying to express about human nature? Do you agree? Why or why not?

You must base your research on at least three of the following documents. All documents referenced from this list are considered electronic sources and the Works Cited page should clearly denote that they were referenced from the MCHE site. That citation can take any format chosen by the teacher.

Documents

Propaganda of Exclusion
Propaganda of Inclusion for those in the Volksgemeinschaft
Essay Requirements

Criteria

  • Evidence of comprehensive and accurate historical research
  • Utilization and consistent citation of at least 3 of the designated documents and 2 additional resources
  • Adherence to theme, demonstrating substantial supporting detail
  • Proper citations – all citation styles are accepted, but citations must be consistent
  • Essays must be free of plagiarism.
  • Works Cited – Only sources cited in the body of the paper should appear on the Works Cited.
  • Maximum of 1200 words.
  • Submitted through the MCHE Website

All entries become property of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education and will not be returned. Applicants give the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education permission to reprint entries. Decisions of the judges are final.

Guidelines for Educators

  • MCHE encourages teachers to utilize this writing contest as a classroom exercise.
  • Sponsoring teachers are limited to submitting no more than 10 essays and 10 documentaries per age division.
  • Educators must submit their finalists names and certify their participation through entry form.
  • Each essay should reflect the student’s own work, guided and reviewed, but not edited in detail by the sponsoring teacher.
  • Entries must be submitted by the published deadline.
  • Finalists and their sponsoring teacher will be recognized at a reception in May.
  • All entries become property of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education and will not be returned.
  • Applicants give the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education permission to reprint entries.
  • Decisions of the judges are final.
Documentary Requirements

Criteria

  • A documentary is an audio/visual presentation that uses multiple source types such as images, video, and sound to communicate your historical argument, research, and interpretation of your response to this year’s topic. The reflection portion of your documentary should not exceed 90 seconds.
  • Your documentary must be an original production.
  • Documentaries should be at least seven minutes and not exceed ten minutes in length.
  • The last portion of your documentary must be a list of acknowledgments and credits for sources of moving footage, interviews, music, and images that appear in the documentary. These source credits must be brief—not full bibliographic citations and not annotated.
  • MP4 format submitted as a YouTube link.
  • If selected as a finalists students must submit the mp4 file to MCHE.

Process Paper

  • Your entry must include a process paper. A process paper is a description of how you conducted your research and created your entry.
  • The process paper must be 500 words and must not include quotes, images, or captions. Your process paper must answer the following questions:
  1. How did you choose your topic and how does it relate to this year’s theme?
  2. How did you conduct your research?
  3. How did you create your project?
  4. What is your historical argument?

Works Cited

Your Works Cited must meet the following requirements:

  •  List all sources that you utilized in developing your entry.
  • Separate your Works Cited into two sections: one for sources from the required set of documents and one for sources you found to supplement your research.
  • Do not attach materials to your Works Cited.

Submission

  • Entries must be in mp4 format and can be submitted via a YouTube link. Finalists will need to supply the original file.
  • Submitted through the MCHE Website

All entries become property of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education and will not be returned. Applicants give the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education permission to reprint entries. Decisions of the judges are final.

Guidelines for Educators

  • MCHE encourages teachers to utilize this writing contest as a classroom exercise.
  • Sponsoring teachers are limited to submitting no more than 10 essays and 10 documentaries per age division.
  • Educators must submit their finalists names and certify their participation through the entry form.
  • Each essay should reflect the student’s own work, guided and reviewed, but not edited in detail by the sponsoring teacher.
  • Entries must be submitted by the published deadline.
  • Finalists and their sponsoring teacher will be recognized at a reception in May.
  • All entries become property of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education and will not be returned.
  • Applicants give the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education permission to reprint entries.
  • Decisions of the judges are final.

Eligibility & Entry Information

The White Rose Student Research Contest is open to 8th-12th grade students.

  • Each contestant is limited to one entry per year.
  • Previous winners may enter again.
  • Projects will be evaluated on historical accuracy, development of content and theme, and original expression according to this rubric.
  • All entries become property of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education and will not be returned.
  • Applicants give the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education permission to reprint entries.
  • Decisions of the judges are final.
  • Entries are accepted in two categories – documentary or essay.
  • Entries are accepted in two age divisions – 8-9th grade and 10-12th grade.
  • We ask students and educators to respect the privacy of the survivors and to refrain from conducting personal interviews.

Prizes & Sponsors

Prizes

  • Finalists will be identified by a panel of Blue Ribbon judges and honored at a reception in May.
  • The top prize winner in each category and age level will be awarded a $300 prize.
  • The sponsoring teacher of each first prize winner will be awarded a voucher worth $150 for use on professional development and/or Holocaust resources.

Sponsors

The contest is sponsored by members of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education’s White Rose membership society.


Submit Your Entry

Entries must be submitted by March 30, 2021.

The White Rose Resistance

The contest is named in memory of the White Rose, a resistance movement consisting of German university students. Among them were Hans and Sophie Scholl, along with several friends and their professor, were arrested and executed for distributing leaflets denouncing the policies of the Nazi regime. The project commemorates the efforts of these brave young people who gave their lives for what they believed in. May their memories inspire us to reflect upon our own responsibilities as citizens in a democratic nation.

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