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New York State Archives Invites Students to Enter Student Research Awards Contest

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
The New York State Archives invites students statewide to enter the 28th Annual Student Research Awards Contest. The contest is open to all New York State students in grades 4 – 12 who use historical records in their research projects. The deadline for entries is July 1, 2018. Three awards will be presented in the Fall of 2018. 
“We encourage students to explore the wealth of historical records in New York and enter the State Archives’ Student Research Awards Contest,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “We can learn so much by researching our past and that’s why we’re proud to recognize students’ exemplary historical research through this annual awards competition.” 
“The Student Research Awards Contest is not only an opportunity to recognize the excellent research students do across the state but it’s also an opportunity for students, schools, and cultural institutions to work together,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “Through these research projects, students work with their teachers, local cultural institutions, local historians and other community organizations to create a project that uses the real, primary documents of history. I encourage all students and teachers statewide to participate in this program.” 
“I’m impressed every year by the incredible research students do across the state using primary resources,” said Roger Tilles, Chair of the Board of Regents Cultural Education Committee. “Whether they are photographs, diaries, illustrations or documents, these historical resources contain first-hand information that engages students and allows them to do the same type of research as historians. We’re proud to host this program for our students and I urge those who work with students and want to inspire a life-long love of discovery and learning to submit entries to this year’s competition.”
The Student Research Awards Contest encourages students to explore the wealth of historical records found across New York State and to increase cooperation between schools and organizations that manage historical records.  The State Archives encourages students to explore the historical records located in their communities by visiting county, city, town and village clerk’s offices; public libraries; historical societies; and businesses. Examples of records used by students include letters, diaries, photographs, board meeting minutes, police and court records, ledgers, census records, deeds, and wills. The State Archives has a variety of instructional videos showcasing how to find and use historical records on its website.
Individual students and groups of students may submit projects to the contest. Eligible projects include: computer-based entries such as websites or PowerPoint presentations; exhibits; documentaries; performances; proposals for a historical marker, property or district; and traditional research papers.  
All students must use historical records, as well as other primary and secondary sources, in their research, and each entry must be accompanied by an annotated bibliography that briefly describes how each source was used and how it contributed to the project.  Projects must be nominated by teachers or administrators in the school attended by the student(s). Community members, such as municipal historians and public librarians, may also nominate students. Entries from home-schooled students are also welcome.
Three awards are presented each year; one each for grades 4-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12. The awards consist of a framed certificate, a cash award and an invitation to an awards ceremony in Albany. Certificates of Merit are awarded to students, other than the winners, whose projects are exemplary. 
The Student Research Awards are supported by the Laura and Robert Chodos endowment, private contributions, and special grants raised by the New York State Archives Partnership Trust, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to ensuring that the New York State Archives records are preserved and available for future generations.
The New York State Archives is a program of the State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located on Madison Avenue in Albany, the Archives is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on legal holidays. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-6926 or visiting the Archives’ website at