An exhibit is a visual representation of your research and interpretation of your topic's significance in history, much like a small museum exhibit. The analysis and interpretation of your topic must be clear and evident to the viewer. Labels and captions should be used creatively with visual images and objects to enhance the message of your exhibit.
Click on thumbnail images to see a diagram of exhibit dimensions, suggested layout designs, and tools:
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Elements for an Excellent Exhibit
EXCELLENT RESEARCH For a top quality exhibit, consult and use a wide variety of research materials (books, magazines, newspapers, interviews, correspondence, etc.). Most important are primary sources. The bibliography should have at least 20 sources and have a balance between primary and secondary sources.
ANALYSIS OF TOPIC In a top quality exhibit, analysis of the topic should be evident. The exhibit should be more than just retelling of history; it should show cause and effect, change, and the impact of the topic in history. It is important to place the topic in its historical context.
VARIETY OF DISPLAY MATERIALS Use a wide variety of methods to visualize your topic. These might include photographs, maps, charts, diagrams, timelines, models, and artifacts from the time period. Be careful not to put too much on the exhibit.
CONCISE LABELING Writing labels can be one of the most difficult things in an exhibit. You need to make the depth of your research obvious while staying within the limitations.
ORIGINALITY AND CREATIVITY You need to use imagination and creativity to prepare an exhibit. This does not necessarily mean you have to be artistic. You need to create a mood through the use of color, texture, and materials (for example, barbed wire with a ranching theme).
Remember, an exhibit submitted for judging must be the student's own work. All exhibits must be prepared, set up, and executed by the student(s). Parents, teachers, and friends may advise only. Advising includes assisting in locating information, evaluating project ideas, or reading written materials.
HOTRHF Note: this page is current and up to date for 2015.