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.
Remember that an exhibit project must include a process paper with a title page in the correct format and an annotated bibliography, as well as the display exhibit itself. Exhibitors must bring three copies of their written materials to the fair.
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.