Hundreds of Students to Compete in History Fair Feb. 18-19

Feb. 12, 1999

History will come alive on the Baylor University campus when students from five Central Texas counties compete in the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair, scheduled for Feb. 18-19 in the Bill Daniel Student Center. Approximately 300 participants are expected to attend the annual competition, which is now in its 14th year and was founded by Baylor's Strecker Museum.

"We want to give area children a new outlet besides sports to showcase their abilities, and the fair has been overwhelmingly successful in doing that," said Calvin Smith, director of Strecker Museum and chair of the department of museum studies.

History fair participants, who are in grades 5-12, will present papers, projects, performances or media documentaries that delve into the theme of "Science, Technology, Invention and History: Impact, Influence, Change." Entries will cover a wide range of topics, from the life of African-American inventor Benjamin Banneker to the changes in military aviation since World War II.

The contestants will compete in one of two divisions -- junior (grades 6-8) or senior (grades 9-12) -- and will enter projects in one of seven categories ranging from group performances to media presentations. Each category will be judged separately, although fifth-grade students will not be judged on their projects. Judges, many of whom are Baylor faculty members or staff, will score the entries on historical quality, clarity of presentation and the relation to this year's theme. An award ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. Feb. 19.

The first- and second-place winners in each category will be eligible to compete in the state history fair in May. Winners at the state level can enter their projects in the national competition, which takes place in June in Washington. D.C. Last year, five winners from the Waco history fair advanced to the national competition.

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