Provide a home environment that is conducive to conducting research, reading, and writing. This environment might include a quiet desk to collect and work on materials.
Support your child’s own creation of his/her project by only helping with the tasks which are unsafe for him/her to do (ex: use of heavy equipment e.g. electric saw).
Be very familiar with all rules for the category your child has selected. Have your child explain the rules to you. Check written materials that your child prepares, including the annotated bibliography for consistency and compliance to the formatting rules in the NHD Rulebook.
Plagiarism is defined as the wrongful appropriation, close imitation, and publication of another author’s language, writing, thoughts, ideas, or creations without acknowledgement of that author. Plagiarism occurs when you claim someone else’s work for your own.
Have a discussion with your child about their choice of a topic and ask them to share how the topic relates to this year’s NHD theme. Judges are looking for clear connections to the theme. Check NHD for further information.
Ask your child how they are incorporating primary resources, interviews, research, and the internet. IMPORTANT NOTICE: Wikipedia is NOT considered a reliable resource by NHD because anyone can edit entries.
The NHD experience gives students tremendous opportunities to improve their communication, presentation, research, creativity, technology, project development, and teamwork skills. These are important life skills. Competition and winning are less important than these life skills.
Reinforce the short and long term goals your child’s teacher sets for accomplishing the project.
Encourage your child to “pull their own weight” and contribute significantly to their group project.
Establish open communication with your child’s teacher/coach and the other parents involved with the project.
Encourage your child to review, revise, edit, and redo their project until they are satisfied with the end product. When complete, encourage practice, practice, practice for delivery. For further tips on what questions judges ask, go to NHD.
Encourage the use of “practical props” (performance and exhibit categories only) that your child and his/her team can easily move, assemble, and disassemble. Light weight, collapsible framing materials work best.