- Students, working individually, in groups, or a class, develop projects such as research papers, papers reconstructing the past, exhibits, documentaries, performances, PowerPoint entries, websites, or proposals for the designation of a historical marker, property or district.
- Projects must include an annotated bibliography and use historical records.
- Projects are not required to focus on New York State history; however it can be more convenient and engaging to conduct research using historical records that are found locally in libraries, historical societies, local governments, businesses, community organizations, and with individuals and families. Often, the most successful research projects examine an event from a local point of view.
- This is a research award contest and, therefore, the final product should answer a research question. Research questions do not have a yes or no answer and can be answered in different ways based on the evidence found in historical records. Research questions often begin with: How, What or Why. For example: Why was New York influential in the outcome of the Civil War?; How did the Erie Canal impact the economy of individual communities?; Why do people break the law?; and How does popular media influence culture?
- Students are encouraged to work closely with their teachers, school library media specialists, public librarians, and local historians while working on their projects.