There are a number of opportunities offered by federal, state, and private education organizations for students to participate in special programs and projects
to learn social studies. Here are a few offered annually.
Each program is briefly described and a link to the sponsoring organization is offered.
Stock Market Game
This highly successful, interactive, interdisciplinary educational tool used in grades 4-12, is sponsored by the Oklahoma Council for Economic Education. This class competition motivates student learning about economics, finance, and the American economic system. (There is a fall and spring competition.)
Oklahoma Mock Trial
Using mock trials in the secondary classroom develops citizenship, communication, and critical thinking skills. The strategies and procedures outlined in this workshop give students an understanding of our court system as well as the rights and responsibilities of our judiciary. Participants will learn how to implement a mock trial and receive several mock trials for classroom use.
Oklahoma Heritage Association
This non-profit organization offers student scholarship contests, essay and poster contests, and teacher awards for grades 3-12. Each year, the organization also offers special awards to students competing in the History Day contest whose entries focus on Oklahoma History.
The American Bar Association sponsors student essay contests and other special projects each spring to celebrate Law Day on May 1st.
Center for Civic Education: We the People Student Competition- Citizen and the Constitution
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education by act of Congress, students complete a six-week study program prior to a statewide team-debate competition for high school history and government classes. The state contest is held in Oklahoma City in January and the winning team in Oklahoma advances to the national level of the competition held each spring in Washington, D.C.
The Center for Civic Education sponsors a middle school competition in which student groups study and propose solutions to community problems. The competition is held in spring. For more information, contact the Oklahoma Bar Association, or the Center for Civic Education.
National Geography Bee
Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test of geographic knowledge. The state contest is held in spring each year.
Edmond Geography Quiz Bowl
Designed exclusively for students in Edmond’s 4th and 5th grades, this team competition focuses on general geography skills and knowledge of our nation’s physical, cultural, historical, and economic geography. Each school may enter two teams into the competition held in the spring. Awards and trophies are given to all participating students, winning teams, and teachers.
National History Day
National History Day concentrates on student research and presentation of such research dealing with a specific theme each year. The competition has two divisions: junior (grades 6-8) and senior (grades 9-12). Students can enter one of the following seven categories: individual paper, individual or group exhibit (similar to a museum exhibit), individual or group performance (a dramatic portrayal of the topic), individual or group documentary (usually a slide show, a video, or a non-interactive computer program). Groups can consist of two to five students. District History Day contests are usually held in February or March. District winners then prepare for and compete at the state contests, usually held in late April or early May. The top two finishers in each category at the state contest become eligible to advance to the national contest held in June at the University of Maryland at College Park.
U.C.O. Social Science Fair
Our community is proud of this opportunity to work with the Social Studies Department of the University of Central Oklahoma who sponsors this “fair” each year. Students or teams may enter the competition, displaying their research of an annual topic in the formats of projects or essays. The competition is held prior to the winter holiday break on the U.C.O. campus.
Peace Essay Contest
This annual contest for high school students asks for written essays responding to an annual theme. Awards and scholarships are given to regional and national winners.
Model United Nations
In Model U.N., students step into the shoes of ambassadors from U.N. members states to debate current issues on the organization's vast agenda. Student "delegates" in Model U.N. prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the U.N.'s rules of procedures - all in the interest of mobilizing "international cooperation" to resolve problems that affect almost every country on Earth.
VFW’s “Voice of Democracy” Essay Contest
This is an annual national audio essay contest that is designed to foster patriotism by giving high school students in grades 9 through 12 the opportunity to voice their opinion about their personal obligations as an American and address their responsibility to our country. Created in 1947, the scholarship program annually provides more than $3 million in scholarships. Contestants write and record a three to five minute essay on an annual theme.
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
This program honors young people in middle level and high school grades for outstanding volunteer service to their communities. Created in 1995 by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the awards constitute the United States' largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteering.
United Nations Essay Contest
Since 1986, the National High School Essay Contest on the United Nations has inspired students to engage global issues and the work of the U.N. through scholarship and critical thinking. Each year, the United Nations publishes a topic and question of particular importance to the international community. Students then conduct research and write a response to the question, based not only on the information they have found, but also on their own views and opinions.
Founded in 1987, The Concord Review, the first and only quarterly journal in the world for the academic work of secondary history and government students, has published 52 issues by students in forty-two states and thirty-three other countries.
Daniel Pearl Essay Contest
This contest encourages youth to speak out on cultural intolerance. The Daniel Pearl Foundation established the “Spirit of Daniel Pearl Youth Writing Contest.” The contest was developed in memory of journalist Daniel Pearl.
Profiles in Courage Essay Contest
This contest encourages high school students to write a compelling essay on the meaning of political courage, and to learn about and be inspired by America's elected officials, past or present, who have tried to make a difference in the world.