National WWII Museum invites students to enter annual essay contest

The National WWII Museum invites middle school and high school students to enter their annual essay contest. In light of the 70th anniversary of the flag raising at Iwo Jima, the museum is asking students to think about what it means to be a hero. Middle school students can win $250 and high school students can win up to $1,000. In addition to prize money, the winning essays will be published on The National WWII Museum website.

Students are asked to answer the question: How do you define a hero? The museum does not want the essay to be a research paper on World War II. Instead, students should use WWII as a starting point. The essay should then build on the student’s idea of a hero is and use examples from their own experiences that can support their ideas.

Students must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the contest:

  • Be in grades five through 12.
  • Live in the United States, U.S. territories, or on U.S. military bases.
  • Middle school students (grades 5-8) must submit an essay with 500 words or less.
  • High school students (grades 9-12) must submit an essay with 1,000 words or less.

The official rules for middle school and high school students are available on The National WWII Museum website.

In addition to meeting eligibility requirements, there are specific formatting requirements. If formatting requirements are not met, the essay will not be accepted. The essay for the contest should:

  • Be double-spaced
  • Have one-inch margins
  • Include page numbers.
  • Include an essay title
  • Be typed in 12-point font.
  • Be in Microsoft Word-compatible format only. Zip files and Google documents are not permitted.

The deadline to submit essays is Mar. 31, 2015 at 5 p.m. CDT. However, The National WWII Museum will only accept the first 500 essays that are properly formatted in each category. Therefore, students should not wait to work on their essays until the deadline. The website will indicate when 500 essays have been submitted.

Staff of the National WWII Museum will read and evaluate essay entries. The essays will be “judged foremost for originality, clarity of expression, and adherence to contest themes, as well as historical accuracy, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.” One winning essay will be selected from each grade in the Middle School category. The Middle School winners will receive a $250 prize.  First, second, and third place will be selected from the high school category with prizes of $1,000, $750, and $500 respectively. The National WWII Museum will also post the winning essays and honorable mentions from the high school category on their website. Names of the honorable mentions in the Middle School category will be posted on the website.

See the official rules and learn more about Annual Essay Contest at The National WWII Museum website.

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