Student entries must meet the criteria of the award to be eligible. On the day of the district competition students can self-nominate entries for special awards judges to review. Regular district judges will also be watching for, and nominating, entries for these awards

The George Washington Leadership Prize

George Washington stood at the center of the world stage through the second half of the 18th century and has continued to do so since his death in 1799. He played a pivotal role in every major event surrounding the founding of our nation in his roles as Commander in Chief, president at the Constitutional Convention, citizen farmer, and the President of the United States of America. His actions have been examples of civic responsibility, patriotism, and historic complexity over time and remain relevant in national dialogue today. 

Presented by the Washington Library at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, this $250 prize will be awarded to outstanding projects in both the Junior and Senior categories that demonstrate a clear understanding of the ideas and events defined by Washington’s life, leadership, and legacy. In addition to outstanding historical interpretation, we award special consideration to projects that seek innovative and compelling ways to tell the story of George Washington so that his timeless and relevant life are accessible to the world. 

National Women’s History Museum Award

National Women’s History Museum is pleased to offer a $50 prize to the entry that best addresses women’s history. Both Junior and Senior Division entries will be considered. 

The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) researches, collects, and exhibits the contributions of women to the social, cultural, economic, and political life of our nation in a context of world history. Sharing this knowledge illuminates and encourages women and men, people of all classes, races and cultures to move into the future with respect, equal confidence, greater partnership and opportunity. For more information, visit

The National Museum of the Marine Corps Award

The National Museum of the Marine Corps in partnership with the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation will present an award judged to be the best entry with a history of the Marine Corps subject within the guidelines of this year’s theme of “Conflict and Compromise in History." The award will consist of a check for $1000 to an individual winner, or divided equally between students of a winning group entry. In a rare case in which there are co-winning entries, the award will also be divided.

 Students are encouraged to research a topic that involved the many actions of the United States Marine Corps in American history.  The United States Marine Corps was created by Congress on November 10, 1775, almost a year before the Declaration of Independence. Some topics which reflect "Conflict and Compromise in History" include Marine actions during World War I at Belleau Woods; World War II at Guadal Canal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, or Okinawa; The Korea War at Chosin Reservoir; The Vietnam War at Khe Sanh; or Fallujah in the War against Terrorism. Other ideas showing conflict and compromise by Marines could include any of the 300 Medal of Honor recipients or many of the Marine recipients of the second highest military decoration for valor, that of the Navy Cross.  For more information on the National Museum of the Marine Corps Award please contact Claire Ball at

Virginia History Award

The Virginia Historical Society will be offering an award to the best Junior and Senior level projects focused on Virginia History. The award includes a $100 monetary prize for each project.

The George C. Marshall Prize in Diplomacy

The George C. Marshall International Center will present an award to both a Junior and Senior Division entry that focuses on diplomacy. In honor of Secretary of State George C. Marshall (1947-1949), entries should show how effective diplomacy, at any time in history, combines selflessness and integrity with national interests, all principles for which Marshall stood. The winning entry in each division will receive $100 and a family pass to visit George C. Marshall’s historic home in Leesburg, VA.

Newseum Award

The Newseum will award a family four-pack of admission tickets to an outstanding project in both the Junior and Senior divisions that examines conflicts and/or compromises involving the First Amendment and its five freedoms. Projects might consider the following questions: 

  • How did someone’s use of the First Amendment create conflict in a community?
  • When have people come into conflict while exercising their same First Amendment freedom?
  • When has the First Amendment been used to resolve conflicts and create compromise?

Virginia Sons of the American Revolution Citizenship Award

Representatives from local chapters of the Virginia Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) will present Citizenship awards and certificates for noteworthy projects which cover the Revolutionary War time period (1750 - 1800) within any category of both the Junior and Senior Divisions.

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