All Ukrainian Competition on Pupils "Research Works on the Holocaust"

From May 17-19, 2009 the final stage of the 9th annual All Ukrainian Competition on Pupils "Research Works on the Holocaust" took place in Kiev. Financially supported by the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC), the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies (UCHS) was grateful to call the event an international one, welcoming not only pupils from all over Ukraine, but even from Belarus and Moldova.
The process of the whole competition is a deliberate one lasting for nearly a year: At the beginning of every school year, the participants are registered at the UCHS. In the course of the several months to come the pupils have to write a work on a topic chosen by them, only condition: it has to be connected to the topic of the Holocaust. Arguably, this is not an easy task, but, with the help of their history teachers and the UCHS, which they can contact any time, the teenagers show determination to conduct real research on their own! The papers are sent to the UCHS sometime in April, where they are distributed to several reviewers, historians specialized on the Holocaust. This year more than 80 works were handed in to the UCHS and, thus, reviewed. The next step consists of evaluating the best papers, the pupils of which are invited to Kiev in order to present their works there.
Due to the high level of research works, at this year's final stage, the event on which the pupils present their works, more than 40 participants had been registered. Because of such a surprising quantity of pupils, accompanied by their teachers in most of the cases, the presentations had to be conducted in two separate rooms. With each topic and corresponding pupil indicated, the others were able to choose to listen to the presentation they were interested in. The first two days, thus, the pupils were given about twenty minutes in order to present the outcomes of their research and to answer to questions of the auditorium, as well as of the jury consisting of 4 reviewers, respectively. Regarding the evaluation process, two equally important criteria were focused on: On the one hand, the research works itself, how it was written, to which degree the pupil managed to give his/her work individuality and originality. On the other hand, the presentation was important as well, in the course of which the jury was able to receive a perception of the pupil's knowledge on the topic of his/her work.
On the last day, before announcing the winners, the pupils from Belarus and Moldova held their presentations, fruitfully contributing to the diversification of the competition. The jury proudly underlined once more the high quality of the reviewed works, which made it not easy to appoint the winners. Finally, the diplomas for the two best research works (two winners as there were two different groups) were given to Inna Mytyukova from Donetsk and to Ivan Tshetshuryn from Kremenets. The UCHS is glad that the ever growing interest in as well as quality of the "International Competition on Pupils' Research Works on the Holocaust" had been without doubt proven by the this year's competition.
Alex Kirner,
Volunteer of the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies

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