Judges’ orientation in the Senate Chamber
Judges’ orientation began at 8:30 Friday morning (St Patrick’s Day) in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Building on the second floor. We were all volunteers happy to give back to the community and hoping that one of the students who we selected would move on to the next round of competition.
Post-interviews with volunteer website judges Aaron (of Big Ten Web Design), Shereena Honary and Nikki White in Supreme Court Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum deliberating about the Junior Division contestants.
A little bit about the competition:
Our 3-judge panel was significantly helped by the returning volunteer judge Nikki White. She kept us on time, focused and organized. Major thanks to her!
Our 3-judge panel viewed 6 different websites designed by Grant Wood district students. Each student’s website was designed using the content management system, Wix (I was told by some of the teachers that they had multiple problems with getting it to work properly for the students).
The students had several limitations placed on them: Text content had to be only so long, video files had to be under 5 minutes and there were multiple other restrictions. Unfortunately, I had to be that hard-nosed judge who red flagged one contestant who had multiple youtube videos exceeding 5 minutes. The judges’ overall favorite was the website with original videos from actual interviews that these two students performed.
I wish them all the best in moving on to the next leg of the competition!
Why I volunteered for this event?
At first, it was to simply give back to the community. But honestly, I found an even greater good. I’m actually helping out all of the contestants, but especially the contestants who are moved into the next round of finalists. My comments and critiques are passed onto the contestants and they can use that to improve their sites in the future, even if it’s for the next year. Overall, I got quite a bit out of helping others and hanging out with my fellow judges!
Thank You Card:
I was pleasantly surprised to see that I received a hand written Thank You card from Old Capitol Museum for attending the Grant Wood district National History Day. The card reads. “Dear Aaron- Thank you so much for taking the time to judge at this year’s Grant Wood district National History Day in Iowa Contest! We hope that you will join us next year! Best, Kathrine Moermond
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