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ePals, Smithsonian Partner on Junior Folklorist Challenge

ePals has partnered with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural History to launch the Junior Folklorist Challenge.

Open to children aged 8-18, "the challenge asks participants to examine a local or regional tradition through the eyes of a community tradition bearer and create a video, podcast or slide show to share the story," according to an ePals news release.

Traditions participants can explore include cooking, customs, distinctive jobs, storytelling and more.

Kids can participate individually and classes can participate in a collaborative project, which will connect them with other classes around the world in an "online interactive workspace," according to information released by the Smithsonian.

Supporting tools designed to walk participants through "interview and story-shaping process," including term definitions, examples, tips and organizational tools are available, as well as access to Smithsonian professional folklorists, according to ePals. Additional materials include lesson plans, a standards-alignment chart and a scoring rubric.

"The junior folklorist challenge invites children to see their communities in new ways and to actively participate in preserving traditions for later generations," said Michael Atwood Mason, director of the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, in a prepared statement. "We believe this collaboration will extend the reach of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and engage millions of students in cultural heritage around the world."

The deadline for submissions is May 26. For more information, or to make a submission, visit

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at

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