News and Updates


Houstonfest Scholarships - winners posted!


Scholarships at State


Special Rules and Procedures for the 2021 Remote Contest


Teacher-to-Teacher Tips


Tips for Pair Discussion


Photo Gallery 2014


Arrival at Heights High School


Lunch options


Plays will be performed at Houstonfest


Daily log of changes to state-qualifier list



Important Dates


Sat., Mar. 6, 2021 State online awards ceremony posted. Also, Houstonfest Scholarship applications due.


Fri., Mar. 12, 2021:  Gail Cope Scholarship applications due.


Fri., April 30, 2021:  Gail Cope Teacher Grant applications due.


The rest of this will be updated for 2022 some time soon:


Sat., Jan. 16, 2021:  Regular deadline to submit registration spreadsheet in order to pay regular price of $10/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 1/25).


Mon., Jan. 25, 2021:  Final deadline to submit registration spreadsheet for late price of $12/student and deadline to postmark payment.


Wed., Feb. 3, 2021, 8:00 p.m.Deadline to submit changes (adds, drops, substitutions). After this point, no more additions or substitutions will be allowed.


Sat., Feb. 6, 2021 Houstonfest (100% remote): some events conducted "live" (online) that day, all others submitted digitally by 9:00 a.m.


Thur., Feb. 11, 2021 Houstonfest online awards show emailed to teachers.


Wed., Feb. 17, 2021:  State online registration due by 11:59 p.m. for "early bird" price of $10/student (payment does not have to be mailed yet). Also, deadline to apply for the Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship.


Mon., Feb. 22, 2021:  State online registration due by 11:59 p.m. at regular price of $12/student. Also, entries for promotional video contest due to State director Jennifer Christianson by 8:00 p.m. and deadline to postmark payment.


Sat., Feb. 27, 2021:  Texas State German Contest (100% remote): some events conducted "live" (online) that day, all others submitted digitally by 9:00 a.m.

Rules:  Research Paper


Below are the "normal" rules for Houstonfest in a non-pandemic year.  To preserve a record of the normal rules, alterations to the rules for the 2021 remote contest will not be reflected here but rather documented at this link: Special Rules and Procedures for the 2021 Remote Contest.


Entry Limit:  1 research paper per school, with 1-2 authors

Length Limits:  minimum 700 words, maximum 1000 words, not including title page and Works Cited

Write a research paper in English on an interesting German-Texan cultural and/or historical topic.  The topic should not be commonly known:  a particular person, family, place, building, business, area, group, settlement, organization, church, tradition, activity, practice, etc.  The paper should contribute to a greater understanding of German-Texan history and/or culture.  The entry must be typed and double-spaced and have internal documentation with proper in-text citation and a Works Cited page, as per MLA (Modern Language Association) guidelines.  Follow the rules in the latest MLA Style Sheet, paying special attention to rules for entering Internet sources.  Use at least three sources, at least two of which must be non-Internet.  Digitally-archived sources originally published in hard copy may be counted as non-Internet sources.  Sources should include primary sources and secondary sources.  Primary sources are evidence in the form of artifacts, photos, letters, interviews, music, charts, illustrations, etc. with a direct connection to the era being studied.  They may be personally documented by the contestant(s) (photos taken, interviews recorded) or found in personal collections, archives, libraries, museums, etc.  Secondary sources are documents that discuss or analyze primary sources and topics -- primarily other academic work.  The contestant's teacher must e-mail a copy of the paper, including the Works Cited, in a Microsoft Word-compatible format to the regional director or his designee by 11:59 p.m. on the Tuesday before the regional contest.  Specific submission instructions will be inserted here.  All entries will be checked for plagiarism via or a similar service.  On the day of contest, submit the following in a sealed 9×12 envelope to the designated room by 9:00 a.m.:  (1) a hard copy of the paper and Works Cited with a title page including the name(s) of the contestant(s), the name of the teacher, the school and city, and the title of the paper (note that even though MLA Style does not call for a title page, we ask for one); (2) a USB drive (labeled with name) that contains only the paper itself, the Works Cited, any visual material, and any digital recordings used as primary sources.  All materials submitted will be returned on the afternoon of contest, but do not include irreplaceable items in your submission.  Download critique sheet.


Read about

scholarships for the winners of the Research Paper contest at State!


Help with MLA Style:


Purdue University MLA Formatting and Style Guide


Note:  The judges will have an actual copy of the new edition of the MLA Handbook (8th edition, 2016).  If you use online "cheat sheets" that claim to summarize MLA rules, such as the one linked above, rather than referring to the actual MLA Handbook, you do so at your own risk.  Make sure that any website you are using is based on the new 8th edition from 2016.


Main Rules Page Arts Declamation Drama Music
Oral Tests Pass auf! Research Paper Scavenger Hunt Written Tests

When is the next Houstonfest?



February 5, 2022


Where is Houstonfest?


Due to COVID-19, the 2021 contest was conducted entirely REMOTELY. We hope to be back at our usual venue, Heights High School in Houston, in 2022.


Link to Texas State German Contest


Texas State German Contest on Facebook