Nobel Peace Prize Lesson for Kids: Definition & Information

Instructor: Michelle Jones

Michelle has taught at the elementary level and has earned a master's degree.

A peaceful world is a situation that should be striven for. For those people who go above and beyond to help this cause, recognition is granted through the Nobel Peace Prize. Read on to learn more about this important award.

How the Nobel Peace Prize Started

Can you imagine winning the highest award at your school or on your sports team? Would you feel honored or humbled by the honor? Perhaps both? The Nobel Peace Prize is the most prominent award given to any person who has worked to encourage peace among countries or groups of people anywhere in the world.

Chemist, inventor, and entrepreneur, Alfred Nobel, left his fortune to establish prizes for people making advances in science, arts, economy, and peace. The Nobel Peace Prize is in a category of its own, as many times these people have sacrificed family life and perhaps risked their own life to achieve peace.

Alfred Nobel
picture of Alfred Nobel

Who Decides?

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has the difficult job of choosing the winner each year, but there are others who can nominate, or recommend a person for the award. Only certain people can nominate someone for the Nobel Peace Prize, and no, you cannot nominate yourself!

The criteria for people who can submit names for the award include current and former Nobel Committee members and advisers, former Nobel Peace Prize winners, university professors in certain subjects, university directors, and members of national governments, assemblies, and international courts.

Once all the nominees have been received, the Norwegian Nobel Committee goes through a lengthy process to decide on a winner.

The Process of Choosing

The five Norwegian Nobel Committee members begin the process in September when they begin receiving nominations. For the next several months, the committee reviews the nominees' qualifications and work they've done to decide who is most deserving of the award.

In October, the committee votes for the winner. Ideally, they would all agree, but if not, then the majority vote rules. Once the decision is made, it cannot be changed, and the winner of the award is announced. Any other nominees included in this process will remain secret for 50 years.

On December 10, in Oslo, Norway, the Nobel Laureate will receive his or her award, which is a medal, a diploma, and information about how much money he or she will receive for winning the award.

The Nobel Peace Medal awarded in 1933.
picture of Nobel Peace medal

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