Wednesday, September 29, 2010

National History Day Contest

It’s all a little foggy, but I do remember a high school history teacher giving an assignment that entailed writing a paper about immigration. I don't recall him ever using the term “History Day Contest,”  but there was an awards ceremony at the local college, and lo and behold, I still have my entry to prove it. What do you say to that? I actually received a superior rating! Well, just barely. Notice how they crossed out “Excellent” and then wrote “Superior”? Looks like I just squeaked by thanks to that 1/2 a point!

I DO remember looking for sources in the library, and typing this on my Mom's old typewriter (frustrating!). But mostly I remember what I learned about Savannah, and James Oglethorpe and the debtors who immigrated to England's Georgia colony.

The annual National History Day Contest continues to give children a chance to strive for a superior rating, and mostly a chance to really research and learn about one aspect of history based on a theme. Here’s more information...

What is the 2011 theme? Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failure, Consequences

What are examples of that theme?
The Iran Hostage Crisis: When Diplomacy Fails
Segregation Debated or Changed: The Little Rock Nine or the Ruby Bridges Story
Debated Diplomacy: The Cuban Missile Crises
Lincoln Douglas Debates: Precursor to War
Irish, Italians, Chinese: Debated Citizenship
Dropping the Bomb: Moral Debate
The Indian Reorganization Debate of 1934: Debated New Deal for Native Americans
Ben Franklin’s Diplomatic Mission to England: Failed diplomacy/successful revolution

What kind of projects can be entered? Entrees can be accepted as either a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a web site.

Who can enter? Middle school aged students compete in the junior division, those in high school in the senior division.

When are entries due? In the spring. If your entry is one of the best in your region, then it will compete at the sate level. Winners from each state go on to compete at the University of Maryland at College Park from June 12-16. Contact your district or state coordinator to find out more.

To give you an idea of what the competition is capable of, take a look at this 2007 group documentary winner (junior division) that I found on YouTube:

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