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Students Investigate Triumph And Tragedy For History Day Contest

April 3rd, 2019 by

thumbnailArea high school students competed in the regional rounds of the National History Day Contest in March at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Several competitors will advance to the statewide contest this month where they will attempt to qualify for the national event. Now in its 45th year, the National History Day Contest provides students an opportunity to develop critical thinking and source analysis skills while gaining historical perspective.

Thirty-two of Kelley Todd’s history students from Star City High School participated in the Arkansas Region 4 contest held March 8. The students competed in one of five categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance and website. Participants spend months researching a topic of their choice before presenting their work to be judged. Guided by an annual theme, students are encouraged to choose a topic that matches their personal interests. The 2019 theme is “Triumph & Tragedy in History.” Projects at the regional event explored disease, national disasters, public figures, literal and figurative witch hunts, among other topics.

The top entries from each regional competition advance to the Arkansas State contest, which will be held at the University of Central Arkansas April 13.  The top two entries from every category at the state competition will be invited to the National Contest held June 2019 at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Twenty Star City students will advance to the Arkansas State Finals.

Group Website:
Grant Atwood and Andrew Venditti – 1st Place – “The Tragedy of the battle of Gettysburg”
Jonathan Finley and Connor White – 2nd Place – “The Hindenburg”

Individual Website:
Rayvin Callaway – 1st Place – “Cowpox: how the Discovery Eradicated Smallpox”
Destiny Brooks – 2nd Place – “The Unsolved Conspiracies vs. the Triumphant Facts”
Karsyn Baugh – 3rd Place – “The Salem Witch Trials”

Group Documentary
Gail Magana and Abby Myers – 1st Place – “All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Players Association”

Group Exhibit
Kaylee Eifling and Sadie Whaley – 1st Place – “The Donner Party: Tragedy in the Sierras”
Josie Floyd, Gracie Harris, Brianna Luer, Allice Powell, and Sydnee Ross – 2nd Place – “Titanic: Then and Now – Tragedy Spakrs Safety Regulations”
Jaliyah Brown and Alexia Lams – 3rd Place – “‘There are no survivors.’” The Space Shuttle Tragedies

Paper
John Elrod – 1st Place – “Enemies Within: How McCarthyism Revealed Our Tragic Flaws”
Alyssa Teague – 2nd Place – “ The Carlisle Indian School: Kill the Indian, Save the Man”
Jason Rundel – 3rd Place – “John Lennon: Activist”

Todd affirms the value of the project. “My Advanced Placement U.S. history kids have benefited greatly by participating in National History Day. They have learned essential skills such as how to research, organization and collaboration. I look forward to future participation in NHD,” Todd said.

Dr. Richard Clubb, Dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Science at UAM, concurs. “History Day provides students with a wonderful experience in developing and completing projects and in teamwork. It also provides them with the opportunity to interact with college faculty. These positive interactions help to reinforce the students’ efforts,” said Clubb.

An independent study on the impact of the National History Day Contest found that students who participate outperform their counterparts in all aspects of academia, including standardized tests. Participants also expressed greater confidence with research, communication and analytical skills. More information on this study is available at www.nhd.org/why-nhd-works.

For more information, contact Arkansas Region 4 Coordinator Dr. Sharon Silzell at silzell@uamont.edu.

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