National History Day Contest

National History Day Contest
Posted on 04/27/2017
This is the image for the news article titled National History Day ContestSocial Studies gifted students participate in the National History Day contest. National History Day is a year-long academic program focused on historical research, interpretation and creative expression for students. By participating in NHD, students become writers, filmmakers, Web designers, playwrights, and artists as they create unique contemporary expressions of history. The experience culminates in a series of contests at the local and state levels and an annual national competition in the nation’s capital in June.

National History Day
• Teaches critical thinking, writing, and research skills and boosts performance across all subjects.
• Prepares students for college, career, and citizenship.
• Inspires students to do more than they ever thought they could.

This year’s theme is Taking a Stand in History. This theme is broad enough in scope to encourage investigation of topics ranging from local to world history and across any geographic area or time period. 

During the start of the year the students spend time gaining background information about their topic through all types of resources so that they have a better knowledge of the topic so they can then present their information in one of the possible categories on how their topic relates to the year’s theme of Taking a Stand in History. Students become more familiar with citing sources and identifying the types of sources and then entering them into Noodle Tools a great program the district offers to help all student. The students spend a majority of the time gathering this information. The students are open to choose from among the 5 types of formats for their presentation of their research. These include trifold exhibit, website, performance, documentary, and historical paper and choose to do them individually or with a small group. 

One goal of the National History Day contest is to encourage students in their research to learn how to use all the resources around them. A great example of this is how our students use different teachers in the building for guidance and advice. All the students work with Mrs. Carole Turk our Librarian who helps them find books even showing how to get books from around the district or county to be sent to the middle school. All students collaborate their bibliographies through Noodle tools with Mrs. Turk and Mr. David Saville so they can monitor their progress. Henry Wandover focused on creating a documentary and worked with Mr. Fox who teaches Spring Board a writing course for eight graders. Henry worked with Mr. Fox on how to design the layout and structure of his documentary. Mr. Carl Saville who is one of our Art Teachers worked with some of our students on designing and supplies for their exhibit of a trifold. 

Not all students in the Gifted Social Studies Program have to enter into the regional contest, but all have to complete a project, a process paper focusing on the steps they took during their research and an annotated bibliography. The students that enter the contest will have to do one more part which is a presentation. The students that entered into the contest this year arrived at the Chester County Historical Society on March 25 and were competing with students from Chester and Delaware Counties. During their presentation they are interviewed and evaluated by judges asking questions about their research. The top three in each division move on to the State Competition in Carlisle PA on May 12-13. The students at PAMS did great at the competition in March.

• Placing 1st in the Individual Documentary Division was Henry Wandover for his documentary “Heroes of the Forest: How the Bielski Partisans Stood Up to the Nazis and Saved 1,200 Jews.
• Placing 3rd in the Group Exhibit Division were Elizabeth Kunz and Amanda Wildauer for their exhibit “Ida B. Wells: Powerhouse with a Pen.”
• Receiving Honorable Mention in the Group Exhibit Division were Kellen Narke and Hudson Narke for their exhibit John Muir’s Stand for Nature.”
• Receiving Honorable Mention in the Individual Website Division was Leo Sereni for his website “How the Residents of Warsaw Took a Stand against the Nazis – and Almost Won.
• Max McMinn was also recently selected for an honorable mention in the Exteriors category.  This was a contest during the day the students can walk around the town of West Chester and photograph a building in town and write an explanation of their picture and the building they photographed.

The students that advanced to the next level have one month to make any changes or improvements that the judges recommended. Hopefully the students moving on will do well and the students that received recognition will be motivated for next year’s contest. Stay tuned.

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