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National History Day Contest Season Open

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National History Day contest season opens in March. The National WWII Museum hosts the New Orleans Regional Contest on March 24. At this contest, students from nine surrounding parishes will bring their exhibits, documentaries, research papers, web sites, and live performances for judging and display. After this evaluation, top projects will be invited back to the Museum to compete against students from the entire state for a spot in the National Contest held at the University of Maryland.

Local students are busy editing their projects and making sure that their work supports a coherent thesis. They are working on their interview skills as each will defend their work to a panel of three judges. While their nervousness is apparent before the interview, a feeling of relief and excitement takes over when they finish. The students are then free to explore the Museum’s exhibits while they wait to hear if they have a spot in the next round.

This year’s contest theme—Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History—has not only challenged all of the participating students, but given them a framework to place their topic in the context of history. It has helped students move from giving a simple retelling of an event to explaining the significance of the event. Students will be able to face their judges and answer the “so what?” question about their topic. They will be able to communicate the significance of their topic in history and describe its long term consequences.

The theme also allows for a wide range of topics. Some of the topics taken on by this year’s students include:

The 1929 New Orleans Streetcar Strike

The evolution of player safety in football

Revolutions in the fashion industry

The Warsaw Uprising

The Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Ruby Bridges and the Desegregation of New Orleans Public Schools

Student exhibits at the New Orleans Regional Contest will be open to the public from 11:30 until 2:30 on March 24. Student documentaries will be shown between 10 a.m. and noon. Student web site urls will be posted on this blog on March 26.

More information at Louisiana History Day

This post by Louisiana History Day Coordinator Nathan Huegen

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