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Louisiana Students Excel at National History Day Contest

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Seventy Louisiana students spent the week of June 10, 2013 at the University of Maryland competing in the 2013 National History Day Contest. They brought with them their research papers, documentaries, exhibits, performances, and web sites. These finalists earned their trip by qualifying at the Louisiana State History Day Contest held at The National WWII Museum in April. After spending months researching, designing and perfecting their projects, Louisiana’s student delegation arrived ready to defend their work in front of panels of judges from universities,  Smithsonian Institutions, and the National Archives.

At the Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 13, Renee Trepagnier from Catholic School of Pointe Coupee in New Roads, LA learned that her exhibit, The Americans with Disabilities Act: The Turning Point to Equality, Justice and Civil Rights placed tenth in the nation in her category and won the “Outstanding Louisiana Entry” award. Renee’s finish was the highest ever for a Louisiana student.

In between their interviews, the students traded their commemorative Louisiana History Day pins for the pins from 56 other affiliates in an attempt to collect a complete set. Seven Louisiana students managed to complete the complete set by tracking down the elusive NHD-China, West Virginia, and North Dakota Buttons.

On Wednesday, June 12, Julia Vanchiere, Victoria Brooks and Ben Maxey from Loyola College Prep in Shreveport, LA brought their exhibit, The Vaccination of America, to the National Museum of American History for the NHD Exhibit Showcase. Julia, Victoria, and Ben spent the day talking to visitors from all over the world and handing out brochures describing the history of vaccination and how it became a turning point in world history. The students were then invited by Smithsonian curators to go “behind the scenes” to view more artifacts on vaccination history.

Following the awards, students from John Quincy Adams Middle School in Metairie, LA and Andrew Jackson Middle School in Chalmette, LA received invitations to the public launch of Founders Online. This new web site from the National Archives offers users the ability to search and view the entire collection of papers of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison.

The 2014 National History Day season begins now with the theme “Rights & Responsibilities in History.”

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