Springfield and surrounding area students to compete in History Day
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., February 12, 2019 – More than 300 sixth through twelfth graders compete in National History Day’s Regional Contest in Springfield each year. On February 15, 321 students will gather on the Missouri State University campus to showcase their projects. These research projects fall within five competition categories: documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites. Each project is unique, with students selecting research topics that range from local history to global issues. The National History Day program encourages students to present their findings their way, either as individuals or as part of a group.
Teachers who incorporate the National History Day curriculum into their classrooms offer their students the opportunity to delve into a historical topic of their choosing and to learn by taking the lead in researching and creating their project. Twenty six teachers from fifteen different middle and high schools in and around Springfield are bringing their students to compete in History Day.
Sara Zandi, academic advisor and Region VII Coordinator of History Day, has been involved with the program for little over two years now. “History Day allows students to be the expert! She said, adding “They have been working on their projects for months now, and if the past two years is any measure, some are ready to teach a class on their topic.” Zandi also emphasized the importance of historical thinking as a skill students gain through the hands-on approach History Day projects demand.
“History Day affords middle and high school students an opportunity to participate in the study of history,” said Dr. Kathleen Kennedy, the History Department Chair. “These students work closely with their teachers to develop their own interpretations of major historical events and communicate their accounts in creative ways. We believe that such projects further invest students in their nation’s history and institutions, leading to more active and engaged citizenry. It’s also fun for all involved.”
Timothy Pfeil, a teacher at Greenwood Laboratory School, who has participated in National History Day for the past two years, has found that participating in the competition has not only helped him teach historical research and critical thinking more creatively, but has also sharpened his skills in teaching and learning practice. “We all, teachers and students alike, benefit and learn from participation in National History Day and it helps create an academic environment where my students can thrive” he noted. A history teacher at Nixa High School, Greg walker, highlighted the importance of NHD as “the epitome of a Performance Based Assessment. No other activity or project I have used shows students’ understanding and command of content like NHD. It’s alignment with Advanced Placement skills makes it an excellent model for class instruction.” For Marie Baird, a junior at Phelps Gifted Center, who represented Missouri at nationals in the junior paper category last year, History day “is a great opportunity for students to delve into an area of history in a fun and engaging way.”
National History Day gives a historically creative outlet for students through which they can learn to become writers, filmmakers, web designers, playwrights, and curators as they create their projects. Winners who have advanced to the state level have a chance to compete with other Missouri students to become delegates to the Kenneth E. Behring National Contest in College Park, Maryland.
To get involved in Region VII National History Day contest, contact the MSU’s History Department at 417.836.5511.
About National History Day in Missouri
Launched in 1980, National History Day in Missouri is the state affiliate of the National History Day educational program, which has half a million participants. Over 3,000 students compete in regional Missouri competitions, with 600 advancing to the state competition held on the University of Missouri campus.
National History Day in Missouri is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Missouri, in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council. Visit: nhdmo.org
About The History Department
The History Department at Missouri State University is dedicated to teaching history in a variety of different program including a minor degree pathway and certificate programs as well as both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Studying history at Missouri State University is excellent preparation for not only those seeking to become involved in historical research but also those looking to go into a wide range of professional fields from teaching and advocacy to law and journalism. Visit: history.missouristate.edu