National History Day – California State Competition Now Open for EntriesBy Teachers.Net News Desk
Innovative Program Brings History Alive for Some 44,000 Students in California
With school-level competitions completed and county-level competitions underway, the next important milestone for National History Day – California is the submission of student projects for the State Finals competition. Student registration takes place between Feb. 28 and Mar. 28, 2011, for the state event that will be held Apr. 28 through May 1, 2011, in San Jose. The proud winners of the state competition will then advance to the National Finals, scheduled for June 12-16, 2011, at the University of Maryland at College Park.
National History Day California is one of the largest state National History Day competitions in the country and has received special certificates of recognition from the offices of U.S. Congressman John Campbell and U.S. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.
“National History Day is a life-changing learning experience for our fourth through twelfth grade students statewide. In addition to learning about the importance of history, they gain 21st century skills in writing, speaking, using technology, and doing research to produce impressive projects. Students who participate in History Day discover that they have the power and the voice to make a difference for the future,” said Deborah Granger, National History Day California Director. “The program brings together community members including local school administrators, boards, and faculty; university presidents and deans of education and social services; leaders of archives, museums, and libraries; and a broad spectrum of business leaders. These all share the common goal of building a bright future for our students and our country.”
National History Day is a yearlong educational program that encourages elementary, middle and high school students to explore local, state, national and world history. Nationwide, some 700,000 students and 40,000 teachers participate annually in the program. It is active in 34 California counties and reaches some 44,000 students, with an estimated 1,000 students participating in the state competition.
Students select a historical topic that relates to an annual theme, then conduct extensive research using libraries, archives, museums and oral history interviews to create projects that are entered into a series of local and state competitions, culminating in a national competition. The 2011 theme for National History Day is “Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.”
In addition to teaching the relevance and importance of history for all grade levels and ages, the program is designed to help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, research and reading skills, oral and written communication and presentation skills, self-esteem and confidence, and a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process.
At each competition level, the student projects are evaluated by professional historians and educators. These projects can take the form of papers, performances, web sites, documentaries and exhibits. Competition divisions include Elementary (grades 4 & 5), Junior (grades 6-8), and Senior (grades 9-12).
This year, the Orange County Department of Education was selected by the national office as the California state affiliate for the annual National History Day celebrations and student competitions.
For more information on National History Day California, visit www.historydaycalifornia.org.