Rachel Carson project won first at National History Day competition

June 19, 2013

News from the San Ramon (California) Express [links added here, except for reporter’s contact]:

Julienne Sauer in front of her project,

Julienne Sauer in front of her project, “What a book can do — Rachel Carson‘s Silent Spring Launches the Environmental Movement.” (© 2013 San Ramon Express)

San Ramon student takes first at National History Day contest

by Jessica Lipsky

Windemere Ranch Middle School student was one of 30 recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for their impressive use of historic newspapers in projects presented at National History Day.

Julienne Sauer, who graduated from eighth grade last week, took first place in NEH’s individual exhibit junior division for her project titled “What a book can do — Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring Launches the Environmental Movement.” This year’s National History Day theme was “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.”

Julienne was also named a National Endowment Humanities Scholar.

The annual event is the culmination of a year-long academic program in which students in middle and high school conduct original historical research for papers, exhibits, websites, documentaries and public performances. Each year more than 600,000 students compete in local, regional and state competitions for a chance to win a spot at the national finals.

This year was the first time NEH awarded prizes to students who incorporated into their projects research using Chronicling America, a free online database of 5 million pages of historic US newspapers dating from 1836 to 1922, digitized through a partnership between NEH and the Library of Congress.

Julienne won a national finalist award at the 2011 National History Day exhibit for her exhibit titled “The Cable Car Wars: A City Debates to Preserve its Character.”

Carson’s work was good enough that, even 49 years after her death, 51 years after the publication of Silent Spring, Carson and the book still inspire students to heights of excellence in study.

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You make farming fun

July 7, 2012

ThePetersonFarmBros have a YouTube hit here, “I’m Farming and I Grow It”:

  1. This is a great form of reality.  How many other professions will jump into this game?
  2. Teachers, here are those big farm machines shown doing what they do — technology applied, for history?  If  you teach in an urban or suburban school, as I do, many of your students have never seen these machines in action. Many have never seen these machines, period.
  3. English and social studies teachers, use this as a warmup to an exercise for students to storyboard something, a short story, a chapter of history — somebody will have a student who can do a video with equal quality in music and video; no, it won’t meet the requirements for National History Day entries, but it’s a great start.
  4. Will this video entice any other kids to go into farming?  How could someone do a study of that?
  5. No, seriously:  This is great reality television.  I can imagine a summer series with a half dozen of these videos per hour, running four or five weeks.  Construction workers, cops, firefighters, teachers, nurses, physicians, auto mechanics, radio tower climbers, cargo airplane pilots, ferry boat captains, truck drivers . . . almost any occupation could fit, yes?

Here’s the YouTube site — lyrics are available there, and more information.

A parody music video promoting agriculture! If you like it, feel free to share it with your friends! No copyright infringement of original song intended.
Become a fan of our new facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/PetersonFarmBros
Follow Greg Peterson on Twitter @gregpeterson33
Greg Peterson Music Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/gregpetersonmusic

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Bill of Rights Institute cosponsors prize for National History Day

January 21, 2010

I get e-mail:

THE BILL OF RIGHTS INSTITUTE SPONSORS NATIONAL HISTORY DAY PRIZE
Students nationwide can compete for the Constitutional Rights in History prize

The Bill of Rights Institute announced their collaboration with National History Day (NHD) today. The Institute is sponsoring the Constitutional Rights in History prize, awarded to an outstanding entry in any category from both the senior and junior divisions which documents and analyzes how individuals have exercised their constitutional rights throughout American history.

The 2010 theme for National History Day is “Innovation In History: Impact and Change.” Students must demonstrate through their project how their chosen individual’s actions had an impact on history.

Each year more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide, participate in the NHD contest. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites. The Bill of Rights Institute’s prize will be awarded at the National Finals held in June 2010 in College Park, Maryland.

For more information about History Day, go to http://www.nationalhistoryday.org/.

© 2010 Bill of Rights Institute
200 North Glebe Road, Ste 200
Arlington, VA 22203


National History Day live webcast – June 18, 2009

June 18, 2009

Oh, gee, we’re running late:  The National History Day competition live webcast is this morning.  Go here: http://www.history.com/classroom/nhd/

And watch this, if you’re too late for the webcast.


Texas History Day, and National History Day 2008

November 12, 2007

Your classes are gearing up for the competition, no?

Alfie Kohn might not like the idea of competition in history. In a state famous for competition in almost everything, but most famous for athletic competitions to the detriment of academics, I find great appeal in a contest that requires kids to find, analyze and write history.

Then the students get together to present and discuss history — and usually about 60 Texas kids go on to the National History Day festival. (Details here from the Texas State Historical Association)

Q. What is Texas History Day?

A. Texas History Day, a part of the National History Day program, is a yearlong education program that culminates in an annual state-level history fair for students in grades six through twelve. It provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their interest in, and knowledge of, history through creative and original papers, performances, documentaries, individual interpretive web sites, or three-dimensional exhibits.

Over the course of the school year, students research and produce a History Day entry, the results of which are presented at a regional competition in early spring. From there, some students advance to the state fair in May, or even to the national contest held each June at the University of Maryland at College Park. At each level of competition, outstanding achievement may be recognized through certificates, medals, trophies, or monetary awards. The most important rewards are the skills and insight that students acquire as they move through the History Day program.

As many as 33,000 young Texans are involved in the program at the regional and state level each year. More than 900 students participate in Texas History Day, and approximately 60 students represent Texas at National History Day each year.

The 2008 National History Day Theme is “Conflict and Compromise in History.”

Texas has 23 regions for preliminary rounds. Details here. A list of sample topics for Texas students should give lots of good ideas.

The topics and the papers promise a lot. These projects could make good lesson plans. (Who publishes the winning entries? I have not found that yet.)

Don’t forget the Texas History Day T-shirt Design Contest — entries are due by December 14, 2007.


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