History Day; Crammed, Frantic Schedule; No Time for Blog

If you follow me regularly, you will have noticed that I have not published a crime-related blog post for the past two Sundays. The primary reason is that I was involved in judging Chicago Metro History Day and Northern Illinois History Day. So, what is History Day? I thought you’d never ask.

History Day Contests

History Day is a contest for middle and high school students that encourages them to learn the techniques of professional historians. Students from all over the country and other nations participate. Grades 6, 7, and 8 compete in the Junior Division, while high school students are in the Senior Division.

Students have several options for the type of project they create. They can write a historical paper, create a website, construct a display board, produce a documentary video, or act in a performance. Regardless of the type of project, each must demonstrate historical research and make a “so what?” argument.

The logo for National History Day. The NHD organization oversees all History Day contests.
The logo for National History Day. The NHD organization oversees all History Day contests.

National History Day, the parent organization overseeing the contests chooses a theme each year that students must incorporate into their projects. Participants first compete within their school and the best projects in each category advance to a regional contest. From the regional competitions, entries advance to the state affiliates. The best projects at the state contests advance to the national competition held each year on the University of Maryland campus in College Park, Maryland.

This is my eleventh year judging History Day contests. While the quality of the projects may vary, the enthusiasm of the student historians does not. So, pardon me for taking a couple of weeks off from crime blogging to contribute to this worthwhile endeavor. True crime will be back next week.

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