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UW-Green Bay to welcome record number of students for National History Day

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The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will host the Northeastern Wisconsin Region’s National History Day competition Saturday, April 5, marking the 12th consecutive year the event has been held on campus.

The competition will welcome nearly 440 students, a new all-time record, representing 24 schools from throughout the region with a total of 259 projects. In keeping with this year’s theme of “Rights and Responsibilities in History, “ project topics include civil rights, labor, women’s suffrage, Earth Day, gay rights, Jim Crow and many others. Students hail from public and private schools, as well as homeschools, in an eight-county area. Brown, Oconto, Shawano, Door, Outagamie, Sheboygan, Marinette and Manitowoc counties will be represented during the National History Day event.

“We are proud to have UW-Green Bay serve as host to the largest regional competition in the state,” said UW-Green Bay’s Deb Anderson, coordinator for the Northeastern Wisconsin region. “National History Day provides a variety of rich experiences and opportunities for students to learn about a historical topic of their choice. Many of our participating teachers view it as the best way to teach social studies and reinforce critical thinking and analysis skills.

“One of the National History Day students summed it up best with this reflection: ‘This was the most fun I have ever had in school. … And I learned history rocks.’ ”

Students can enter the National History Day competition in a variety of categories, including historical papers, exhibit displays, documentaries, performances and websites. They are required to use primary sources for projects, which often include interviews with individuals who have lived history.

The 2014 National History Day competition will be held in the Kress Events Center and Mary Ann Cofrin Hall at UW-Green Bay, 2420 Nicolet Drive. It is free and open to the public. The all-day event begins with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m., with judging taking place from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Awards will be presented in the Kress Events Center at 4 p.m. Winners from the regional competition will move on to the May 3 state contest, and may have the opportunity to compete at the national competition in Washington, D.C. in June. In the past 20 years, more than 5 million students have participated in National History Day competitions throughout the U.S.

In addition to students, families, educators and friends, the regional National History Day competition relies on 120 volunteers, including UW-Green Bay students, to keep it running smoothly, Anderson said. Its financial sponsors are the Brown County Historical Society, the Green Bay-De Pere Antiquarian Society, the Jean Nicolet chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, UW-Green Bay’s Institute for Learning Partnership, the Fox Wisconsin Heritage Parkway and the Historic Allouez Society.

For more information on the regional National History Day competition.

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