With help from its community and alumni, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay hosted the 2011 Northeastern Wisconsin Region’s National History Day competition for the eighth consecutive year, Saturday, April 9. About 400 high school and middle school students from 21 schools in Northeast Wisconsin entered this year’s competition — the largest to date. The event focused on the theme “Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, and Consequences.” About 110 campus and community members volunteered as judges with at least 35 of those, UW-Green Bay alumni.
The projects allow students to dive into research by using diaries, letters, film footage, photos, and oral histories to become experts on their chosen topic. Approximately 225 student projects were submitted for the competition with topics ranging from the Wisconsin Constitution, Door County cherry farmers to the great Butter vs. Oleo War of the 1950s. Topics even go beyond Wisconsin with projects about the Cuban Missile Crisis, school prayer, women’s suffrage, death penalty, and the 1980 Olympic boycott.
Regional contest winners will move on to the statewide competition and compete for a chance to attend the Kenneth Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. in June. (See the list of the regional contest winners (PDF).)
It is estimated that 500,000 students this year will take part in History Day events with an estimated five million students taking part in the 20 years the national program has been in existence.