UW-Green Bay welcomes 400 students for History Day Competition

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will host the 2012 Northeastern Wisconsin Region’s National History Day competition for the tenth consecutive year.

The event will be held this Saturday, April 14, with the participation of nearly 400 high school and middle school students from 19 schools in Northeast Wisconsin.

Those students, working individually or in small teams, have combined to submit approximately 240 projects for the competition with topics including the Titanic, Florence Nightingale, the Beatles, basketball shoes, Woodstock, the Great Depression, World War II, Cola Wars, and Betty Freidan. Regional topics include the Milwaukee Open Housing Marches, Revolutionizing Football in Titletown, the Kohler Strikes, the Sheboygan Theatre Company Revue, and Indian Gaming.

The all-day event begins with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Judging will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Awards will be presented in the Kress Events Center at 4 p.m.

Throughout the day, friends, family and the general public will have the opportunity to watch performances and documentaries as well as view the student exhibits and websites. Exhibits will be displayed at the Kress Events Center. Papers and websites will be available for public display at Mary Ann Cofrin Hall. Documentaries and performances also take place in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall.

UW-Green Bay Archivist Debra Anderson, who is the National History Day regional coordinator, says this year’s theme is “Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History.”

“National History Day provides students of all abilities and interests an opportunity to learn about a topic of their choosing and present it in a creative way,” Anderson explains.

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. Some students actually had the opportunity to spend a day at UW-Green Bay’s Cofrin Library using various archival, electronic and print resources.

Recalls Anderson, “We actually had one student say ‘This is better than the History Channel! I could stay here all day!’”

National History Day is not just a local event. It’s estimated that 500,000 students this year will take part in the academic program. In the past 20 years more than 5 million students have participated. Earlier this year the National History Day program received the distinguished National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama.

Regional contest winners will move on to the statewide competition and compete for a chance to attend the Kenneth Behring National History Day Contest in June at the University of Maryland in College Park.

“You know you have a successful program when a student e-mails and writes: “I would just die if I couldn’t do National History Day this year,’” Anderson says.

For more information contact Debra Anderson at UW-Green Bay Archives at (920) 465-2539; or andersod@uwgb.edu.

Roster of Schools with Students Participating in History Day 2012 at UW-Green Bay:

  • Bay View Middle School (Howard/Suamico)
  • Freedom Middle School
  • Gibraltar Area Schools
  • Horace Mann Middle School (Sheboygan)
  • Kaleidoscope Academy (Appleton)
  • Kohler High School
  • Kohler Middle School
  • Lake Country Academy (Sheboygan)
  • Oneida Nation High School
  • Random Lake High School
  • Random Lake Middle School
  • Roosevelt Middle School (Appleton)
  • Seymour High School
  • Sheboygan Falls Middle School
  • Sheboygan North High School
  • Southwest High School (Green Bay)
  • West De Pere Middle School
  • Wilson Jr. High School (Manitowoc)
  • Wisconsin Virtual Academy

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