National History Day Competition: update from Coupeville students

The National History Day program is an exceptional avenue of academic opportunity for students who love history. Projects are built upon thousands of hours of labor and show a dedication far exceeding most academic standards. Champions all, these students demonstrate the kind of excellence that is possible from all our students.

Each year for the past several years, our Nordic Lodge has helped support Coupeville student participation in this annual History Day Competition. History Day Advisor Wilbur Purdue and two of his students – Heni Barnes and KT Wynn – came to our November general membership meeting to tell us about their plans for the 2011 competition. As in previous years, we found ourselves inspired  – and filled with enthusiasm for them!

About twelve Coupeville students in all are already in their beginning stages of research.  The theme for the competition this year is Debate & Diplomacy in History: Success, Failures, Consequences. Topics being explored by these students include Cloning, the California Condor, the Gadsden Purchase, Kenniwick Man, WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots – Women Pilots of WWII), Homeland Security, the Judge Boldt Decision (Native American treaty fishing rights), the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Grand Coulee Dam.  Students will put in hundreds of hours of research on their topics on their own time.  Presentations however, can be no more than 10 minutes in length.

Students may present their work in one of five ways: as a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a web site.  Student Heni Barnes’ topic is the Gadsden Purchase and will be a documentary; KT Wynn’s topic is Kennewick Man, and will be a performance.

In March 2011, Western Washington State University will host the Regional competition, where students’ work will be judged by professional educators and historians.  If their work is chosen as ‘the best’, they will move on to the Statewide competition on Saturday, May 7, 2011, at Bellevue College. If they are winners in the Washington State contest, they will be eligible to attend the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June.

Coupeville students have brought back major awards for many years, including this past year, at both the State and National levels.

We know they will do well once again this year!

More information about History Day competitions can be found on the following websites.

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