Nearly 300 students from across Tennessee will compete in the annual Tennessee History Day state contest in Nashville Saturday.
The competition allows students to showcase their creativity and research skills by developing projects with historical themes. The students with the best-judged projects in the statewide competition will advance to the National History Day finals in College Park, Maryland, June 10-14. Top finishers will earn prestigious awards and scholarships.
Middle- and high-school students created projects based on this year’s theme, “Conflict and Compromise in History,” and will compete in five categories: papers, exhibits, documentaries, websites and performances. Tennessee History Day helps students learn the importance of history and critical thinking through the use of primary source documents, in-depth research and analysis.
“Students who make it to the state competition represent the best our state has to offer. I hope these bright young men and women are learning valuable lessons on civility,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I wish all of this year’s participants the best of luck in what I’m sure will be an exciting competition on the state and national levels.”
The Tennessee Historical Society has sponsored the competition since 2009, with grant support from the Secretary of State’s Office and Humanities Tennessee.
“These stellar students have advanced from more than 7,500 sixth through 12th graders who participated in History Day this year,” said Ann Toplovich, executive director of the Tennessee Historical Society. “Their projects display a solid grounding from research in primary sources, critical-thinking skills and presentation of their ideas, and they show how understanding history connects to the responsibilities of citizenship. It will be a tough job for the judges choosing the next round of winners at the state contest.”
Each fall, students and teachers nationwide begin work on the yearlong curriculum, which starts with competitions held in individual schools. Winners there advance to district, state and, eventually, the national competition. Nationwide, the annual History Day program includes more than half a million students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa and Department of Defense Schools.
For more information about Tennessee History Day, please visit tennesseehistory.org/tennessee-history-day.