Southern Miss to Host National History Day Competition
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Contact Tearanny Street, 601.266.6823
More than 100 middle and high school students will take part in the state-level National History Day (NHD) competition Saturday, Feb. 27 on The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg campus.
Up to 28 projects will be selected to represent the state at the national competition this June in College Park, Md. The competition begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Exhibits will be located in the lobby of R.C. Cook Union.
“We are trying to get students to see the excitement of learning about the past and also encouraging teachers to incorporate the use of primary sources into their teaching curricula,” said Dr. Jeff Bowersox, NHD state coordinator and assistant professor of history at Southern Miss.
National History Day is an academic enrichment program for students in grades 6-12. Students select topics connected to an annual theme and complete their own in-depth research on the topic. This year, the theme is “Innovation in History: Impact and Change.”
Students present their conclusions as individuals and in groups by creating museum-style exhibits, research papers, interactive websites, documentary films and dramatic performances.
As an incentive to produce creative projects, Southern Miss is offering sponsored prizes and awards to participating students. The awards and sponsors include the following:
* $50 for the Best Paper on a topic related to the study of war and society sponsored by the Southern Miss Center for the Study of War and Society
* $50 for the Best Paper on a topic related to black studies sponsored by the Southern Miss Center for Black Studies
* $250 travel awards for the Best in Show in middle and high school divisions
* $1,000 in travel awards sponsored by Mississippi National History Day
Applications for travel awards funded by Mississippi National History Day can be submitted after the state competition by contacting Bowersox. Winners at the state level can also compete for cash and scholarship prizes at the national competition in Maryland.
At each level of the competition, students share their work with their peers, historians, educators and professionals in related fields as they compete for special awards and the opportunity to advance to the next level of competition.
“NHD encourages students to develop a research agenda, find valuable resources, critically analyze the products of the past and put it together into a coherent whole which teaches a wide range of valuable skills and also instills in them an appreciation for the possibilities of the past and present,” Bowersox said. “This competition draws students and schools as far away as Madison and the Gulf Coast.”
Seven institutions and one home school association are set to attend the Mississippi competition. Those include: Biloxi High School, Oak Grove High School, Pascagoula High School, Gautier High School, Madison Middle School, Armstrong Middle School, Gautier Middle School and Coast Christian Home Educator Association.
Other sponsors of the competition include the Southern Miss Department of History, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, U.S. Department of Education, Mississippi Historical Society and Mississippi Junior Historical Society.
For more information, contact Bowersox at 601.266.4519,
or visit http://www.usm.edu/history/NHD/Welcome.html.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.