Sunday, March 26, 2006

Being Judgemental at National History Day

Yesterday found me volunteering as a judge at the local National History Day competition at Middletown High School. (

My boss at Antietam had done this in previous years but this year she asked me to fill in for her. It was fun. The event's like a science fair except history is the subject. Based upon this year's theme "Taking a Stand" Students made tri-fold displays that reflected the theme and met other specific criteria. The judging team that I was on interviewed ten teams of middle-schoolers who guided us through their project.

For grumblers who think that the schools are going to hell or that history isn't adequately taught in the schools this event would be a real wakeup call. We saw some very impressive work on subjects as diverse as the Boston Tea Party, the American Indian Movement, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and others.

My own favorite was one on the Battle of the Little-Bighorn. The two seventh graders who researched and manufactured it did a nearly museum-quality job. Similarly three girls took on the Lowell Mill Girls and brought a great deal of enthusiasm and knowledge to the subject.

After the judging of all the various categories, medals were awarded to the winners. The auditorium was filled with parents, relatives, students, and various boosters. It was refreshing to see such a big turnout , and all for History!

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