More than 100 middle and high school students, teachers and parents from across the state recently attended National History Day in Mississippi March 25 at The University of Southern Mississippi. This statewide event precedes National History Day, a nationwide competition for middle and high school students.
The competition motivates students to use their creativity to develop original historical research, focusing on the chosen theme for each year. Participating students qualified at their local schools before coming to the event at Southern Miss.
History Day coordinator Dr. Rebecca Tuuri is also an assistant professor of history at Southern Miss. “Hosting the statewide competition of National History Day brings visibility to Southern Miss and also signals our commitment to instilling a love of and respect for history in a younger generation,” Tuuri said.
Competing students were required to write a paper, create an exhibit, build a website, produce a documentary, or create and perform an original play related to this year’s theme of “Taking a Stand.” Students can participate individually or as part of a team.
“The students learn valuable research, critical thinking and leadership skills through the experience. Studies have shown that students who work on National History Day projects actually perform better on their standardized tests after participating,” Tuuri added.
More than 50 faculty members, graduate students and licensure students from Southern Miss’ history department volunteered as judges for the event. The top two winners in each category are eligible to compete at a national level. The national competition will take place in June at the University of Maryland.
To view a photo gallery of National History Day at Southern Miss, visit @USMArtsandLetters on Facebook. For more information about the Department of History at Southern Miss, visit www.usm.edu/history.