Students to make history come alive at Shoreline Center March 18

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Students from 17 public and private schools in north and east King County and Bainbridge Island will present their original research on Friday, March 18, during the North Puget Sound Regional History Day contest at Shoreline Center.

The culmination of a year-long program in which students choose and research a topic, learning historical research principles and strategies, North Puget Sound Regional History Day is part of a national effort to enhance history education and prepare students to become informed and involved citizens.

At the Shoreline regional event, 436 students in grades 6 to 12 will take part by conducting research and presenting their results in one of five categories: exhibits, papers, multi-media documentaries, original performances and websites. They work as individuals or in groups of up to five members.

Students are participating from the Bainbridge Island, Lake Washington, Mercer Island, Northshore, Seattle and Shoreline school districts and the Washington Virtual Academy. Private schools participating include Lakeside Middle School, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, and Seattle Prep.

More than 2,000 students will take part in seven regional contests held around the state, competing in the junior (grades 6 to 8) or senior divisions (grades 9 to 12). 

They hope to qualify for the state competition at Bellevue College on Saturday, May 7.

The top two finishers in each category will compete in the national contest June 12 to 16 at the University of Maryland, College Park.

"The regional contest gives students a chance to get some good feedback on their projects," said North Puget Sound History Day Regional Coordinator Randy Schnabel, a retired Shorewood High School history teacher. "It's not unusual to see projects that are college-level or better. Students put their heart, soul and brain into their research, and it shows."

This year's contest theme is "Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences." Students have applied the theme creatively, according to Schnabel. "History Day students have done extensive research on a wide variety of topics, and the results are impressive."

Preliminary round judging begins at 9 am on March 18, and final round judging commences at 12:30 pm. As part of the judging, students are interviewed about their project, and must provide a complete bibliography and a paper describing their research process.

The public is invited to view documentaries and performances beginning at 9 a.m. and the exhibits, papers and Web sites beginning at 11:30 a.m. The awards ceremony is scheduled for 3 pm in the Shoreline Center Auditorium. The Center is located at 18560 1st Ave. NE in Shoreline.

To learn more about History Day, visit the website.


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