After advancing from both regional and state competitions, two Toledo Early College High School (TECHS) students will compete in the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest.National History Day is a project that all ninth- and 10th-grade students at TECHS complete each year, but entering the finished products to competition is optional. Students first participate in a regional contest where they can advance to the state and then to national contests.
During the nine years TECHS has been participating, only one other project has made it to the national competition in Washington, D.C., where nearly 3,000 students from the United States and other parts of the world compete. Medalists in five categories will receive cash prizes: $1,000 for gold, $500 for silver and $250 for bronze.
The two students, Brianna Frazier and Delaina Lane, are both sophomores at Toledo Early College High School, which is located on UT’s Scott Park Campus. Frazier created a website about the National Association of Colored Women for her project, and Lane gave a dramatic performance as Emmitt Till’s mother. They will travel to the nation’s capital for the competition Sunday through Thursday, June 15-19.
“National History Day is authentic, interdisciplinary, project-based and inquiry-based pedagogy,” said Mona Al-Hayani, TECHS social studies teacher. “It teaches a myriad of 21st-century skills.”
Students chose their topics based on a theme, which this year is rights and responsibilities in history. They then created a project in one of the categories: exhibit, paper, website, documentary or performance.
“We teach them how to find and evaluate historical sources, how to do citations, how to develop a thesis,” said Randy Nissen, TECHS social studies teacher, who will head to Washington with the students. “We teach them the skills of being a historian.”
Barbara Floyd, director of the UT Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections, previews some of the projects because she is a former National History Day contest judge. Students also received help from Arjun Sabharwal, UT digital initiatives librarian, and Don Reiber, UT assistant professor of communication.
“UT has always been really supportive,” Nissen said. “We’ve had people come over from the Canaday Center to teach kids historical skills.”
Frazier’s website can be viewed here, and Lane’s performance is below.
If you wish to donate funds to help the students cover travel expenses, contact Nissen at firstname.lastname@example.org.