Monday, April 10, 2017

Tennessee History Scholars Advance to National Competition

Seventy-three students qualified to represent Tennessee at National History Day later this summer. Those students placed first or second in their categories at Tennessee History Day held in Nashville on Saturday. History Day is a competition in which high school and middle school students compete by submitting projects about people and events of historical significance.

Participants enter projects in one of five categories: documentaries, exhibits, performances, websites and papers. While projects must relate to the annual theme, students were encouraged to be creative when choosing their topics. This year’s theme was “Taking a Stand.” One hundred and seven students received medals for their efforts, 20 students were awarded special prizes and two educators were recognized as teachers of the year Saturday.

National History Day will be held June 11 through June 15 on the University of Maryland campus in College Park, Maryland.

“I am certain that the students who are advancing to the competition in Maryland will represent Tennessee well,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “I hope all of Saturday’s participants gained a lot from the experience. Studies have shown that students who participate in History Day learn skills that can benefit them during their academic careers and even later in life after they enter the workforce. Also, History Day participants tend to be more involved in civic activities after they reach adulthood.”

“I am proud of all our students,” added Tennessee History Day Coordinator Jennifer C. Core. “I'm impressed by how they turn themselves into experts on their selected topics and how they incorporate constructive feedback into each revision of their projects. They are learning how to examine sources critically and how to present their findings to a sophisticated audience.”

The judges at Saturday’s competition – including university professors, graduate students, high school teachers, librarians, archivists and other public historians – picked the winners from 154 submitted projects. The Tennessee Historical Society coordinates Tennessee History Day with the support of the Tennessee Department of State, Humanities Tennessee, First Tennessee Foundation, the Memorial Foundation and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Since 1974, History Day has grown from a small local competition in Cleveland, Ohio with about 100 students into an event that attracts about a half million students nationwide each year. For more information about the program in Tennessee, visit the National History Day website or contact Jennifer Core at (615) 741-8934 or via e-mail at

To view a list of the medal winners from Saturday’s Tennessee History Day, visit:

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State

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