COLLEGE PARK, Md., June 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National History Day (NHD) officials announced the winners of the 2012 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest before a crowd of thousands of students, teachers and parents today at the University of Maryland. The closing ceremony of this year's competition recognized the outstanding work of students at the junior and senior levels across nine categories.
"Students from all over the nation showed their passion for history with remarkable research, exhibits and performances this year," said Cathy Gorn, executive director of NHD. "Interest in the program is especially high this year because National History Day was awarded a 2011 National Humanities Medal from President Obama in May. That distinct honor gives all of our students national recognition for a job well done."
Winners included Lisa Xie, a senior at University High in California, who impressed the judges with her website "Jacob Riis and the Other Half," as well as seniors Samantha Irvine of Florida, and Jennifer Mailee Lor of Minnesota, and juniors Alexandra Van Den Heuvel of Wisconsin and Riley Borden of Washington. NHD Contest winners and finalists each received a share of more than $250,000 in scholarships as well as national recognition for their exceptional works. To view the complete list of winners from all categories, please visit http://nhd.org/AwardsWinners.htm.
The four-day 2012 contest, the largest ever in NHD history, included 2,794 students and 1,691 entries, with students competing in individual and group exhibit, performance, documentary, website and paper categories. The 2012 theme—Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History—was specially selected to provide students with the opportunity to think beyond the antiquated view of history as mere facts and dates and drill down into historical content to develop perspective and understanding. More than 300 historians and other education professionals evaluated the projects from the junior and senior divisions.
"Your dedication to researching and understanding history can enrich your life as nothing else can," said A'Lelia Bundles, an author and journalist who has written definitive biographies about the women in her family: entrepreneur Madam C. J. Walker and Harlem Renaissance icon A'Lelia Walker. Bundles shared her experiences with history during opening remarks to contest participants.
"National History Day is something that can give young people a chance to look back and see both the good and bad about our country. If young people study and learn to think critically about history, they will help keep our country one of the greatest countries in the world," Kenneth Behring, who along with his wife, Pat, are the sponsors of the annual contest.
The 30-year-old academic program engages more than half a million elementary and secondary school students across the nation each year. Participants select a historical topic related to a theme, conduct extensive research and analysis to determine its significance in history and submit their work in an original paper, exhibit, performance, documentary or website. Students may enter in competitions at the district, state and national levels.
For more information on NHD, visit www.nhd.org.
About National History Day
National History Day (NHD) is a year-long academic organization for elementary and secondary school students. Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide, participate in the NHD contest. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites. The program culminates in a national competition each June held at the University of Maryland at College Park. A recent study by Rockman, et al, found students who participate in NHD develop a range of college and career-ready skills, and outperform their peers on state standardized tests in multiple subjects, including reading, science, math and social studies. Visit www.nhd.org.
SOURCE National History Day