For the first time in school history, Harlandale Middle School entered the National History Day competition. The competition is held every year for 6th-12th graders across the country. It requires them to write a paper, design an exhibit, perform a skit, film a documentary or create a web site centered on the theme “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas and Events.”
“We have heard about it in the past, but we mainly didn’t have an interest from the students. This time around, the students wanted to participate,” says Elizabeth Rivas, History Department Chair at HMS.
Dozens of students spent the first part of the year researching, preparing, and rehearsing. Eighty-five of them actually entered their projects into the competition and put their work on display in the library January 25. From the British music invasion to the Great Depression, teachers had to study each project then judge them. At the time of this article post, the winners had not been selected but the top two from each category will advance to the regional competition at Brackenridge High School.
Ms. Rivas is hopeful this year’s school competition will spark enough interest for next year but also notes the other benefits of it. “They learn about time-management, working in groups, and deadlines… things they will use in real life.”