National History Day

Several months ago I was contacted by Brandon Diaz at Moreno Valley USD. He was working on a National History Day project on Dorothea Lange. He asked me really interesting questions about her that showed he'd done a lot of research. His project was so strong, he went on to the state level competition where he took second place for Junior Individual Website. Congratulations, Brandon!

In his district there were 14 students who went on to the state level, for the first time ever. As Brandon says, "[and we are EXTREMELY competitive]."

Congratulations to all the students, and thanks to all the parents, teachers and administrators who
worked so hard to make this happen!

If you don't know about National History Day, it is basically like science projects for the humanities. (Okay, they'd probably kill me for simplifying what they do to that one sentence.) Here's how they put it:
"National History Day, Inc. helps teachers meet educational standards; disseminates high quality curriculum materials; and sponsors challenging contests that teach students the critical skills they need to be effective citizens in the 21st century." Voila.

During the 2009-2010 school year, National History Day wants students to research topics related to the theme: Innovation in History: Impact and Change. Then students, working individually or in a group, put together
a documentary, an exhibit, a paper, a performance or a web site. Check it out. It is very, very cool.