(Posted May 20, 2014)
By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer
A trio of West Jefferson High School Advanced History Research Class students is headed to Maryland this summer after qualifying for national competition as one of two Ohio senior group exhibit finalists.
Their project, “A Campus in Chaos: The Ohio State University, Riots of 1970,” is an exhibit class entry created by seniors Garrett Beachy, Erin Bradfield and Jimmy Foster. The team took state honors at the April 26 National History Day in Ohio competition at the Ohio Union on the grounds of the Ohio State University.
“West Jefferson, for the first time, will be represented at College Park,” said Advanced History instructor Jenny Siddiqi, who started the research history class six years ago. “I’ve mentored 75 students through the program and every year they set the bar higher.
“I have so much respect for them. Even when they’re tired, they keep on working.”
The National History Day organization, headquartered in College Park, Md., reports on that more than half a million students participate in the annual competition. Students choose a historical topic related to a pre-determined theme and conduct primary and secondary research.
The 2014 theme is Rights and Responsibilities in History. Participants search through libraries, archives and museums, conduct oral history interviews, and visit historic sites. After they analyze and interpret their data and form a conclusion about the significance of their topic, students then present their research in one of five ways: as a paper, exhibit, performance, documentary or website.
A district competition was held March 6, followed by the state competition in April. National History Day began as a small, local contest in Cleveland in 1974.
According to the Ohio Historical Society, Dr. David Van Tassel and members of the Department of History at Case Western Reserve University created the program, which quickly expanded throughout Ohio and surrounding Midwestern states.
As a national contest qualifier, the team of Beachy, Bradfield and Foster will compete against teams from across the United States, Guam, American Samoa, International Schools and Department of Defense Schools based in Europe for top honors in the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest, June 15-19.