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For Immediate Release 
March 28, 2001 
Contact: Jim Henderson
207-287-5793

Students to Participate in Maine History Day Competition 
State Winners will travel to Maryland for National History Day


AUGUSTA--On Thursday, March 29, 2001, more than 200 middle and high school students from 13 schools across Maine will take part in Maine’s History Day Competition.  This year’s competition will be held in Jewett Hall at the University of Maine at Augusta.  The Maine students will compete for the honor of moving on to the National History Day Competition to be held at the University of Maryland in June.  The history day activities begin at 9:00 a.m. as students arrive and display their entries for the judges.  Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will present the awards to the winners in seven different categories of the competition at approximately 2:30 p.m.

“This has been an excellent program for our department.  The student projects are remarkable and show a great deal of preparation and effort,” declared Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky.  “Our Department has sponsored a variety of programs under the theme of ‘Fostering Youth Involvement.’  History Day, in addition to our Student Mock Election, Eighth Grade Citizenship Award, and Constitution Essay and Poster Contest, provides a great opportunity for young people to develop their own sense of place in our country’s history.”

This annual event is open to all students in grades 6 through 12.  Each year students prepare papers, projects, or presentations that explore a broad historical theme.  This year’s theme: Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.  The program adds a new dimension to teaching and learning history, rewarding student initiative, creativity, and scholarship.

According to Secretary Gwadosky, its most important purpose is to change the way history is taught and learned by challenging students to conduct historical inquiry and by providing a positive learning environment in which students’ work is evaluated outside the classroom.  The program fits perfectly with the history segment of Maine’s learning results:

     Students will learn to analyze the human experience through time, to recognize 
     the relationships of events and people, and to identify patterns, themes, and 
     turning points of change using the chronology of history and major eras.  In 
     interpreting current and historical events, students will evaluate the credibility and 
     perspectives of multiple sources of information gathered from technology, 
     documents, artifacts, maps, the arts, and literature.

Each year more than 600,000 students and 50,000 teachers across the country participate in teacher workshops and student competitions.  State competition winners attend the National Competition in College Park Maryland this June.  Last year six Maine schools and about 100 students participated, with Maine students excelling at the National Competition.

“We have terrific participation and will send strong teams to the Nationals this year,” said Jim Henderson, coordinator of Maine National History Day.  Henderson, Director of the Maine State Archives, said he was impressed by the commitment of sponsors, teachers, students, and judges.

In addition to recognition as winners, top students will receive special awards from the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick, the Joshua Chamberlain Civil War Round Table, the 20th Maine Civil War Shop in Freeport, and the Maine State Archives, among others.  Other sponsors include the Maine Department of the Secretary of State, the Margaret Chase Smith Library, the Maine Historical Society, and the Maine State Library.

The Maine program has an informative Internet web site with research tips at www.state.me.us/sos/arc/historyday/histhome.htm.  It features a list of participating schools, contest details, prizes and awards, and research sources.

To foster creativity and imagination, students select from a variety of formats to present their entries: papers, tabletop displays, media presentations, and performances.  Required research develops analytic abilities, as well as reading and comprehension skills.  The Contest encourages an interdisciplinary approach (integrating arts, economics, sciences, and other disciplines), problem solving skills, and teamwork.  Teams of educators and historians judge entries on historical quality, presentation, and adherence to theme.

Maine National History Day provides an excellent assessment tool; integrates the study of history with other disciplines; supplies curricular aids (lesson plans, bibliographic guides); supports professional development through workshops and summer institutes; encourages interaction with academic historians, librarians, archivists, and public historians; involves families and communities in support of education.

The history segment of the social studies learning results are composed of the following broad objectives:

A. CHRONOLOGY:  Students will use the chronology of history and major eras to demonstrate the relationships of events and people.
B. HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE, CONCEPTS, AND PATTERNS: Students will develop historical knowledge of major events, people, and enduring themes in the United States, in Maine, and throughout world history.
C. HISTORICAL INQUIRY, ANALYSIS, AND INTERPRETATION: Students will learn to evaluate resource material such as documents, artifacts, maps, artworks, and literature, and to make judgments about the perspectives of the authors and their credibility when interpreting current historical events.

Schools Participating in 2001 Maine History Day
March 29, 2001
University of Maine at Augusta
Jewett Hall
Beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Award presentation approximately 2:30 p.m. 

Bonny Eagle High School, Standish
Bonny Eagle Middle School, Buxton
Brunswick Junior High School, Brunswick
Cheverus High School, Portland
Erskine Academy, China
Falmouth (home school)
Lake Region Middle School, Naples
Maine School of Science and Mathematics, Limestone
Middle School of the Kennebunks, Kennebunk
Penobscot Valley High School, Howland
Scarborough High School, Scarborough
Shaw Junior High School, Gorham
Skowhegan Area Middle School, Skowhegan.