Connecticut Students to Compete in National History Day Nationals in Maryland

Each year nearly 3,000 students and their parents and teachers from across the country gather at the University of Maryland - College Park for annual week-long finals of the National History Day competition. This year, 63 Connecticut students will be among them when the competition unfolds this week. After selecting a histori1389029213cal topic that relates to an annual theme, students conduct extensive research using libraries, archives, museums, and oral history interviews. Students analyze and interpret their findings, draw conclusions about their topic's significance in history, and create final projects that demonstrate their work.

National History Day is not a predetermined by-the-book program but an innovative curriculum framework in which students learn history by selecting topics of interest and launching into a year-long research project. NHD is a meaningful way for students to study historical issues, ideas, people and events by engaging in historical research.rights and respon

Following what organizers described as “tremendous participation” at this year's six regional district contests across Connecticut with over 4,000 students participating, and a culminating statewide competition at Central Connecticut State University in April, students in senior and junior divisions will be taking part in the 2014 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest to be held June 15 – 19 in Maryland. (See list of 2014 State Contest Winners.)

Organizers also credited “an immense amount of support from sponsors, volunteer judges, staff and Connecticut legislators. The theme this year is Rights and Responsibilities.

History Day in Connecticut is a program for students in grades 6-12 that encourages exploration of local, state, national, and world historhistory day booky. Participating students come from all over the United States, Guam, American Samoa, Department of Defense Schools in Europe, and affiliates in China, Korea, and Jakarta.

More information about History Day in Connecticut, and the national competition, is posted at In addition, WFSB-TV recently interviewed a Connecticut competitor. The national event at the University of MarylaGracend will be live streamed.

History Day in Connecticut is led by Connecticut's Old State House, with support from the Connecticut Historical Society, the Connecticut League of History Organizations and Connecticut Humanities' website. Major funding is provided by Connecticut Humanities.


Students From West Hartford, Fairfield and Southport Among Top U.S. Winners at National History Day Competition

Over 2,000 Connecticut students recently ended the school year with a sense of accomplishment and a better understanding of the world around them thanks to History Day in Connecticut – and ten students from the state earned national recognition last week for their efforts.

 Through this rigorous annual academic program for grades 6-12, 2,000 students developed school history projects across the state. Of those, 1,250 went on to participate in District Contests across Connecticut, and over 400 competed in the State Contest on April 27 at the Old State House in Hartford.  Connecticut’s program is coordinated by the Old State House.

 The 2013 theme was “Turning Points in History:  People, Ideas, Events.” history day CT

 The 69 students who placed 1st or 2nd in various age groups at the State Contest represented Connecticut at the week-long National History Day Contest, held at the University of Maryland, June 9 - 13. Students competed in various categories, and according to age group (junior and senior divisions).  Categories included documentaries, exhibits, websites, papers, and performances.

 The top three finishers in each category at the national contest were recognized, and included  three Connecticut entries that including participation from nine students:

 Junior Group Exhibit - Second Place

Madeline Langdon, Claire Langdon, Emma Langdon Fairfield, CT, Greenfield Hill Girls School2013_Logo_web Teacher: Gina Ludlow Entry - The Connecticut Effect: How the Hartford Circus Fire Changed a Nation

Junior Individual Exhibit – Second Place

Samuel Porcello West Hartford, CT, Sedgwick Middle School Teacher: Jennifer Hunt Entry - The Hartford Circus Fire: A 10 Minute Turning Point Sparks Lasting Change

Senior Group Performance – Third Place

Pierce Barry, Annabel Barry, Isabella Altherr, Jaden Esse, Quinn Barry Southport, CT, Pequot Homeschool Teacher: Alison Barry Entry - The Tet Offensive: Turning Point in Vietnam, Turning Point in Journalism  

In addition, student Timothy Cohn from Southbury received the organization’s “George Washington Leadership in History” award for his Senior Indivihistory day logodual Exhibit, “Washington and the French:  A Turning Point in the American Revolution.”  His teacher is Sharon Wlodarczyk.

Organizers say the History Day initiative is important because “students who think critically, understand how the past shapes the present, and know how to plumb history for answers to current issues make better citizens.”  Also, studies have shown that History Day participation helps students out-perform peers on standardized tests and develop the skills needed to succeed in work and college.

The Connecticut League of History Organizations and encourage students to explore state history through their projects with help from local historical societies. The Connecticut Historical Society runs workshops and helps run the contests. Connecticut Humanities provides the major funding needed to provide 2,000 students with a rich and lasting academic opportunity.

 History Day in Connecticut is one of 54 affiliate programs of the renowned academic National History Day Program.  National History Day (NHD) correlates to the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and the Technical Subjects.