Submitted by the Bedford Historical Society
Thirteen Bedford High students were honored recently by the Bedford Historical Society for their achievements in National History Day. The students, all BHS Seniors, were members of three “group” projects and one “individual” exhibit that qualified for the National competition by placing either first or second in their respective categories at the State level of the History Day competition.
Historical Society President Don Corey introduced the students at a recent Society program, asked them to describe their projects, and awarded gifts from the Society.
The projects and the students are:
- A group documentary on Horace Mann by Maddy Allen, Mary Kalb, Lea Kriesberg and Keara Russell. The documentary made it to the final round at the National competition in Maryland, and ultimately placed 13th in the country.
- A group website on the Nuremberg Trials by Nicole Doherty, Gina Han, Sophie Zacharakis and Jen Zhang.
- Another group website on the Chernobyl Disaster by Alex Chen, Eric Chen, Victor Chen and Andrew Shpyrko.
- An individual exhibit on the Chinese Exclusion Act by Shelby Wang. Her exhibit was put on display for a day at the National Museum of American History, having been selected from among all the Massachusetts exhibits in the competition.
According to Bedford High’s History Day Advisor, Social Studies teacher Jim Sunderland, “All the projects received very positive and thoughtful comments from the judges.”
Bedford High School students have competed in National History Day, an annual program designed to promote the teaching and learning of history, for 11 years. Students conduct historical research in groups or as individuals. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries.
These products were entered into competitions at local, state and national levels where they were evaluated by professional historians and educators. The program culminated in the National contest held at the University of Maryland.
In addition to discovering history, National History Day helps students develop attributes that are critical for future success:
- critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- research and reading skills
- oral and written communication and presentation skills
- self esteem and confidence
- a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process
More than 5 million students have gone on to careers in business, law, medicine and countless other disciplines where they are putting into practice what they learned through National History Day.