Students from Elizabethtown Area High School recently took part in the 2019 National History Day regional competition at Kutztown University. High school students Benjamin Heinz, Katrina Hook, and Ryan Risser represented the district at the competition. High School social studies teacher, Gerald Huesken Jr, advised the students on their current contest roles through the High School’s National History Day club.
Hook took first place in the Senior Individual Research Paper category with her project Nevertheless We Persist: Women in the Fight for their Rights, accounting the struggles of several key female figures in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century suffragette movement.
Heinz and Risser took third place in the Senior Group Documentary category with their project entitled Enigma and Coventry,which discussed the controversial decision by Allied leaders to allow the German air force to bomb the British village of Coventry during World War II rather than reveal that they had cracked of the famed Nazi Enigma code and knew the attack was coming This is the fourth year in a row students from EAHS took home awards for their academic success competing among dozens of students from high schools and middle schools around the Lancaster, Lebanon, York, and Berks county regions.
Established in 1974 on the campus of Case Western Reserve University, the National History Day program is for middle school and high school students. Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide, participate in NHD contests in all fifty states as well as overseas in Guam, American Samoa, and Department of Defense schools around the world.
Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries,
archives, museums, oral history interviews, and historic sites. 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 are then entered into competitions in the spring at the local, state and national levels where they are evaluated by professional historians, NHD officials, and historical educators. The contest also operates each year under a broad historical theme to help students focus their research and project ideas. The contest theme for 2019 was “Triumph and Tragedy”.
As a first place winner, Katrina will have thechance to represent NHD Region 9 (Lancaster, York, Lebanon, and Berks counties) at the Pennsylvania National History Day competition at Carlisle Area High School in May. Winners at this competition will have an opportunity to
move on to the National NHD Contest at the University of Maryland, College Park in June.