Students Gear Up for National History Day Contest

Students Gear Up for National History Day Contest photo thumbnail164606

Students from Lynbrook South Middle School and Lynbrook High School are diving into history with their own research projects for the annual National History Day Contest. Each year, more than half a million students in grades 6-12 are challenged to research a topic from history based on a specific theme. This year, participants were asked to focus on the theme “Breaking Barriers in History” to guide their research topic. 

Students could choose from five categories on how to highlight their historical topic. This includes creating a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website. After conducting their research and putting their project together, the students enter a regional National History Day contest with the hope of making it the state and then national level. The national contest will be held from June 14-18 at the University of Maryland, College Park. Lynbrook students from both the middle school and high school presented their projects to students, families and teachers at Lynbrook History Night on Feb. 10. Some middle school students (three group and three individual exhibits) and all high school students anticipate presenting their projects at the regional level in March during the Long Island History Day Competition at Hofstra University. 

For the past few months, Lynbrook South Middle School eighth graders in Laura McCarthy’s two social studies classes have worked diligently on their National History Day projects. Jennifer Wasielesky, school library media specialist, has also helped the classes bring their projects to life. The middle school students picked the exhibit category to showcase their topics and have worked either independently or as a small group on their projects. Students picked fitting topics for the 2019-2020 contest theme such as Disabilities in Sports, Women Rights at NASA and Jackie Robinson Breaking the Color Barrier. 

“I’ve learned a lot about Rosa Parks and the amazing woman that she was,” said eighth grader Raquel Romano. “I also learned how to take key terms out of my research, how to use resources and how to work as a team.” 

Ten Lynbrook High School students have also embraced the 2019-2020 National History Day Contest. Under the direction of Mrs. McCarthy and school library media specialist Maureen Bertolini, the students are part of a new after-school National History Day Club where they conduct research and create their own projects for the contest. The high schoolers are focusing on topics such as the Amistad Slave Rebellion, Haitian Revolution, Investigative Reporting of Nelly Bly at Blackwell Island, Johnstown Flood, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Women Computers of NACA/NASA. 

According to Mrs. McCarthy who teaches social studies at both the middle and high school level, students gain critical research skills that they can take with them in the future. The project is a great opportunity for students to not only expand on their historical knowledge but share their findings with others.   

Great job to the following student participants: 

Lynbrook High School 
Ryan Benvenuto and Sofia Yaker – Amistad
Ellie Gillis and Catherine Wren – Ruth Bader Ginsburg 
Harry Hargreaves and Ryan Donavan – Nellie Bly
Joseph Dolce – Haitian Revolution 
Kiera Gaughran – Johnstown Flood 
Aleeza Khurram and Bridget Rudolph – Women Computers at NASA 

South Middle School 
Yasmine Afzali and Naiya Stephens – Martin Luther King Jr.
Amah Agwu and Gianluca Bavaro – Integration of the NHL 
Ava Cimato, Peyton Keller, Ava Palazzola, Raquel Romano – Rosa Parks
Michael Donovan and Thomas Scholl – Integration of MLB
Claire Everett and Victoria Martinez – Women in Space
Smaylie Jeudi – Nineteenth Amendment 
Shane Quinn, Loughlin Reid-Cleary, Ronan Tymon – Gorbachev 
Jake Schettini and Samuel Yu – Apollo 11 
Ava Borquin and Nicole Cardoso – School integration 
Elizabeth Charpentier – Women in Space 
Mary Costello and Caroline Larow – Disabilities and Sports 
Eliza Fucci and Alexis Raynor – Women in Space 
Zuhair Khan and Matthew Marchetta – School Integration 
Joaquin Vergara – Greensboro Four