The Saint Mary’s History Department is sponsoring a National History Day event tomorrow for fourth- to 12th-grade students on campus.
“[National History Day] is a good way to engage younger students and get them into history,” said Kelly Hamilton, professor and chair of the Saint Mary’s History Department.
There will be a history fair held in Spes Unica for the schools in the South Bend area that participate in National History Day.
Students will exhibit their history knowledge with poster board projects, research papers, skits and even student-designed Web sites.
The competition will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. An award presentation will follow in Carroll Auditorium where the winners will be announced.
Winners from each age group will advance to the state competition, Hamilton said. If those students succeed at the state level, they will compete at the national level with students around the country.
This year’s theme is “Innovation in History.” Students will be divided based on grade level, and judged on their depth of research and their presentation.
Hamilton said she hopes “the students gain a deeper understanding and an enthusiasm for history.”
“The more these students are taught that history is important to understand, the better. I’m hoping that a real love for history will be one of the real benefits of participating in this competition,” she said.
Judges include members of the History Department, sponsors of National History Day and two Saint Mary’s history and education students.
“This is a really good opportunity for our students as well,” Hamilton said. “The nicest thing is our students are really impressed by the level of work they see by younger students.”
Hamilton said National History Day could lead to internships for Saint Mary’s students to help develop history programs at local schools.
The program has been held at Saint Mary’s for the past three years and it’s expected to be held at the College in the future.
“We are very proud of hosting [the event],” Hamilton said. “It’s very nice to see younger students interested in history and doing such nice projects. That is what we hoped to accomplish, and it’s really rewarding.”