APRIL 30, 2020, Contest Held Online Due to Pandemic – COVID-19 did not stop Delaware students from researching and preparing projects for the Delaware National History Day state contest, which for more than 20 years has been organized by the Delaware Historical Society.
Each year, the national organization selects a theme to help students direct their research. This year’s theme was “Breaking Barriers in History” and students focused on the familiar like Rosa Parks or Susan B. Anthony, to more obscure topics like Hollywood Actress Anna May Wong and ocean acoustics.
Faced with cancellation because of the pandemic, DHS quickly switched gears and created a virtual contest. Though many projects were already uploaded into a registration system, others had to be submitted via email or shared through Google Drive. Students sent exhibits as PowerPoints or Google slide presentations, PDF papers, scripts for performances, documentaries and website links.
“Students stepped up to get their projects in, despite hurdles due to Covid-19,” said Rebecca Fay, Director of Education for DHS. “These students deserve special recognition.” (See below for list of category winners and the special awards winners, which are sponsored by local organizations and institutions that help support the program).
The contest is normally a day-long, large event held at a school with students presenting their projects to dozens of librarians, historians, and other volunteers who serve as judges. The contest was to have been held earlier this month.
“The Delaware Historical Society staff and volunteer judges look forward to National History Day each year as an opportunity to see how students bring their own fresh perspective to the theme,” said David Young, executive director of DHS. “We are always excited to see the creativity involved in the projects and we invariably learn something new…..Thank you teachers, thank you students, and thank you parents who, despite the challenges of online learning, uncertainty, and fear, carried on with National History Day projects and participated in our 2020 contest. Your perseverance is admirable and deeply appreciated.”
National History Day is a non-profit education organization based in College Park, Maryland. NHD offers year-long academic programs that engage over half a million middle- and high-school students around the world annually in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Since 1974, NHD has continuously improved history education by providing professional development opportunities and curriculum materials for educators.