A total of 21 Central students qualified for the national contest. Because of other commitments or conflicts, not all students could attend the contest June 9-13.
From Britton-Hecla School, three students qualified, and two will be going to Maryland.
The journey to nationals for students from the two schools began well before March 20 at the district competitions at Northern State University. Students had to select topics, complete the research and decide on the type of project to complete. Students could write papers; create documentaries, exhibits or websites or do performances.
It's the first time Central students have qualified for national competition in all
See History, 7A
five categories, said language arts teacher Jane Perman.
"It's amazing what students can do when they're given an opportunity to shine," Perman said.
She and social studies teacher Barb Gehrts teach an interdisciplinary Advanced Placement U.S. history and English language and composition class.
Students from Gehrts' AP European history class also had projects that qualified.
An interest in the military spurred John Wieland and Marc Seitz's decision to make a website about nuclear submarines. This year's National History Day theme was "Turning Points," and the two studied the role of submarines as a turning point in the Cold War.
"Putting it together was difficult," Wieland said. "A lot of the work was done outside of class, too."
Kallie Marske, a sophomore, said the most difficult part of putting together her paper on the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire of 1911 in New York was finding primary sources. Primary sources are firsthand accounts, such as interviews with people or newspaper articles of the time.
"They are harder to find when you go further back," she said.
It's not uncommon for students to put extra work into projects, especially after receiving feedback at local levels. That was the case for CHS sophomore Sydney Gelling, who remade her exhibit for the national contest.
Seeing Walt Disney as a suggested topic to study gave Gelling a starting point for what is now an elaborate display for an exhibit on the multiplane camera.
"I wanted to find a topic not a lot of people knew about," she said. "Most people know Walt Disney as an animator, but not as an inventor."