At first blush, College Park, Maryland might not seem like an extremely popular summer destination spot for Tennessee teenagers. Although for those who participate in History Day, it's the place to be: That's where the competition's national finals are held each year during the month of June.
In order to get there, the top competitors from our state must first qualify at Tennessee History Day, which will be held this Saturday at the Legislative Plaza, William R. Snodgrass Tower, and Nashville Public Library in downtown Nashville.
During the daylong event, competitors will be judged based on the quality of projects they have submitted on a variety of history-related themes. Nearly 450 students in grades six through 12 from public, private, and home schools across the state will be participating.
To earn their spots at Tennessee History Day, students had to present projects that won medals at one of six district competitions held around Tennessee. In all, more than 7,000 Tennessee students took part in some level of History Day competition this year.
"My office is proud to once again be among the sponsors of this great event," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "I commend the Tennessee Historical Society for its work in organizing the event each year and the Tennessee General Assembly and the other sponsors who support this worthwhile program. Studies have shown that students who participate in History Day not only do better in school and later in their professional lives, but they also tend to be more active and engaged as citizens. The students who are participating in Tennessee History Day Saturday are the future business and civic leaders of our state and our country."
Tennessee History Day is affiliated with National History Day, which was founded in 1974 by an Ohio college professor who wanted to give students a new way to learn about history outside of the traditional classroom setting. The event has grown in popularity to the point where hundreds of thousands of students across the country participate each year.
Last year, three students from Clarksville and one from Memphis won national awards in College Park after qualifying at Tennessee History Day.