Wisconsin Historical Society National History Day in Wisconsin Update

January 2011
National History Day logo Greetings!

As we begin the new year, we are looking forward to NHD event season. Check out our newsletter to get relevant information about the competition cycle as well as other opportunities and resources for educators.
Wisconsin Map
Regional events will take place in March and April, with registration deadlines falling several weeks before the actual competition date. Visit our website to check your regional assignment and download registration forms.

If this is your first year participating in NHD, it's also a good idea to email your regional coordinator and let him or her know you intend to participate. While not required, we appreciate your help as we make space and volunteer preparations.

Remind students that paper and website entries are due by the registration deadline. Papers must be submitted with registration forms. Website students will be locked out of editing their website once the registration deadline passes. This policy is in place to allow judges sufficient time to review entries in advance of the competition. If you have questions, please contact your regional coordinator or the state office.
Due to scheduling conflicts, we have changed the date for the Central Wisconsin regional event in Stevens Point. The event will now occur a week earlier, on Sunday, April 10. If you are in the Stevens Point region and this change poses a problem for your students' participation, please let us know as soon as possible.
National History Day logo

National History Day is announcing an exciting and unique summer institute for teachers and students - and part of the institute is in France! In June 2011, fifteen teacher/student teams will engage in a rigorous study of D-Day. Students and teachers will be immersed in lectures presented by leading World War II historians, participate in a scholarly study of the World War II monuments in the D.C. area and walk in the footsteps of history on the beaches of Normandy. 

After attending the 2009 Summer Institute in Philadelphia myself, I can attest to the value of this opportunity and encourage all interested educators to apply! The majority of costs will be paid by NHD. Full details and application materials are available online. Applications are due by February 1, 2011.

NHD Web Portal Logo
The national NHD office has received emails from users (coordinators, teachers, and students) who are encountering website editing issues with the NHD Website Editor over the past month. They are aware of the issues and are working to resolve them. Here is additional information the national office recently sent regarding the procedure to notify them of problems:

"Overall, the issue seems to stem from students editing their websites on school computers, which may have any of the following:
  • Outdated Flash plugins
  • Outdated web browsers
  • Computer security software, such as DeepFreeze
  • Firewalls that block certain web elements 
Some users aren't able to submit their issues directly to Weebly due to this error, so here's a direct link to the Weebly support page. When sending a request to Weebly, make sure to include the student's website URL and an e-mail address where you can be reached."

The more specific you can be about your problem, the better NHD will be able to help. The national NHD program controls the NHD Website Editor, but please also copy me on the message so I am aware of problem, too.
Students at National Contest
If you are new to the program, you will want to check out our new PowerPoint to help introduce teachers and students to the structure and format of NHD competitions. We have provided photos of events, samples of questions, and general information on the timeline of the day to get your students prepared for their first NHD event. Still have questions? Please feel free to let us know!
Judging at NHD Events
School History Day events are a great opportunity to showcase the work of all your participating students. Many schools use these events to narrow down the number of projects they can send to a regional event, but they can be a valuable promotional tool for your school! Inviting parents, other teachers, school board members, media, and the community will help to provide additional recognition for the academic achievements of your History Day students. You can download event resources on our website. First time planning an event? Feel free to contact us for hands-on help and advice!
Gilder Lehrman Summer Seminars

K-12 history, social studies, and English teachers are invited to apply to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History 2011 Summer Seminars. Taught by renowned historians on college campuses in the US and the UK, these one-week seminars give educators the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of topics in American history while gaining practical resources and strategies to take back to their classrooms. Seminar space is limited, so apply early. Application deadline is February 1, 2011. More information is available online.

Contrary to some rumors, conducting an interview is NOT a required component of the NHD research process. For many students, however, interviewing a participant or an expert on a topic can be an exciting and engaging part of NHD. For the student conducting the interview, preparation is key to make the interview a positive experience for everyone involved. Share these tips with your students:
  • Do Background Research First: Interviewing an expert is NOT a substitute for doing your own research. You should not expect the interviewee to tell you everything you need to know about your topic. Before you do an interview, you must have a good understanding of the narrative of your topic through your own secondary source research.
  • Plan Your Questions in Advance: Once you have done your background research and identified an interview subject, you need to plan your questions. Think about the unique perspective and information the interviewee can bring to your project. In a participant interview, you can learn more about their own actions, motivations, and feelings on a topic. For an expert interview, think about what this person can tell you that you can't simply find in a book. Become familiar with the books he or she has written. Focus on discussing their opinion on the significance of your topic in history, rather than just asking them to retell the narrative of the topic (which you should already know from your own research).
  • Say Thank You: Your interview subject has taken the time to share information with you, be sure to take the time to say thank you. In addition to thanking them at the end of the interview, you should send a written thank you note for their contributions to your research. If their interview has made a significant contribution to your project, you may even consider sending them a photo or copy of your project.
Army Heritage Center Foundation

The Army Heritage Center Foundation, sponsor of National History Day in Pennsylvania, is pleased to announce their new educational website. With funding provided by the US Department of Education, and using primary sources from the collection of the US Army Heritage and Education Center, certified teachers on the Foundation staff have created a library of materials to enhance history education.  Consisting of a combination of primary and secondary sources, this collection of documents, images, and articles is designed for students in grades 6 - 12.


We cordially invite you to visit their website and browse the materials!

History Day Exhibit Boards
Exhibits boards are available from the Minnesota History Day program for interested teachers and students. Available in black and white, these boards are larger than the typical science fair boards and come with optional title panels. Boards are reasonably priced and are available in packs of 10. Order exhibit boards online! (This link opens a PDF file.)
Sarah Michele and SarahTHANKS FOR READING!
Be the first to reply to this email and win a free NHD sample Senior Individual Performance, "The Woman Rebel: Margaret Sanger, the Law, and the Birth Control Revolution."

We appreciate your support of National History Day in Wisconsin.  We are excited to have you as part of our program!


Sarah Aschbrenner, State Coordinator
National History Day in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Historical Society