Students from Thirteen Counties and Baltimore City Win Awards at Maryland History Day
(Baltimore, MD) – More than 300 middle and high school students submitted projects online to present their extensive historical research at the 2021 Maryland History Day competition. The competition, usually held in person, is the culmination of a year-long program from Maryland Humanities. Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, Maryland Humanities once again administered the contest in a digital format this year, with project evaluation across five categories taking place over several weeks. Last year, more than 33,000 Maryland students participated at the school level.
Maryland History Day, coordinated by Maryland Humanities since 1999, is open to public, private, parochial, and homeschool students in grades 6 through 12. Working solo or in small groups, students create original documentary films, exhibits, performances, research papers, or websites exploring a historical topic of their choice on an annual theme, which this year is “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.” Maryland History Day sparks critical thinking and helps develop skills in research and analysis, writing, and public speaking.
Competitors at Maryland History Day have already won first or second place in their category at school and/or district levels. Students from twelve eleven counties and Baltimore City received special awards, designated for outstanding Maryland History Day projects that cover specific subjects.
Students from six Maryland counties and Baltimore City will represent Maryland in the National History Day competition, where they will compete among 3,000 participants from across the country and beyond. National History Day, held in June, will also be virtual in 2021. The competition involves students from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and international schools in China, Korea, and South Asia. Maryland History Day is an affiliate of National History Day, a non-profit education organization that promotes an appreciation for historical research among middle and high school students through multiple annual programs, including the National History Day Contest.
Maryland Humanities is also pleased to name Kenneth Childs and Lynn Rashid as the Maryland History Day Middle and High School Teachers of the year, respectively. Childs teaches at Hazelwood Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore City, and Rashid serves as the Media Specialist at Marriotts Ridge High School in Howard County. Maryland Humanities has also nominated Childs and Rashid for the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award, facilitated by National History Day. A committee of teachers and historians selects one middle school teacher and one high school teacher for the $10,000 national award. Additionally, Maryland Humanities selected a District Teacher of the Year for each county with participating schools, listed here.
“Honestly, I feel so honored to just be nominated. It means so much to be recognized and honored for the award, especially with this current year,” says Childs, who has participated in Maryland History Day for three years. He feels the program is important because “students learn to analyze and produce critical thinking skills. I…am getting middle school-aged students to engage in a high-quality level of research that some college freshmen hadn’t done before.”
Rashid, who’s spent twenty years participating in Maryland History Day, says: “I think Maryland History Day a great opportunity for students to learn research skills that will not only help them not only in their academic lives but in their personal lives…you want to consult multiple sources, you want to evaluate those sources. Whether you go to college or not , this kind of inquiry process is important for learning new things and practicing well-founded arguments.”
“The nominees for the Behring Award have shown a dedication to teaching that goes beyond the classroom,” says Dr. Cathy Gorn, National History Day Executive Director. “These educators are leading examples for their peers and invaluable resources for their students. I congratulate Mr. Childs and Mrs. Rashid on their well-deserved nominations.”
Support for Maryland History Day is provided by the State of Maryland through the Maryland State Department of Education, Thalheimer-Eurich Charitable Fund, WesBanco, Columbia Gas of Maryland/NiSource Foundation, Venable Foundation, and Wegmans.