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A Participant Last Year Won National Competition
Students: need help with your National History Day projects? Experts will offer their assistance at free “History Day Hullabaloos” scheduled in December, January, and February at two Hennepin County libraries.
Last school year, about 300 students participated in the “History Day Hullabaloos.” Two of those students, both of whom cited “History Day Hullabaloo” as one of their top resources, went on to win state and national History Day competitions.
Earlier this year, the “History Day Hullabaloo” workshops were awarded an Achievement Award for innovation in county government from the National Association of Counties (NACo).
National History Day is an inter-disciplinary research project for students in grades 6-12 (http://education.mnhs.org/historyday/events). This school year’s theme is “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.” Students choose a topic related to the annual theme, develop a thesis, research the topic using primary and secondary resources, and develop a research paper, exhibit, documentary, performance, or website. Students are advanced from their school to the regional, state and national competitions.
“History Day Hullabaloo” Workshops at Hennepin County Libraries
Librarians, Minnesota Historical Society staff and mentors from the University of Minnesota will help students narrow their topics, develop their projects, find the best resources, and strategize how to complete their projects in workable phases.
Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
Saturdays, Dec. 1, Jan. 26, and Feb. 16; 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Hennepin County Library – Ridgedale, 12601 Ridgedale Dr., Minnetonka
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
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Last school year, twins Grace and Sovigne Gardner researched their National History Day projects at Minneapolis Central Library’s “History Day Hullabaloo.” Sovigne, whose topic was "Reforming Serfdom in Russia," placed third in the Junior Individual Exhibit category at the state competition and won the topics prize in “European History Before 1917.”
Grace's project was "The Meiji Restoration: A Political Revolution.” She was awarded second place in the Junior Individual Exhibit category at the state competition and placed first in the national competition in Maryland.
“Grace and her identical twin sister Sovigne were participating in National History Day for the first time, and I can’t tell you how wonderful it was [for] them, getting to go to that first Hullabaloo at the Minneapolis Central Library and speaking with History Day mentors, librarians, and touring the resources of the library,” said Katya Reimann, the girls’ mom. “They had both, coincidentally, chosen [a] 19th century topic, and it was so exciting for them, going into the stacks to look at 150-year-old archived magazines. So much fun this past winter/spring watching them develop their research skills.
“They competed last year as 7th graders; they had just moved to their new school (Cyber Village Academy in St. Paul) and had never really heard about History Day before they started their research for these subjects,” Reimann said. “They wanted to do well, but were pretty nervous, as most of their other classmates had already done History Day projects the year before.”
Sovigne said, "They really helped me with the research at the library. At the first ‘Hullabaloo,’ the librarians showed me the stacks where I got to see the 19th century magazines I had been looking at online. There was this one article that talked about how an American went overseas to interview Leo Tolstoy during the Russian famines of the 1880s. It was pretty neat seeing the news as it would have been reported in that day, and holding that old book."
Grace added, "Since this was my first History Day, I didn't really know how to make a project. My teacher told us that ‘History Day Hullabaloos’ were really helpful, so Sovigne and I asked my mom to take us to the first one. The History Day staff were really great, and the librarians helped point us to useful resources, both online and in the library. I didn't know about the online archives of photographs at the Library of Congress and the New York Library until they showed me. Since I was working on an international topic, it was important to have access to different resources.”
“When I prepared for National History Day, I got a lot of interlibrary loans,” Grace said. “They were very helpful because they were on specific topics that I needed. The most useful set of books was Kido Takayoshi's diary, translated to English. I was able to get many quotations and helpful information from these books. The library was a big help in my overall research. The Internet is great, but I never would have won without the diverse selection of sources that I got through the library. Sovigne and I are participating in History Day again this year, but this time we won't be competing directly against each other. We will either do a group project, or compete in different categories…We are thinking of doing a topic about the American Revolution, but we haven't pinned it down yet."
Reimann said her daughters will definitely be going to a ‘Hullabaloo’ again this year.
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History Day Hullabaloo is sponsored by Hennepin County Library, in partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society. For more information, call the libraries or go online to www.hclib.org.
Students working on a project about Minneapolis history should call Minneapolis Central Library’s Special Collections department at 612-543-8200 in advance of their visit to the library to ensure that the appropriate materials are ready for them. Students searching for government documents and resources (primary and secondary) should check with Minneapolis Central Library’s 2nd floor for help with location materials (correction: 612-543-8095). For more resources, visit any Hennepin County Library or go online to www.teenlinks.org/HistoryDay.