Local students move on to national history competition

Sunday, April 18, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:36 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 10, 2008

Five local students who competed at the state level in National History Day on Saturday will be moving on to the national competition June 13-17 at the University of Maryland.

The contest was open to students in grades six through 12 who had previously competed in regional competitions and included 28 students from local schools.

Ellen Beverley, Nuzhat Chowdhury and Meghna Srinath won first place in the group exhibits category for Harlem Jazz: The Encounter and Exchange of People and Music.

Melissa Fagan and Cory Voelker won second place in the group performance category with Jewish Immigration and Its Impact on the Strike of 1909.

The contest was similar to a science fair, but with historical topics, said Ryan Teter, a contestant from Gentry Middle School.

Contestants selected a topic that related to this year's theme, Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History, and then presented either a written paper, multimedia documentary, dramatic performance or museum-style exhibit.

Teter presented an exhibit looking at the history of the St. Louis-Chicago baseball rivalry. He picked the topic because he is a Cardinals' fan and was surprised to see the rivalry didn't start in baseball, but in economic competition between Chicago's railroads and St. Louis's access to the Mississippi River.

National History Day is a national program promoting the study of history in elementary and secondary schools.

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