HBW, VHS Students Compete In History Day

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HBW's winners at the regional competition for New Jersey History Day, a precursor to the National History Day championship.
HBW’s winners at the regional competition for New Jersey History Day, a precursor to the National History Day championship.

A contingent of H.B. Whitehorne Middle School eighth graders and Verona High School ninth graders went to Seton Hall on Saturday, March 12, for a regional History Day competition, and some are moving on to the statewide round in May.

The New Jersey History Day competition was the preliminary round to the nationwide National History Day championship. Working within a yearly theme, the students participating in these competitions select an historical topic and conduct extensive research on it. This year’s theme was Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.

Students can present their projects as an exhibit, performance, documentary, paper, or website. They also must create an annotated bibliography and a process paper. NHD projects teach students to examine history in new and interesting ways and help them develop core research, analysis and literacy skills.

In the regional event, the Verona students competed against peers from Passaic, Morris, Bergen and Sussex counties, as well as elsewhere in Essex County. Four of the 14 entries from HBW advanced to the state round on May 7:

  • Individual Website: Alex Newman;
  • Group Websites: Kiera Egan, Gabi Montagna, Rebecca Siclari; and Ashley Baumgard, Carolyn Feeley, Leah Pandian; and
  • Group Exhibit: Chloe Mathewson, Gigi Petti

The HBW students were accompanied by teachers Kate Castiglione, and Phillip Kratzman. The History Day competition is an eighth grade social studies elective at HBW.

The winning group exhibit on penicillin by Chloe Mathewson and Gigi Petti.
The winning group exhibit on penicillin by HBW students Chloe Mathewson and Gigi Petti.

The winning VHS team consisted of ninth graders Eric Frey, Gillian Lamb, Lily Dastis and Rebecca Marcillo-Gomez. They created a documentary analyzing the impact of Charles Darwin’s discoveries in both future scientific and societal movements.

The next round is the full state competition at William Paterson University on May 7. The nationwide championship will be held in Washington, D.C., this June.

Verona High School ninth graders won a regional competition for New Jersey History Day.
Verona High School ninth graders won a regional competition for New Jersey History Day.
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