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UW-Eau Claire to Host History Day Competition

RELEASED: March 16, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host the Northwestern Wisconsin Regional National History Day competition March 18.

The event is an opportunity for middle and high school students to "do" history by researching a topic of interest, said Melisa Cushing Davis, a graduate assistant in UW-Eau Claire's history department. The event offers students — either individually or in groups — to produce historical documentaries, exhibits, dramatic performances or research papers based on the 2005 theme, "Communication in History: The Key to Understanding," Davis said.

The event will run from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. March 18 on the second floor of Davies Center at UW-Eau Claire. Area teachers, UW-Eau Claire history students, graduate students and local dignitaries will be among those judging the entries. Awards will be presented at 2 p.m. in the Tamarack Room of Davies Center.

The UW-Eau Claire event is the next in a series of competitive National History Day events, which began at the individual school level, and also include state and national competitions. Winners at the regional level will then compete at the state level, with winners there advancing to the national competition. This is the first regional competition to be held at UW-Eau Claire.

The competitions give the students opportunities to present their work to historians, educators and other community members outside of their classrooms, Davis said.

Middle and high school students from western Wisconsin are expected to participate in the event at UW-Eau Claire.

"It gives students a chance to be creative in their learning while also receiving feedback from professionals in the fields relating to history," Davis said. "It's an exciting opportunity for students to explore a topic that interests them."

In addition, fourth- and fifth-graders also have been invited to participate in the day, Davis said. The younger students' entries will be evaluated by judges but will not compete against one another, she said. "It gives the younger students a chance to experience the event, and will help them prepare to compete during their middle and high school years," Davis said.

Faculty sponsors of the regional competition are Kate Lang, associate professor of history and interim director of the Center for History Teaching and Learning, and John Mann, assistant professor of history and co-director of the Learning by Doing Graduate Certificate Program for area teachers. Event sponsors also include Phi Alpha Theta, the history department, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Education and Human Sciences.

The Wisconsin History Day event is slated for April 30 in Madison and the national contest is set for June near Washington, D.C.

For details about the regional History Day competition, contact Melisa Cushing Davis at (715) 836-5497 or davisma@uwec.edu.

-30-

JB

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