TICONDEROGA - North Country students are preparing to compete in North Country History Day on March 13 at Fort Ticonderoga.
Twenty-nine students from five regional schools will compete for the chance to advance to New York State History Day, held in Cooperstown April 30. Portions of the competition are open to the public; public hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Students from Ticonderoga Middle School, St. Mary's School in Ticonderoga and Moriah Central School will participate.
"This is the second year Fort Ticonderoga has coordinated the North Country contest for New York State History Day," said Rich Strum, director of Interpretation & Education at the Fort. "We have twice as many students participating this year as last, and there's growing interest from other schools to participate next year."
Gifts from the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Ticonderoga and Champlain National Bank help support North Country History Day.
Students compete in two divisions: Junior Division (grades 6-8) and Senior Division (grades 9-12). They may partner with classmates or create a project on their own in one of several categories: historical papers, exhibits, performances, documentaries, and websites. The variety of formats helps to include those that may feel daunted by a conventional report.
Each project must relate to an annual theme selected by National History Day. This year's theme is "Innovation in History: Impact and Change."
Projects are judged based on historical quality, relation to the annual theme, and clarity of presentation. Fifteen educators, museum professionals, and community members will serve as judges for the contest.
Last year's theme was "The Individual in History." Projects covered a wide variety of historical people, from Benjamin Franklin and Leonardo da Vinci to Bob Fosse and Oscar Schindler. Students submitted artwork, papers, films and poster presentations.
All History Day events take place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center at the fort. Guests may also visit the fort's temporary exhibition "The Face of War: Triumph & Tragedy at Ticonderoga, 1758 & 1759" which will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Entries in the documentary category will be shown for judges and the public beginning at 11:30 a.m. Entries in the performance category will be presented for judges and the public starting at 12:30 p.m. Twelve student-created exhibits will be open for public viewing from 12:30-2:00. The Awards Ceremony begins at 2 p.m. with the first and second place finishers in each category advancing to the state competition.
"It's not too early to start thinking about next year's contest," remarked Strum. "Participation has more than doubled this year. Teachers and students interested in learning more about the program are invited to attend this year's contest."
Additional information about History Day is also available by visiting the fort's website at www.FortTiconderoga.org and clicking on National History Day under Education Programs.