National History Day in Missouri state contest moves online

COLUMBIA — Due to health concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s National History Day in Missouri state contest will be held online. The competition is sponsored and organized by the State Historical Society of Missouri, which has been working with schools to transition the contest to a virtual platform.

“We want to ensure the safety of our students, teachers, and volunteer judges while continuing to showcase the history projects that students have been working on for months throughout the school year. It’s a huge commitment by Missouri students and we are so happy we can make this work and keep everyone safe,” said Danielle Griego, who coordinates the National History Day in Missouri program. 

From April 13 to 26, volunteer judges in Missouri and elsewhere are reviewing student projects that advanced from regional competitions to the state contest. The students compete in five project categories, including documentary, exhibit, performance, paper and website. State winners will compete at the virtual national contest in June, hosted by the University of Maryland-College Park.

This year’s state contest will be different from past competitions in several ways. Instead of meeting face-to-face with students, judging teams will communicate through email and Zoom meetings.

Students will present exhibit panels through PowerPoint slideshows and will upload documentaries to the internet. The most significant change is in the performance category.

Rather than gathering to record group dramatic performances, which could pose safety concerns, students will provide scripts for judges to review. Finalists for the national competition will be announced April 27 through email, social media and at nhdmo.org.

Organizers have seen overwhelming support since the state and national NHD contests moved to a virtual platform for this year.

“Not only have Missourians rallied together to form the necessary judge teams, but we have heard from supporters across the U.S. who want to keep this year’s program on track and to give our students something to look forward to during the pandemic crisis when so many other extracurriculars and school athletic seasons have been canceled,” said Griego.

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