Out of the more than 3,300 students who participated in National History Day in Indiana this year, 47 finalists will represent our state at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest June 13 through 17.
Some of these students are returning to nationals for the second or third time, but for most of them, it will be their first time to the national contest or even to Washington, D.C.. There are a lot of events planned, including opening and closing ceremonies, competitions, dorm decorating contests, ice cream socials, teacher workshops, pizza parties, and hopefully visits to meet our state senators at their offices in the nation’s capitol.
Wait, dorms? That’s right: the contest is held at the University of Maryland in College Park. We like that our program brings students to college campuses around Indiana they may have come through Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis or St. Mary’s College to get to the State Contest at the University of Indianapolis but the national contest is a solid week of dorm life: non-air-conditioned, size-of-your-cubicle, big-school, bring-your-shower-sandals dorm life. At first mention, parents and teachers let out slight groans under their breath, but we know many of them secretly share the excitement of the students who have yet to experience the lifestyle. Of course, many will choose to stay in nearby hotels or with family; so while those students might not get the full treatment, they will still get a heavy dose of campus life through this large event at the University of Maryland.
Indiana students will meet peers from almost every state and territory in the United States. Guam, American Samoa, Department of Defense Schools in Europe, and even American schools in China will be represented. Every state or territory brings a button featuring their 2010 logo to trade with others in what is easily the best networking strategy I have ever witnessed. Many will trade buttons to meet new people, share their experiences, and maybe develop new friendships with students near and far, while our future economists will boast full sets on the first day of trading.
Look for us later this month for a blog post straight from the University of Maryland dorms, and good luck Indiana students!