Fort Ticonderoga recently held the annual North Country History Day where thirty-four middle and high school students from the North Country presented 16 projects and won top prizes. These students and projects qualified to advance to compete at New York State History Day in Cooperstown in late April, competition date to be determined.
“The National History Day program develops a passion for history,” said Richard Strum, Fort Ticonderoga Director of Academic Programs and North Country’s Regional Coordinator for New York State History Day. “History Day provides students with an opportunity to explore a topic that interests them while relating to an annual theme. This year’s theme was ‘Breaking Barriers in History’ and projects spanned centuries of topics from the Salem Witch Trials to Jackie Robinson.”
The top two projects in each category will represent the North Country at New York State History Day. Winners at the state level normally go on to compete in National History Day in Maryland in June. Over the past ten years, two North Country projects have advanced to the national contest.
Several special awards were also given at the contest. The Beaty Family Scholarship for a high school student who best displays the spirit of National History Day was awarded to Ally Carvel. Ally, a freshman at Gouverneur High School in Gouverneur, N.Y., partnering with Maya Bartleson, Ava Bartholomew, and Noel LaPierre, placed first in the senior division group documentary category with the documentary “The Legalization of Same Sex Marriage.” The scholarship will provide Ally the opportunity to attend the five-week National History Academy in northern Virginia this summer.
The New York State Archives Partnership Trust Award for the best use of primary sources in the individual project category went to Cole Siebels, a sophomore at Gouverneur High School for his documentary “Harlem Hellfighters: Breaking Barriers in the Trenches.” Cole was the first recipient of the Beaty Family Scholarship in 2019.
The Adirondack Torch Club Award for the junior level project that best addressed the theme of “Breaking Barriers in History” was awarded to Addy Nephew, Madeline Tursky, Reagan Baker, and Sam Scorsome, from Moriah Junior-Senior High School in Port Henry, N.Y., for their group exhibit “Ruby Bridges: Young Civil Rights Hero.”
National History Day is the nation’s leading program for history education in schools. The program annually engages 2 million people in 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Teachers and students from Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, St. Lawrence, and Warren counties interested in participating in North Country History Day during the 2020-2021 school year should contact Rich Strum at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 585-6370. Next year’s theme is “Communications in History.”
About North Country History Day
National History Day encourages students to explore local, state, national, and world history. After selecting a historical topic that relates to an annual theme, students conduct extensive research by using libraries, archives, museums, and oral history interviews. They analyze and interpret their findings, draw conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, and create final projects that present their work. These projects can be entered into a series of competitions, from the local to the national level, where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators.
About Fort Ticonderoga:
Welcoming visitors since 1909, Fort Ticonderoga preserves North America’s largest 18th-century artillery collection, 2,000 acres of historic landscape on Lake Champlain, and Carillon Battlefield, and the largest series of untouched Revolutionary War era earthworks surviving in America. As a multi-day destination and the premier place to learn more about our nation’s earliest years and America’s military heritage, Fort Ticonderoga engages more than 75,000 visitors each year with an economic impact of more than $12 million annually and offers programs, historic interpretation, boat cruises, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year, and is open for daily visitation May through October. Fort Ticonderoga is supported in part through generous donations and with some general operating support made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.