The McComb School District began 2013 by fulfilling a key new year’s resolution — to hold a local History Day event. Last year students from McComb entered the state History Day competition for the first time and walked away with four winners. Along with nine of their peers and four teachers, they traveled to DC for the National History Day competition and tour of the city. While in DC, their history teacher, Mr. Alan Wheat, said he was committed to engaging even more students in National History Day, starting with a local, public event to raise awareness and interest.
Despite a full teaching load and going to school himself, Wheat and a team of colleagues held the first and very successful local History Day event in McComb on Jan. 18, 2013. The event featured 12 projects, with topics ranging from voter registration drives in McComb to Robert Johnson and his influence on blues and rock music, to how Star Wars changed the entertainment world. The students invested countless hours in research, writing, and designing presentations to prepare their projects. Some of the students not only read history books, they also consulted with the historians who wrote them.
Students chose a topic related to the 2013 theme, Turning Points in History; then they chose a presentation category: historical paper, exhibit, performance, documentary, or web site.
National History Day is a highly regarded educational enrichment program in which more than 600,000 students across the United States participate each year. Mississippi’s program is small but growing, and this is the second year that students from the McComb School District are participating in this extremely challenging academic activity.
Through the NHD program, students improve their research and reading skills, critical/creative thinking, oral/written communication and presentation abilities, as well as self-esteem and confidence.
The McComb students will continue to work on their projects in preparation for sharing them at the State Competition at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg on Feb. 23, 2013. Contestants from the top two projects in each category at State will earn an opportunity to represent Mississippi at the National History Day competition to be held in College Park, Maryland (near Washington D.C.) June 9-13, 2013.
The student projects presented on January 18 in McComb are listed below: