The Chaska Middle School East gym was reverberating last Thursday, both with sound and excitement from 8th graders eager to show off their National History Day chops. National History Day is an interdisciplinary research project for students that teaches them to:

  • Conduct in-depth research
  • Use primary and secondary sources
  • Read a variety of texts
  • Analyze and synthesize information
  • Write and present historical content

This year’s theme was “Breaking Barriers.” Students choose a topic that relates to that theme, research that topic, and present their research in one of five presentation categories: Research Paper, Exhibit, Documentary, Performance, or Website.

CME history dayMore than 50 students from both Chanhassen and Chaska High Schools met with all CMSE 8th graders during their School Showcase. Eighth graders presented to high school students and received feedback from them on their projects.  Those students who wanted to compete did so throughout the day, where they met with a team of adult judges (East staff and Digital, Instructional, and Personalized Learning coaches) to present their project and be interviewed.

East Principal Beth Holm noted it’s a team effort, with a high level of commitment from the entire staff in making the day possible, judging and supporting students.

“History Day allows our CMSE 8th graders the chance to really show their passions in both research and project creation,” Global Studies teacher Erin Breen said. “The voice and choice is clear when you see the amazing exhibit boards, websites, documentaries, performances, and research papers all focused on student chosen topics.”

Forty-eight students are advancing onto the next round of competition, which is the regional level of National History Day on March 10 at Augsburg College.

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Pictured above: CMSE students present their projects to Chanhassen and Chaska High School students and judges.