Fair Grove Breaks Barriers at National History Day


Chloe Martin (12), Dory Baker (11), Ashlyn Tiller (11), Elizabeth Holland (12), Dane Psyhos (12)

Nate Brigman

On Friday, March 6, a group of students in Dual Credit World History traveled to MSU to compete in National History Day. Two teams each created and presented projects, which were ranked in competition with teams from other schools.

In the words of Amy Johnson, teacher of Dual Credit World History, “National History Day … is a history competition held throughout the US.  Competitions start at the regional level, then advance to state and then on to Nationals.” There are a variety of categories for students to choose to compete in. Johnson noted, “There is a theme each year (this year is Breaking Barriers in History) and students choose a person or event to research.  Individuals or groups join together to create a project.  The categories include: paper, museum exhibit, documentary, website, and performance.”

Two teams created projects for this competition. One group designed a website, while the other created a museum-style exhibit. Dane Psyhos (12) competed in National History Day in the Senior Group Exhibits category. He noted that preparation for the competition was time-consuming, stating, “We had to do a lot of research about Amelia Earhart, which is who our exhibit was about. It was mainly reading books, documents, newspapers, and other primary sources.” The competition itself, however, was far less grueling. Psyhos explained, “It (the competition) was pretty simple. We went into the room where everyone sets up their exhibit and then you wait for the judges to come by. When the judges get there they ask you questions about your exhibit such as how it relates to the theme.” The team’s hard work paid off, though, as Psyhos stated, “Our team placed 1st in our category, Senior Group Exhibits.”

This is not the first time a team from Fair Grove has done well at National History Day. Johnson pointed out, “A few years ago a team won 2nd with their website and were invited to the State level.  They did not advance after that.” If this year’s team is invited to state, it should certainly be a step up from the local schools that Fair Grove competed against in the first round of competition, such as Strafford, Central, Nixa, and Pleasant Hope, according to Johnson.