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Wilson County student advances to National History Day competition

Wilson County student Mackenzie Egan is one of 69 students representing Tennessee in the 2019-2020 National History Day competition.

Egan earned this honor by taking second place in the Junior Individual Performance category at this year’s virtual Tennessee History Day contest with the project “Fertility Breakthrough! IVF and The First Test Tube Baby.” Egan is a student at Gladeville Middle School, under the guidance of educator Amy Wilken.

History Day is a year-long competition in which students in grades 6-12 compete by submitting group or individual projects about people and events of historical significance. These projects include dramatic performances, imaginative exhibits, multimedia documentaries, websites, and research papers related to this year’s theme, Breaking Barriers in History.

These Wilson County students also earned awards at the Tennessee History Day competition:

3rd Place in the Junior Group Documentary Category
Project: Kathrine Switzer: Breaking the Barriers of Boston
By: Carleigh Hughes and Caroline Irvin
From: Gladeville Middle School
Educator: Amy Wilken

3rd Place in the Junior Individual Exhibit Category
Project: Susan la Flesche: Defy Gender and Cultural Expectations
By: Trish Zheng
From: Gladeville Middle School
Educator: Katy Mosley

“These talented students are to be commended for their success in this year’s Tennessee History Day competition,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I am proud that they will be representing Tennessee on the national stage. With young scholars like these, our future is bright.”

Due to school closures and social distancing, this year’s Tennessee History Day became an online competition held the first two weeks of April. Students, educators, judges, staff and volunteers adapted to the situation. They learned new skills to ensure that student participation remained high.

“Our students faced enormous challenges this year. Some of them have been out of school since the tornadoes at the beginning of March,” said Tennessee History Day coordinator Jennifer C. Core. “Some of their projects were locked in closed schools. They showed dedication to continue their research without access to their school libraries. Their teachers are also to be congratulated; they have transitioned to an online environment for classroom instruction and extracurricular activates like History Day, We hope that engaging in rigorous research while sheltering at home has kept them intellectually committed and stimulated creatively.”

After competing in regional contests across the state, 260 students participated in this year’s Tennessee History Day. Out of 138 group and individual projects submitted, 69 students advanced to the National History Day competition, 102 students earned medals, 27 students received special prizes.\The 69 students from Tennessee advancing to the National History Day will compete with students from across the country for prestigious awards and scholarships. This year’s National History Day competition will be hosted virtually from the University of Maryland campus in College Park, Maryland, June 14-18.

The Tennessee Historical Society sponsors Tennessee History Day with grant support from the Secretary of State, Humanities Tennessee, the Memorial Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

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