Murray students prepare forNational History Day competition

By Elsa Lindfors
and Hawthorne Larson

After two years of virtual competition, National History Day is now back in person.

NHD is a nationwide competition, essentially the science fair of history. Altogether, 44,000 middle and high school students compete worldwide. This year, Murray is sending 68 students to our regional competition.

History Day, which occurs in April in Minnesota, is a big deal at Murray; almost every year the school sends multiple students to the state and national contests.

“Murray really enjoys the process of History Day, people (here) really strive to create the best project,” said Lilly Coyle, a current student at Murray and NHD competitor.

Murray invests more than a month of social studies class time to it every year. It is also offered as an entire elective class.

Murray student Simon Gulbranson said, “History Day is a big deal at Murray because … it’s a long project that everyone has to try. It takes two months and takes a lot of hard work and time.”

For the past two years History Day was online and students made their presentations via a Google meet. This year however we are back to in-person competitions.

Patrick Tennison, who is going to regionals this year and has been at state for the prior two years, described the experience of History Day in person, as his sister went to nationals, and he tagged along: “State was held at the University of Minnesota. Nationals however were held in Washington, D.C.”

Patrick and his parents booked a hotel, but his sister was put up in a dorm at the University of Maryland, where the competition was held.

“After you present, the award ceremony happens,” he said. “It is held in the University of Maryland’s basketball stadium. If your name is called, you run from the stands onto the court and receive your award.”

Asked about this year’s NHD, Tennison said, “I think it’s challenging but fun, I like putting all the work together.” 

Elsa Lindfors and Hawthorne Larson are eighth grade students in Carrie Bittner’s journalism class at Murray Middle School. They wrote this story for the Bugle.

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