AUSTIN, Texas—Four Texas middle and junior high school students won awards at National History Day in College Park, Md. Colin Powell of Lake Air Middle School (Waco), David Toney of Gentry Junior School (Baytown), and Daniel Garrett and Brandy Parker from Copperas Cove Junior High School (Copperas Cove) successfully competed against 2,000 of their peers in the national competition.
Powell won first place in the Junior Individual Performance division for his performance of “A Republic of Rogues: Pirate Democracy on the Seven Seas.” Powell’s performance addressed the pirates’ code of honor and conduct, which he learned about by reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” Toney received second place for his Junior Historical Paper titled “Eminent Domain-From Use to Abuse.” Garrett and Parker won third place in the Junior Group Exhibits for their museum style exhibit “Behind the Barbed Wire.”
A total of 54 Texas students, all winners at this year’s Texas History Day in Austin, participated in National History Day, which draws students from across the nation. Students enter individual and group categories, including historical papers, performances, documentary presentations and exhibits. It allows students and educators to make history an active learning experience by conducting actual historical research in various ways that are outside the typical classroom. Students conduct interviews, create costumes and props, and edit video and sound to use in their papers, performances, exhibits and documentaries.
The Center for Studies in Texas History at The University of Texas at Austin and its nonprofit counterpart, Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), have coordinated the annual Texas History Day contest since its beginning more than 20 years ago. For more information on National History Day or any of the TSHA’s other educational programs, contact the association at 512-471-1525.