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23 Students to Represent Baltimore City at Maryland History Day Contest

SOURCE: Maryland Humanities Council
Science fairs and spelling bees aren’t the only venues for brainy competition. Now in its eighth year—with a 400 percent increase in participation since its inception—Maryland History Day will give nearly 400 middle and high school students an opportunity to showcase their critical thinking skills when they meet to compete on April 28 on the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Catonsville.

This year, 23 Baltimore City students will join participants representing 11 counties and Baltimore City as they explore the theme “Triumph and Tragedy” and compete for top prizes and the chance to attend National History Day held in June at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Students representing Baltimore City include Adam Poe, Brandon Jones, Brandon Demory, Brent Hayward, Christopher Thomas, Dharamveer Singh, Ellen Perkins, Gabriel Grace, Gary Damico, Gregory Rossman, Jackee Okoli, Jeremiah Cross, Laura Carson, Lershaun Obrien, Lynna Nguyen, Nicholas Blackwell, Rachel McCandliss, Stavros Halkias, Tamara Elashvili, Taylor Beckham, and Theohariti Sevdalis of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute; and Nathan Parry and Seonna Wallace of St. William of York.

“I’m always impressed by the energy and enthusiasm the students display year after year,” says Margaret Burke, the Maryland Humanities Council’s Executive Director, in a prepared statement to the press. “Their curiosity for and interest in their chosen subjects is contagious, and the added element of competition creates such a sense of anticipation, especially by the end of the day when the crowd is waiting for the judges to announce their final decisions.”

Featuring participants selected from over 11,000 students who entered projects at over 140 schools, Maryland History Day is no staid, extra-credit exercise. Rather, participants are encouraged to develop their research and analytical skills. To that end, students work individually or in groups to research historical topics of their choice and present their findings and ideas in research papers, museum-type exhibits, performances, multimedia documentaries, and websites.

And once they’ve participated, students tend to get hooked, says Burke. “We have students who have participated for seven consecutive years, starting in sixth grade and ending as seniors in high school,” she says. What’s more, some past participants, now college students, have returned to serve as judges and volunteers.

This year, Maryland Senate President Mike Miller will give opening remarks at the afternoon awards ceremony and participate in the presentation of medals to student winners.

Maryland History Day is directly aligned with Achievement Matters Most and the Voluntary State Curriculum for Social Studies. Students represent public, private, parochial, and home schools from 11 counties and Baltimore City.

Maryland History Day is made possible with support from Columbia Gas of Maryland, the Maryland Division of Historical and Cultural Programs, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information on Maryland History Day, contact Judy Dobbs at the Maryland Humanities Council at 410-685-4185 or

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This story was published on April 17, 2007.