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UMaine Faculty, Students Offer Lab to Support National History Day Participants

Faculty and graduate students in the University of Maine’s History Department will offer an informal History Lab to provide one-on-one support for students, teachers and parents who are working on a National History Day (NHD) research project.

The drop-in History Lab will be held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 5 in the computer classroom on the first floor of UMaine’s Fogler Library. Faculty and graduate students also will be available to talk about historical research, local resources and current developments in historical scholarship. Anyone interested in history — whether local, regional, national or global — is welcome to attend.

National History Day (NHD) is an academic program and competition for students in grades 6–12 that promotes critical thinking, research and presentation skills through project-based learning for students of all abilities. More than 500,000 students, working with thousand of teachers, annually participate in the national contest.

Students choose historical topics related to a theme — this year it’s “Rights and Responsibilities in History” — and conduct extensive research before creating projects in the form of exhibits, documentaries, dramatic performances, papers and websites, to present at the statewide competition. The projects are evaluated by professional historians and educators.

A new partnership between UMaine and the Margaret Chase Smith Library will bring the Maine National History Day competition to the university campus Saturday, April 12, for the first time since the national program began in 1980. Winners from the state competitions are then able to compete in the national contest in Washington, D.C. during June 2014.

For more information about the History Lab, including how to obtain a campus parking permit and request a disability accommodation, email Liam Riordan, associate professor of history at UMaine, at riordan@umit.maine.edu.

March 28 is the registration deadline for schools and/or students to compete at Maine National History Day. Registration is available online. More information about Maine National History Day is available on the UMaine website and on Facebook.

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