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Lamar University to host regional Texas History Day Feb. 10

The Lamar University Department of History will host its second annual Texas History Day on Thursday, Feb. 10, attracting students from high schools and middle schools across Southeast Texas.

Lamar’s event is part of National History Day 2011, whose theme is “Debate and Diplomacy in History.” Activities will be from noon to 6 p.m. in the Setzer Student Center. In addition, participants will tour Lamar’s Spindletop/Gladys City Boomtown Museum from 10 to 11 a.m.

About 130 students are expected to participate, a substantial increase from the 90 who attended last year, said Carol Atmar, instructor of history at Lamar and event coordinator.

The Texas State Historical Association has sponsored Texas History Day since its beginning more than 25 years ago.

“This is an affiliate of National History Day, the nation’s oldest and most highly regarded humanities contest for students in middle and high school,” Atmar said. “National History Day reinforces classroom teaching by rewarding students for their scholarship, individual initiative and cooperative learning.

“Students grow academically and intellectually as they integrate social studies, the arts, sciences, language arts and other disciplines into a historical presentation,” Atmar said.

Participants will be divided into the senior division for ninth through 12th grades and the junior division for sixth through eighth grades. Categories include individual paper, individual or group exhibit, individual or group performance, individual or group documentary, and individual or group website.

Texas History Day at Lamar is one of 22 regional competitions, where students present the results of projects they have researched and produced over the course of the school year, Atmar said.

The top two entries in each division for each category will advance to state competition at Texas History Day in Austin in May, while state winners will advance to the national contest in June at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.

As many as 45,000 young Texans are involved in the program at the regional and state levels each year. More than 1,000 students participate in Texas History Day, and about 60 students represent Texas at National History Day.

Additional information is available from Atmar at (409) 880-2253, email ceatmar@lamar.edu.