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LU hosts regional Texas History Day

The Lamar University Department of History will host the fifth annual Regional History Day competition on Thursday, February 13, for students from local middle schools and high schools.  The competition will be held in the Setzer Center Ballroom beginning at 12 p.m.

“Students benefit from the amount of research required by the contest rules which serves them especially well as they advance to higher education,” said Ken Poston, instructor of history at Lamar and event coordinator. “The competition fosters a greater appreciation of the past, enlightening the students as to how the past affects the present and forms the future.”

The exhibits will be open for public viewing at 4:30 p.m. and awards will be presented at 5 p.m. In addition to the competition, the students will be treated to a tour of Spindletop/Gladys City Boomtown Museum hosted by the Gladys City staff and the history department’s Webb Society from 10-11:30 a.m.

The Texas History Day competition, at both the local and state levels, is part of National History Day, an annual competition whose theme for 2014 is “Rights and Responsibilities in History.”

“Students can choose to make it regional, or they can choose to explore a topic that has national or even international connotations,” Poston said.

More than 105 students have registered to compete, ranging in age from sixth grade to twelfth grade. The students will compete in one of two age divisions: junior high school (sixth through eighth grade) and senior high school (ninth through twelfth grade).

The students can compete in nine categories: individual paper, individual or group exhibit, individual or group performance, individual or group documentary and individual or group website.

“This competition provides a showcase for students in a variety of venues, allowing them to be recognized for their academic and scholastic skills,” Poston said. “Recently, we have seen increases in website projects and also individual and group performances—sketch-type ‘Living History’ projects.”

The top two entries from each division in each category will advance to the state competition, which will be held in Austin on May 2-3 at the University of Texas and the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum. Those who advance from the state competition will continue to the National History Day competition in Maryland in June.

“A thorough knowledge and appreciation of the past means a more secure future.  Knowing the how and why provides better understanding of events in the present on several levels, politically, economically, socially and culturally,” Poston said. “There are many parts of history that we do not want to see repeated in order to assure the sustainability of a bright future for our region, state, nation and world.”

For more information, contact Ken Poston at kposton@my.lamar.edu.