(Posted March 25, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Pennsylvania's annual History Day district competition is slated for April 3 at Juniata College. Students from 13 middle and high schools are expected to participate in the event, which will focus on the theme "Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History."

Participating schools are: Altoona Area High School; Forbes Road High School; Huntingdon Area High School; Huntingdon Area Middle School; Indian Valley High School; Lewistown Area High School; Mount Nittany Middle School; Park Forest Middle School; Selinsgrove Area High School; State College Area High School; Tussey Mountain High School; Tyrone Area High School; and Tyrone Area Middle School.

The event, which usually brings in more than 300 students, teachers, student observers and parents, will be the 17th year that Juniata College has hosted the History Day competition at the district level. The district encompasses Blair, Centre, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin and Snyder counties.

"This event gets students to become true historians," says David Hsiung, W. Newton and Hazel Long professor of history. "Figuring out which questions to ask, and then finding the answers to those questions, is what makes history fun."

This year there will be a special interpretive program on the Allegheny Portage Railroad by Gregory Zaborowski, a U.S. Park Service ranger at the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site near Cresson, Pa. The 20-minute presentation, sponsored by the college's Currents of the Juniata Valley project, is at noon and 12:30 p.m. in 102 Good Hall.

History Day registration is from 8 to 8:45 a.m. in the Kennedy Sports and Recreation Center. After the day's activities have ended, awards will be presented at 2 p.m. in Alumni Hall in the Brumbaugh Science Center.

Students can compete in any of seven categories: Historical paper (1,500-2,500 words, individuals only); individual exhibit (displays containing maps, charts, models and more); group exhibits; individual performance (such as short plays or interpretive readings); group performance; documentaries; and group documentaries. This year, the top senior performance project will be performed at the awards ceremony.

Entries are judged in two divisions. The junior division includes students in grades 6-8. The senior division includes students in grades 9-12. Judges for the competition will be Juniata College students studying in history, politics, secondary education, social studies, business, psychology and other programs.
During the competition, visiting students, faculty and guests can tour the Juniata campus, drop in on classes and eat lunch courtesy of the history department.

The History Day finals -- open for students finishing first or second at the regional level -- will be held in May in State College. The national finals are held at the University of Maryland in College Park.

History Day encourages students to research and prepare papers, projects, performances and media presentations, and to have their work judged by historians, educators and others.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.