Explore, Encounter, Exchange: National History Day 2016

This past Saturday, over 430 students and their families arrived at Messiah College to compete in Region #8 of National History Day. Judges spent the morning interacting with students and evaluating an arresting diversity of exhibits, websites, performances, documentaries, and papers. Research topics varied from the Panama Canal to the Navajo Code Talkers to Milton Hershey, each one tailored to fit the theme “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange.”

In the afternoon families and judges gathered in Parmer Hall to hear the winners’ names announced. For 45 minutes the room reverberated with the sound of cheers and applause, as students climbed the stage to receive their awards and congratulations.


National History Day is impactful and beneficial not only to participating students, but also to its judges. Several of our judges have shared what has been meaningful to them about this year’s experience:

“It’s great to see young kids so excited about history.” – Kyle Polinka, history student

“I am always impressed with the students’ curious and questioning young minds at work, filled with an inspiring confidence that the past contains answers to their questions about the world they are inheriting as the foundation on which to build their own futures.” – Joseph Huffman, history professor

“There are these middle school and high school students pouring time and energy into such big research projects. That’s really cool to see.” – Abby Blakeney, history student

“It is good to have the chance to interact with and share the same passion for history with students in the community.” – Bernardo Michael, history professor

“The best part is seeing the looks on their faces when they’ve won.” – Kathryn Kaslow, history student

We also want to offer a special congratulations to Mary Michael, daughter of history professor Bernardo Michael, for winning first place individual junior documentary!



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