Students advance to national history contest

INDIANAPOLIS — More than a dozen Brown County students came home with hardware April 23 after winning awards at the biggest National History Day in the Indiana state contest to date.

Two of them — junior high competitor Emily Earnshaw and senior high competitor Elisabeth Huls — now get to take their work to the national stage.

The Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest will take place June 12 to 16 at the University of Maryland, College Park. About 3,000 students will compete at the national level.

Nearly 500 students took part in the state competition, hosted by the Indiana Historical Society at Ivy Tech’s campus in downtown Indianapolis; more than 400 students competed in the regional contest hosted at Brown County High School. Fifty-one Brown County students placed high enough in the regional to advance to state.

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National History Day in Indiana is a yearlong program dedicated to enhancing history education in elementary and secondary schools. To participate, students in grades four through 12 explore a historical topic and use their research to create a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website.

“Each year I am involved in History Day, I continue to be amazed at the amount of hard work and time each of my students puts into their project,” said Cynthia Baughman, History Day Coach for Van Buren Elementary. “It is a wonderful experience for these kids, and I’m excited to see them grow and take away more knowledge of their topic than even they imagined they ever would have.”

State medalists and special award winners from Brown County were:

Youth Group Documentary

Second: Cadence Kemp (photo unavailable) and Marqi Satter, Sprunica Elementary

Youth Individual Documentary

Second: Emerson Blankenship, Sprunica

Youth Paper

First: Chase Austin, Brown County Intermediate School

Youth Individual Performance

First: Brock Bragg, BCIS

Runner-up: Livie Austin, Van Buren Elementary School

Youth Group Website

Second: Lexie Austin and Clayton Austin, Van Buren

Youth Individual Website

First: Amelia Shirley, Van Buren

Second: Madalyn Purlee, Van Buren

Junior Individual Website

First: Emily Earnshaw, Brown County Junior High School

Runner-up: Noah Cochran, BCJHS

Senior Paper

Second: Elisabeth Huls, Brown County High School

International History Prize

Winners: Chloee Robison and Evelyn Pool, BCJHS. This award carries a $200 cash prize.

Help them get to nationals

Alecia Adams, National History Day coordinator for Brown County High School, is collecting donations to help Emily Earnshaw and Elisabeth Huls compete at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest in Maryland in June. The students also are undertaking fundraisers, she said.

To donate, email