Press release drafted by Suzanne Neufeld, Euclid Middle School social studies teacher
Euclid Middle School held a National History Day competition on February 9, 2023 as the culmination of a historical inquiry capstone project focused on the theme of "Frontiers in History." About 230 eighth grade students crafted historical inquiry questions, conducted authentic research, and created projects judged by volunteer parents, teachers, and district and community leaders.
“This project was truly a community effort. A project of this magnitude can only happen with the support of our wonderful families and volunteers and the expert skill of our social studies teachers,” said Jennifer Milstead, Euclid’s teacher-librarian. “This project is an example of what LPS students can do. Students were empowered to tap into their interests to use skills they’ve learned in the classroom and make history come alive with questioning, creativity, and critical thinking.”
The program is sponsored by National History Day, a national historical inquiry competition conducted at the middle school through college level that brings academic opportunities and scholarships to students across the nation.
At Euclid, NHD transformed the school library into a museum of student-created exhibits, websites, documentaries, research papers, and dramatic performances. Students selected their own types of frontiers to study, adding variety to the scene with such diverse themes as Mexican cooking techniques, the invention of the first gaming computer, Virginia Woolf’s influence on feminism, and the Invasion of Normandy.
Students reflected on the process as culturally responsive, authentic, rigorous, and creative, for example building a replica of the Bastille from woodworking or creating a theatrical set of The Manhattan Project complete with scientific lab equipment. Others found new learning in understanding the process of historical research, such as how to write in-text citations, use databases, and locate unique primary sources such as recorded interviews, FBI records, satellite imagery, and historical newspapers.
Euclid will be taking the top five projects in each category to the Metro Denver Regional NHD competition on April 1 at Bear Creek High School to compete with other area middle and junior high schools. Top projects selected there will move on to the State competition in May at the Auraria Campus for a chance at Nationals.
Euclid Middle School is excited to bring back this unique culminating earning experience to its eighthgrade students.