For the first time, Long Beach Middle School has taken the opportunity to participate in National History Day — an educational competition that encourages students to research historical topics of their choice and prepare comprehensive projects. The building held a schoolwide history day event on Feb. 12, when approximately 130 seventh-graders showcased their work for peers, staff and family members to view and learn from.

Students worked individually and in pairs on projects that fell within the categories of exhibits, written papers, presentations, performances, documentaries and websites. Most began the endeavor in September and spent months studying their subjects through school library and digital resources including the Chromebooks, which were instrumental in providing access to information sources. The students also created annotated bibliographies using NoodleTools. 

This year’s National History Day theme was Conflict and Compromise in History and the Long Beach seventh-graders reflected a range of related topics through their work. Many focused on events such as the attack on Pearl Harbor, the American Revolution, the Pullman Strike, the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Salem Witch Trials and World Wars I and II. Some concentrated on historical movements including the creation of the National Hockey League Players’ Association, desegregation of schools, the establishment of the All-American Girls’ Baseball League and the New York draft riots. Others shed light on impactful individuals including Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Susan B. Anthony and Mary Tudor.

Three projects from each category were selected to advance to the regional Long Island History Day competition on March 18 at Hofstra University. Those results will determine possible entry in the state contest with the goal of eventually achieving national level participation.

“The students then went to work to hone their research and critical thinking skills by making connections/comparison across time or to current times, showing cause and effect, showing several perspectives and analyzing primary and secondary sources,” said Director of Humanities Theresa Scudiero. “Through participation in National History Day, the students also had the opportunity to work on the Social Emotional Learning competencies and MYP approaches to learning such as communication skills, self-management skills, organization skills, metacognition, reflection, creativity and innovation.”