At the 2022 National History Day competition, Knox County student Elizabeth Suters was a category finalist and earned the Outstanding Affiliate Award, Senior Division for her Senior Individual Documentary, “A Crime without a Name: Raphael Lemkin’s Crusade for the International Criminalization of Genocide.”
Suters was among 21 Tennessee students whose group or individual projects earned recognition at National History Day. Suters is a student at L&N STEM Academy under the guidance of educator Derek Griffin.
National History Day allows students to showcase their creativity and research skills by developing documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances or websites with historical themes. The theme of this year’s contest was Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.
Sixty-one Tennessee middle and high school students earned the right to compete in the 2022 National History Day competition after competing in the statewide Tennessee History Day competition. Tennessee History Day is organized by the Tennessee Historical Society and co-sponsored by the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office and Humanities Tennessee.
“Congratulations to these outstanding students for representing Tennessee so well,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “I commend them on their talent and hard work. I know the knowledge and skills they developed by participating in History Day will serve them now and in the future.”
During the 2022 National History Day virtual competition, students enjoyed various online activities, including a scavenger hunt, sock-hop with live D.J., educational webinars, a trivia contest and virtual tours of Washington, D.C. museums. Teachers also had opportunities to attend online professional development.
“Our outstanding performance this year is a direct result of the many hours of hard work the students invested in their research,” said Tennessee History Day coordinator Nikki Ward. “The History Day competition cycle allows the students to revise their projects based on feedback from the judges. Our students continued to work on their entries even after school ended for the semester, and their efforts were rewarded.”
At the end of the National History Day competition, Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn announced the 2023 National History Day theme: Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas and plans for National History Day’s 50th anniversary in 2024.
“The third time is a charm, but we are confident that this was our last virtual National Contest,” said Dr. Gorn. “We know the many challenges that students and teachers faced again this year, but we are so amazed that they remained so engaged with learning and discovering the past. I congratulate all of this year’s National History Day participants.”
Students and teachers begin work on the yearlong National History Day curriculum each fall. Starting with competitions held in individual schools, the winners advance to the district, state and national competitions. Nationwide, the History Day program includes more than a half-million students annually from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa and Department of Defense Schools. This year, approximately 7,500 students across Tennessee participated in the program.
For more information about National History Day or Tennessee History Day, visit tennesseehistory.org/tennessee-history-day.