Kennedy students compete at History Day

WARREN — Three Warren John F. Kennedy eighth-grade students will compete at the national History Day competition today through Thursday at the University of Maryland.

Nadiyah Blackwell, 13, and Beyonca Freeman and Perrin Morgan, both 14, who did a website project, “An African Hero: Nelson Mandela, “ are competing at the event after winning first place at the regional event in April at Youngstown State University and second place at the state event in May at Ohio Wesleyan University.

For the competition, students create historical research projects in one of five categories: documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances or websites. The theme for the national competition is “Taking a Stand in History.” Teams from 57 affiliate contests will participate.

The website, done by the trio mostly outside of class, highlights the accomplishments of Mandela. Each student did a different section.

Morgan, marking her first time competing in History Day, said they will have 15 minutes to present their website to the judges, who can ask questions. Blackwell and Freeman, who took part in History Day events in seventh grade, said they are competing in the junior division for websites.

“The three students have qualified to represent not only the entire Mahoning Valley region, but the state of Ohio at the national contest,” said Anthony Catale, eighth-grade history teacher at JFK.

Catale said students will be presenting hundreds of projects about positions that people have taken throughout our country’s history and the individuals and groups who supported them.

Because the team finished in the top two in Ohio, they qualified automatically for the national contest. More than 500,000 students nationally competed to try to reach the finals. “They are considered to be in the top 1 percent of all competitors nationally for having qualified to the national contest.” he said.