Students in the Northwoods compete in a regional history competitionSubmitted: 03/25/2017
MINOQUA - Students often create projects for class, but it isn't every day that students create projects for regional competitions. Many Northwoods students gathered in Minocqua to compete in a history day competition.

"This year's theme is called taking a stand in history," said Lakeland Union High School's Department Chair of Social Studies Mike Mestelle.

LUHS hosted the Northwoods Regional of the National History Day Project.

"We have about 150 students competing here today," said Mestelle.

This is the second year the school has been a regional host for the competition. The National History Day program is based in Madison.

"So getting people in the Northwoods was more difficult, but moving the regional up north here to Lakeland has helped get more of the northern schools involved," said Mestelle.

The academic program's goal is to help students grades six through 12 learn more about history.
Students choose an event, person, or group that relates to the year's theme.

Then they present their project in a paper, website, exhibit, documentary, or performance format.

"I did a performance for National History Day," said 8th grader Nicole Swanson from Rhinelander.

Swanson made an exhibit the first two years she participated, but decided to try out performance this year.
"I'm in theatre and I found out I really like theatre," said Swanson.

She wrote and performed a script about Major General Lafayette who fought in the Revolutionary War. Swason first learned of him through the musical Hamilton.

"Lafayette was actually in the musical and I've always loved French language, so there was a French man and I was obsessed with this musical and I'm like 'Let's do this, this works for me,'" said Swanson.

Overall Swason enjoyed performing.

"It was very fun, I liked it," said Swason.

Three winners are chosen from each project type and age group. Those students will go to the state competition in April.

"It'll be nice for our students to go on to Madison and it's always good when people from the Northwoods get recognition at the state level," said Mestelle.

If students win at the state level, they will then go to the national competition at the University of Maryland in June. Mestelle says students that win at the national level could get a $30,000 college scholarship.

Story By: Dakota Sherek

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