ST. CLOUD -- This weekend 500 students from central Minnesota will be taking their history lessons out of the classroom and showing off their research skills at St. Cloud State University.

The Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota are holding their annual Central Regional History Day competition at Atwood Memorial Center from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

The event is one of twelve across the state that serve as qualifiers for the state competition in Minneapolis in May.

Sarah Aschbrenner is the state coordinator for History Day.  She says the program teaches students important skills.

So they picked a topic and they did in-depth research on that - the goal being to get them into libraries and into archives, finding primary and secondary sources on their topic.

This year’s theme is “Triumph and Tragedy in History.” Students can present individually or in groups. Aschbrenner says the projects take all different forms.

…five different presentation formats: museum-style exhibit, media documentaries, interactive website, dramatic performances, and they could have also written a paper although we won’t have any papers at the St. Cloud regional. That is actually judged offsite through an offsite competition.

The presentations are open to public viewing.

History Day is a national program that has been growing over the last 30 years.

The National History Day competition will be held in Washington D.C. in June.

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