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Clayton Student Wins at National History Day Contest

Hera Crofts, a student at Clayton Middle School in Salt Lake City, Utah, recently competed in the National History Day® Contest, held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, June 14-20. She was awarded “The Outstanding Entry” in the Junior Division for the state of Utah.

The 2020 contest theme was Breaking Barriers in History, and this year’s unprecedented circumstances added an extra layer of meaning to the theme. Hera Crofts joined more than half a million students globally who completed projects in one of five categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Heracreated an historical website project titled “Rachel Carson: Silent No Longer.”

After completing a project, students compete in a series of contests beginning at the local level. The top students from all 50 states, D.C., U.S. territories, and international schools are invited to compete in the National Contest. 

“To make it to the National Contest in a normal year is a remarkable achievement,” said NHD Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Given the added challenges facing students because of the coronavirus and nationwide school closures, I am even more impressed by what they have done this year. They have shown an incredible level of perseverance amid adversity, and I am confident we will continue to see great things from all of these students. The critical thinking and research skills learned through competing in NHD, especially now, will help these students achieve success in college and their careers.”

More than 300 historians and education professionals served as judges for the students’ work, and as with all other aspects of the contest this year, the judging was conducted remotely online. More than 100 students from across the country were awarded cash prizes between $500 and $2,000, each, for superior work in particular judging categories.

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