The Final Frontier: Freshmen Complete National History Day Projects

Freshmen explore frontiers in History.

After working hard on their research since the beginning of the school year, Marriotts Ridge freshmen completed their National History Day (NHD) final projects. Every year, freshmen in the GT U.S History course choose a research topic based on an assigned theme, this year’s being Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas. Students eventually take all their research, ranging from the effects of technology on the stock market to Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, and organize it into a final project, some of which will move on to the county and possibly even state level. Freshmen shared their NHD topics and discussed their thoughts on the process of researching and creating their final products. From there, the real work begins, as freshmen learn how to do proper research and write annotations.
Many students selected their topics based on their own interests and historical events they were familiar with to make the research process easier and less burdensome.
“I chose the assimilation of Native Americans during the Homestead Act because I thought it was really interesting,” Mahira Rahman said.
NHD has given freshmen a new perspective on the research process, which will prepare them for similar projects in the future.
“[NHD] has allowed me to understand the historical research process and how to analyze sources,” Soha Mahapatra said.
Learning about an interesting topic has certainly helped in building research skills and motivated students to continue on with this project

I like having freedom in my research and I like having my own topic where I can explore and choose the direction of my research

— freshman Logan Woo

Though the task is daunting and time consuming, many have found it beneficial because it allows them to not only work on their time management but be better prepared for similar research projects in the future by knowing how to properly create an annotated bibliography and find reliable sources.
“NHD has really helped me with my research skills, especially in other classes… Although the process was difficult, it has taught me so much and has really helped me prepare for the future,” Junie Ro said.
Aside from the overarching theme, students have the freedom to research whatever topic they want and get to choose the medium they would like to present it through.
Many students encountered difficulties during the research process. Freshmen were going into NHD with little experience, and many have found it incredibly challenging.
“It’s been really difficult with time management; it’s hard to do all of the assignments because they’re all really long and take a lot of time and effort,” Rahman said.
NHD allowed freshmen to convey a message and teach their peers about historical events that they feel passionate about. The research process has allowed students to dive deep into a topic, encouraging them to learn facts they otherwise wouldn’t have known about. The process not only benefits their research skills, but their education as well, and could possibly fuel an interest in more historical events.
“[My project] is about how more people got too invested in the market because technology made investing more accessible to the general public and I think the significance and importance of people learning about this is to understand how technology can cause inclusivity in all different fields,” Mahapatra said.
This research process has not been easy as freshmen have to complete a heavy project while simultaneously adjusting to high school life. Even though students may find the process to be tedious, there are still many benefits, and most have successfully persevered through it. Many students have invested a great deal of time and effort into creating these incredible National History Day projects, and can now rest knowing that their research is complete.