Mercer Museum to Host 2019 National History Day Regional Competition at Delaware Valley University

Credit: Mercer Museum. From left: Serafina Fleming and Sirui Chen at the 2018 History Day Regional Competition.

Jan 15, 2019

The 2019 National History Day regional competition for Bucks and Montgomery counties will be held on Saturday, March 30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. First-place winners who are seniors will have a chance to qualify for DelVal scholarships worth up to $25,000 annually. 

The competition will be coordinated by the Bucks County Historical Society, which oversees Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, in collaboration with professors and staff at DelVal. 

National History Day is an annual academic enrichment program for students in grades 6 through 12 that encourages thoughtful historical research, project-based learning and a dose of friendly competition, as individuals or as a group, in one of five distinct categories: exhibits, papers, websites, documentary films and performances. More than 175 students from Bucks and Montgomery counties participate in the regional event, and regional winners move on to the state level competition. 

Guided by an annual theme, students are encouraged to choose a topic that matches their personal interests. The 2019 theme is “Triumph and Tragedy in History”, and allows middle and high school students to take history beyond the classroom.

The University will offer Presidential Scholarships to the first-place winners in the senior individual exhibit, the senior documentary, the senior website and the senior paper categories. The Presidential Scholarship is a merit award that is based on past academic achievement and encourages academic success and rigor at the University. The scholarship is worth up to $25,000 annually. To qualify, winners must be high school seniors in good academic standing, apply, be offered admission and enroll at DelVal in the Fall of 2019 meeting all stated criteria as first-time freshmen students. Eligible students will be required to show proof of their achievement in the competition at the time of application. Students are eligible for one academic scholarship at the University. A student will be granted the highest of any offer of institutional merit scholarship. 

“This is the first year Delaware Valley University will partner with the Mercer Museum to host the competition and the University is extremely pleased to bring the event to our campus in Doylestown,” said Dr. Jack Schmidt, chair of the University’s liberal arts department. “History Day gives students in our history, policy and society major as well as our history education majors the opportunity to work with the staff at the Mercer Museum and with local educators and their students to highlight the importance of historical research.” 

Bucks County Historical Society President and Executive Director Kyle McKoy adds that the National History Day program is “similar to a science fair.”

“The skills of conducting research, identifying credible sources, and publicly presenting their findings are crucial to increasing civic engagement in young people,” said McKoy. “These skills are important at a time when so much misinformation can be reached with a single click.”

The Bucks County Historical Society will be offering a monetary award of $250 for this year’s winning student project focused on any aspect of Pennsylvania history that ties into the National History Day theme. 

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