National History Day Competition Takes Old and Young on Trip Through Time

Northeast Regional History Day Competition held at UMD.

DULUTH, Minn.- This weekend history lessons were given out by 6 thru 12th graders.

Just a day after National Minnesota Day, Middle and High School students competed in the Northeast Regional History Day Competition at UMD.

They competed to share websites, documentaries and presentations on historical events they’re passionate about.

“You get mood swings, sometimes you forget where you are.”

This track about a football players bout with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, plays in the Kirby Student Center.

It might make you feel like you’re hearing a medical presentation.

“Our project is: The Tragic Effects that the Introductory of the Helmet into Football Caused, from CTE and other Brain Disorders.”

But this is a part of a project by Chase Baumgarten and Colin McShane, two seventh graders from Stella Maris Academy, wanting to make a change.

“I play football, and I just wanted to know a bit about brain injuries in football,” said Baumgarten. “And also, my great grandfather, he used to play in the NFL, and he, he just suffered a lot.”

“My dad was a boxer and I kinda wanted to learn about the concussions and all that stuff,” said his partner, Colin McShane.

They are two of 27,000 students from over 250 schools who participated in National History Day this year.

The competition is organized by the Minnesota Historical Society.

The theme: Triumph and Tragedy in History, and the projects highlight that both nationally and in Minnesota.

“History Day gives students an opportunity to really dig deep and go beyond the superficial understanding that many of us have about different events,” said David Dyson, who’s been a judge for the competition for the past 20 years. “They know their topics in greater depth than I do.”

“That’s hope for the future.”

The CTE project was one of 5 junior group exhibits to qualify for State History Day at University of Minnesota on May 4th.

Those who win at state qualify to compete at National History Day in Washington D.C. in June.

But for Colin and Chase, they’re just happy to spread some awareness.

“With our project we’re just hoping we can have some rule change with football, because there has been some rule change, but there hasn’t been enough to completely get the head out of football,” Baumgarten said.

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