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Buist and AMHS students advance to National History Day competition

History DayStudents from Buist Academy and Academic Magnet High School have won National History Day at the state level and will be moving forward to Nationals. This year's theme was "Communication in History: The Key to Understanding." The state contest was held virtually Saturday, April 17, 2021. 

South Carolina History Day, the affiliate program for National History Day, engages elementary, middle, and secondary school students in historical research and analysis while developing essential skills. Students chose to present their research from different categories: paper, website, documentary, performance, or exhibit. Students compete at various levels of competition across the state before advancing to the national contest.

The Department of History at Coastal Carolina University in the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts supports this program throughout the state.

Liz Good was the team teacher for Buist Academy. Their project was a group documentary entitled "Key to US Victory in WW2." Students Avery Bosier, Daniel Kagan, and Jack Oakman participated.

Academic Magnet High School (AMHS) teacher Kimberly Zerbst led the team project, which was a group website entitled "Daniel Webster." Oliver Abar and Augustus Dickinson participated. 

"We had the highest hopes for the success of these two students as we witnessed their dedication and commitment to producing an

exceptional National History Day project," said Principal Catherine Spencer. "We look forward to their continued success at the national level as they represent AMHS and South Carolina with great style and purpose!"

Abar and Dickinson are juniors at AMHS. They have participated in NHD each year since middle school.

"It has allowed us to gradually hone and perfect our skills at historical thinking and reasoning," said Abar. 

"We at AMHS have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of their academic journey and wish the best for them this year at the competition while looking forward to seeing next year's project as well," said Zerbst.

Good said that National History Day is an opportunity for teachers to engage students in rich historical content led by student choice and voice.

"Through the process, students practice rich historical thinking skills and conduct high-level research," said Good. "I'm always amazed by my student's work product, dedication, and enthusiasm."

Buist Principal Shawntay White is proud of her scholars.

“Although there were many challenges this school year, they continue to excel and give their all to achieve success,” said White. “Many thanks to Mrs. Good for encouraging students to dig deeper through research and to question everything. The skills that they are learning now will continue to benefit them as they further their education in high school and beyond.”

Bosier, Kagan, and Oakman agree that it was a great learning experience. "I loved learning about a new topic and collaborating with my group and my teacher," said Oakman. "NHD is great for students because it allows them to be a creative way to learn." 

Kagan added that he was impressed that he could learn a foreign language at such an in-depth level.

"NHD was a great way to learn about different ways of communication," added Bosier. "I have been interested in cryptography, so learning about code talkers was fun. NHD is great for students across the nation because it allows them to connect with other students and be creative in their own way!"