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Carlisle Area School District held its local History Day competition this past Saturday.

Over 200 students in grades 6-12 submitted projects in five categories built around the National History Day theme of “Triumph and Tragedy in History.”

The competition was divided into a junior division for middle school students and a senior division for high school students. The five categories are website, performance, documentary, paper and exhibit.

The top three individuals or teams in each division and category will advance to the regional History Day competition scheduled for March 2. From there, the top three would advance to the state History Day competition scheduled for May 10-11 at Carlisle High School.

Only the top two in each division and category advance from the state to the National History Day competition slated for June 9-13 at the University of Maryland in College Park.

The 200-plus Carlisle-area students comprise the largest contingent of local History Day competitors that Kevin Wagner has seen since he became the local coordinator of the program in 2005. Wagner is a history teacher at Carlisle High School and is program chair of the district’s social studies department.

The topics this year mirror current events, Wagner said. He cited as an example a student project on the Bracero Program that brought millions of Mexican guest workers into the United States across the southern border. Several other projects focused on the legacy and contributions of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Forty-five judges reviewed the work of students Saturday. They included middle school and high school teachers, Carlisle school board members, former Carlisle High School students, college professors and staff members of the Cumberland County Historical Society.

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Email Joseph Cress at jcress@cumberlink.com.

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