Once again, students from Clayton-Bradley Academy captured awards at the National History Day competition held June 9-13 in College Park, Maryland. CBA students have participated in the national competition since 2015 and have won awards in both 2017 and 2018.

Fourteen CBA students participated in National History Day and six of those students won medals for projects based on the theme “Triumph and Tragedy in History.”

Back in March, seventh through 11th grade students from Clayton-Bradley students participated in Tennessee History Day. Seven of those student projects, a total of 14 students, moved on to the national level of competition.

Clayton-Bradley Academy uses National History Day as a part of its curriculum, as it is a yearlong research project. All seventh and eight grade students are required to create a project to submit for National History Day. However, all students from sixth grade to 12th grade can participate.

Nicole Whitecotton, an eighth grade teacher at Clayton-Bradley, is one of the two teachers over NHD. The other teacher is Liz Shugart. In the first quarter, Whitecotton and Shugart take their students to the library at the University of Tennessee and to the Lawson McGhee Library in downtown Knoxville to check out books about their potential project ideas. From there, students develop their own research databases filled with their source information.

The students gather both primary and secondary sources. This year’s group of students conducted interviews with Francis Collins, the director of the National Institute of Health, and documented primary source information about the Appalachia corridor. That information had never been documented before.

There are two different age divisions, the junior division for six, seventh and eighth grades and the senior division for ninth through 12th grades.

Projects can be chosen from several different categories in either the junior or senior levels. The types of projects are a research paper, a documentary, an exhibition board, a website and a performance. Many of those categories also have an option for group or individual projects.

This year, the six students that won medals at NHD were Shelby McNeal, Tate Greene, Riley Whitecotton, A.J. Camacho, Sophie Anderson and Piper Greene.

McNeal and Tate Greene won second place in the Senior Group Documentary competition for their documentary “For I Was Dying: The Triumph and Tragedy of Ms. Eula Hall.”

Whitecotton and Camacho won a special award in the category “Discovery or Exploration in History” for their Senior Group Documentary titled “X Marks the Spot: The Rosalind Franklin Story.”

Anderson and Piper Greene won “Outstanding Project in Junior Division, Tennessee” for their Junior Group Documentary “The Malaria Project: The Secret Triumph and Tragedy of Modern Medicine.”

In addition to the six students that won medals, Samuel McNeal, Melanie Band, Luke Hutchinson, Liam Garris, Ian Boghani, Lawrence Mancini, Layla Bowman and Macy Jackson placed at Tennessee History Day, securing their spots in the national competition.

National History Day creates “amazing opportunities for students,” Nicole Whitecotton said. Students have the opportunity to win prize money, scholarships and all-expense-paid trips due to their participation in NHD.

Students from the United States and American-based schools all over the world can participate in NHD. For more information, visit nhd.org.

Editorial Assistant

Amber joined The Daily Times in 2018 after graduating from Maryville College. An alum of Alcoa High School, she manages the paper's obits and many of the standing features while also writing features.

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