On Monday, April 29, The Farmers’ Museum and Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown host nearly 450 middle and high school students from all corners of New York State, along with their teachers and parents, for New York History Day–a program dedicated to enhancing and improving the teaching and learning of history in elementary and secondary schools. History Day empowers teachers to improve history education so that every student will be equipped with a working knowledge of history, and will develop the skills necessary to contribute to the public good of our nation.

Students in grades 6-12 produce exceptional scholarship on topics related to an annual theme. This year’s theme is Triumph and Tragedy in History. Students present their projects to a panel of judges in a series of competitions starting at the local level.

A growing annual contest, History Day uses space at numerous Cooperstown venues for students to present their papers, documentaries, exhibits, websites, and performances. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, The Clark Sports Center, and the Otesaga Resort Hotel provide meeting rooms for the young scholars, in addition to Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum. Cooperstown High School is the site of the awards ceremony at 5:00 p.m.

The public is welcome to view students’ papers, websites, and exhibits at scheduled viewing times. Documentaries and performance categories are also open to the public at the time of judging. A schedule with locations will be available online at www.ny.nhd.org.

Over 100 historians and educators from across the state serve as judges at the competition in Cooperstown. Their evaluations help those students who advance to the next round to revise their entries. Students placing first and second in their categories are eligible to compete at National History Day in College Park, Maryland, in June. Most students, however, will not advance. Judge’s feedback is even more important for them; helpful and positive comments provide them with a high-quality education experience.

Special awards to students are sponsored by many organizations, locally and from across New York, including the American Labor Studies Center, Archives Partnership Trust, The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, Fort Ticonderoga, Hanford Mills Museum, The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and the National Maritime Historical Society.

New York History Day is made possible by support from Senator James L. Seward/New York Senate; New York State Education Department, The Farmers’ Museum, and Fenimore Art Museum.

For more information on New York History Day, e-mail the coordinator at NYSHistoryDay@FenimoreArt.org, or visit the New York History Day website at www.nyshistoryday.org.