COMMERCE, TX—Junior high and high school students from four area schools competed in the 39th annual Texas History Day regional competition at A&M-Commerce on March 8. This year’s theme is Triumph and Tragedy in History, and participants applied the subject to a research topic of their choice.

The A&M-Commerce Department of History hosts the competition each spring in collaboration with the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) and participating school districts.

TSHA describes Texas History Day as an academic program that focuses on research, interpretation and creative expression. Throughout the school year, students work on history projects which they present at 23 regional competitions.

According to Dr. Jessica Brannon-Wranosky, “History day exposes students to different learning possibilities in a university environment.

Brannon-Wranosky added that history day also exposes students to project-based learning invites students to engage in meaningful research. “These projects require that students think about a project beyond a quiz or a reading sample,” she said

Eleventh-grader Alexia Cox from Ford High School in Quinlan reflected that her research presentation helped develop her teaching skills. “Once I get out of college, I want to be a teacher. Presenting my board is a way to teach, and so I’m getting an early jump on seeing how teaching really goes,” she said.

From 23 regional competitions, winners will advance to state competition in Austin on April 27, and state winners will compete in the National History Day competition at the University of Maryland, College Park on June 9 through 13.