Four Neosho Christian School students – who worked on three projects – qualified for the National History Day in Missouri on April 26, at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Four Neosho Christian School students – who worked on three projects – qualified for the National History Day in Missouri on April 26, at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

To qualify, they participated in the regional History Day at MSSU on Friday, March 7, with this year’s theme as “Rights and Responsibilities.”

The students are: Hannah Jones and Annie Lazure in the senior group with their project, “The Congo Free State and the Fight for Human Rights.” They received second place. Senior individual exhibit went to Joe Klink, "The Second Amendment," and received third place. Senior individual website was Alec Fehring, “Nuremberg Infamy on Trial," receiving second place.

Explaining more in detail about the projects is Dan Lazure, a teacher at NCS.

“Joe Klink did the Second Amendment, his argument was pro-second amendment and the government infringement on our freedoms,” said Lazure. “This is Joe's first trip to Columbia. Annie and Hannah chose the Congo, and the atrocities that King Leopold of Belgium committed during the days of colonialism. Their conclusion was that this was one of the first examples of a worldwide fight for Human Rights.  Hannah Jones qualified for Columbia last year, but was unable to attend. Alec Fehring did a website on Nuremberg. He originally had a contact who was actually at Nuremberg, but proved unable to do an interview. This is Alec's third year qualifying and attending Columbia. His previous two years, he competed in the individual exhibit category with ‘The Annexation of Hawaii,’ and ‘The Marshall Plan.’”

As far as what is the main purpose of History Day, Lazure noted it is educational.

“It is, and we treat it as a yearlong educational program,” he said. “Students are encouraged to pick a topic that they enjoy or are curious about and research that topic. There are five categories: performance, documentary, paper, website or exhibit. Students can then present their research in the creative method they choose.”

This is the school’s fourth year in a row to qualify for Columbia and the third year to compete at Columbia.  

Lazure said the students are excited to move on in this competition.

“The kids are all thrilled,” he said. “There is a lot of time and effort that they put in on these projects and, of course, having the state competition at Columbia makes it even more enjoyable.”

And for Lazure, he too is proud of the students.

“At NCS, this is a mandatory project for grades 7-12,” he said. “We have a whiteboard that we fill up throughout the year with unique topics for the students to consider. We dedicate class time for History Fair discussion and computer lab research. Each year, the NCS History Fair shows the quality of students we have. I am flattered to be a part of their success.”

In the meantime, Lazure said the qualifying students will be making changes and doing more research to improve their projects before the competition in Columbia.

The group will head up to Columbia the night before the April 26 competition.

“The projects have to be set up first thing in the morning, then the judges will interview the students,” Lazure said. “The judges will then narrow the field of competitors and then judge the exhibits on their own merit without the student present. After this second round, the judges will then determine the two winners that will represent the state at the National History Day in Maryland, June15-19. Fortunately, there is plenty of time to get a tour of the campus and enjoy the day.”

If they make it to the National History Day in Maryland, it will be their first time there.

“The projects at the state level are exceptional, and I am sure it is a fine line between going to Maryland and not going,” Lazure said.