BAYONNE, NJ - Months of preparation, anxiety, and hard work. That’s what it took to compete in the state qualifying competition for National History Day (NHD). Hundreds of inspiring students sacrificed their Saturday mornings to present their exhibits, websites, papers, or documentaries on their chosen topic on May 4th, 2019. This state-wide competition took place in William Paterson University.

These students not only learned about their topic, but the skills that went along with gathering research. The pressure taught teamwork, patience, communication skills, responsibility, goal-setting, persistence, etc.

For us, this competition has been an unbelievable journey from the start. We were given only a short time span to have a complete idea of our topic. Then, our exhibit was recycled due to a misunderstanding. It took weeks to recover and remake our exhibit, but on the day of the competition, it was all worth it. Overall, it was a great experience, and we’d recommend NHD to anyone and everyone because it brought me outside my comfort zone and taught me unique skills.

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When we joined NHD, we had no idea what we were getting into. We really thought that it was just another school project. However, when we decided to do a competition project, we realized that NHD is so much more than that. Since day one, we’ve experienced responsibility and teamwork. Of course, a journey is nothing without a few challenges. One of the first we discovered was that our competition board had accidentally been thrown away. This was about two weeks before regionals. Thankfully, we were given a lot of class time to work and our teachers were very helpful.

NHD was truly one of the most meaningful moments in our school year. We were able to go see colleges and view other people’s work. We never thought that we  would even make it to regionals. When we were at states in William Paterson, we realized that this project really was more than just a grade but rather a phenomenal experience. We got to see so many cool projects from all over New Jersey and we can’t help but feel excited for next year.

"NHD is a rigorous and nationally recognized program," our teacher, Neil Carroll said. "I am very proud of my students' accomplishments"


Niti Sarran and Marielle Wiley are 8th grade students at Washington Community School.