BCMS students participate in MN History Day

Students from Buffalo Community Middle School participated in the National History Day state competition held at the Minneapolis Convention Center on April 20. 


National History Day:

National History Day is an interdisciplinary research project for students in grades 6-12, which helps them develop skills in research, writing, analyzing various texts and sources, and presenting historical content. The National History Day office chooses a theme, which directs students in their research and allows them to make a connection between the theme and their topic. Students must understand the historical significance of their topic and answer questions about time, place, and context. 

This year’s theme for the competition was “Turning Points in History.” The competition website defines a turning point in history as, “An idea, event, or action that directly, or sometimes indirectly, causes change.” A turning point can be an event or idea with global or local consequences, which can affect society as a whole. The effect of a turning point in history might be social, political, economic, or cultural, or a combination of many factors. 

Students had the opportunity to research the topic and present their findings in one of five categories: Research Paper, Exhibit, Documentary, Performance, or Website. Participants were tasked with identifying a point in time where a personal or political decision affected history. What was life like prior to the event? How did it affect society? What was life like for people after the fact? 


Student Participation:

An estimated 900 Minnesota students participated in the competition with approximately 600 entries. Twenty current Quest students qualified for the state competition to represent Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose. Quest is a program that serves highly-gifted students within BMH schools by offering an advanced and accelerated curriculum in the areas of English, mathematics, science, and social studies. 

Rob Nosbush, BMH Coordinator of Gifted Services and the Quest Program stated, “We started participating in History Day with 6th grade students in the first year of the Quest program (2010-11). Students have success at each of the levels, even at nationals. In 2014, a pair of students competed at the national level and earned 10th place with their documentary. Another pair earned an honorable mention in 2020 for their group performance.”  

Danielle Kelm, an English Teacher at BCMS, led this year’s Quest students at the state competition. “One of my favorite moments at the state competition happened throughout the competition. Even though many of the BCMS students were technically in competition with each other, they attended each other’s events in a show of support. As the first round came to a close and some moved on and some did not, the kids were checking in with me to ask what the results were and, more importantly, how their classmates were doing with the news. These kids have all worked so hard since October, and to see them show a deep level of care and concern with one another was outstanding. Their kindness was what made me most proud.”


A Learning Experience:

Students participating in the competition also learned many things beyond historical content. Through the event, students learned to meet and manage project deadlines and were given the opportunity to present their research in front of a crowd. For many people, standing in front of a group while presenting ideas, facts, and knowledge is not an easy endeavor, and looking into the face of a keen-eyed judge can add to the pressure. Learning to present data and information in a smooth and engaging way is a valuable skill that these students will carry with them, as they navigate their remaining academic years and well beyond. 

Historians are record-keepers and storytellers of the past. History teaches us many things, and the experiences that the students had at History Day have given them valuable skills they will use in the future. Behind each student’s success lie hard-working and caring teachers, dedicated parents, and the many who guide, support, and cheer them on.



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313


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