Good Kids earn praise for their accomplishments at Nationals

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TOPEKA (WIBW) -- Kansas Good Kids are earning National Competition attention!

Last Saturday, June 25, Lanessa Aurand of Belleville, Kan. received the overall interview award in the Distinguished Young Women National Finals competition. The $2,000 cash scholarship was awarded to the representative with the highest score from a panel of judges evaluating her personality, situational reactions, maturity and expressive ability.

Following a selection process that began in her home state of Kansas, Aurand traveled to Mobile, Ala. along with 50 other state representatives to participate in community activities and prepare for the 59th annual national competition.

Aurand is a graduate of Republic County High School in Belleville, Kan. In the fall, she will attend Kansas State University with plans to become a government affairs coordinator. She is the daughter of Gina and Clay Aurand.

And after months of intensive research and success at regional- and affiliate-level competitions, Molly McLaughlin and Olivia Romig, students at Seaman Middle School in Topeka, KS, presented their Documentary, “The Americans Are Very Strong”, at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest, held at the University of Maryland, College Park Campus in the Washington, D.C. area, June 12-16. They were awarded 3rd place in the Nation.

Each year, more than half a million students worldwide participate in the annual National History Day Contest. Students create projects in one of five categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. The program encourages students to conduct original historical research using both primary and secondary sources around an annual theme. The 2016 theme was Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.

After completing a project, students compete in a series of history contests beginning at the local level. The top students in all 50 states, D.C., and several U.S. territories and international schools are given the opportunity to present their projects at the National Contest. This year thousands of students from around the world presented their work to judges at the National Contest.

“The work students put into these projects is astounding,” said NHD Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “To make it to the National Contest is an incredible accomplishment. Fewer than 1% of all projects make it to this level. It requires a superb level of research and critical thinking skills. I am confident we will continue to see great things from all of these students because the skills learned through competing in NHD help prepare students for success in college and career.”