National History Day Student Filmmakers Named for Smithsonian Documentary Showcase

National Museum of African American History and Culture Selected Student Films to be Showcased by Smithsonian Learning Lab

 

WASHINGTON, DC—National History Day® (NHD), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and the Smithsonian Learning Lab announced today 35 documentary films, produced by middle and high school students competing in the 2020 NHD National Contest, to be featured in an online showcase. The films were screened and selected by NMAAHC staff, and will premier tomorrow, Wednesday, June 17, as a special collection of the Smithsonian Learning Lab.

 

To be selected for the showcase, students needed to address topics and stories in their documentaries consistent with the mission of the NMAAHC. The ten-minute films also reflect the 2020 NHD theme, Breaking Barriers in History.

 

The documentary showcase was originally planned to be screened in the Oprah Winfrey Theater of the NMAAHC, but will now take place online because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

“This is an incredible honor for these students and their Breaking Barriers in History films to have been selected by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, a barrier-breaking institution in its own right,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Months and years from now, they will think back fondly on this week when their documentaries were viewed and experienced by people around the world visiting the Smithsonian Learning Lab and the documentary showcase.”

 

The 35 student films will be available to stream online for one week via the Smithsonian Learning Lab at s.si.edu/NHDShowcase2020, from tomorrow, Wednesday, June 17 through next Wednesday, June 24.

 

The following films and students from Michigan have been selected for the showcase:

 

Documentary Title: Breaking into the Billboard Hot 100: How Motown Got Everybody “Dancing in the Street”

Student(s): Laura Thielman

School: Whitehall Middle School

City, State: Whitehall, Michigan

 

About National History Day® (NHD)

NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park, Maryland, which seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students every year in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, The Better Angels Society, Jacqueline B. Mars, and BBVA. For more information, visit nhd.org.

 

About the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than 7 million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000 square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit nmaahc.si.edu, follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.

 

About Smithsonian Learning Lab

The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a free, interactive platform for discovering millions of authentic digital resources from across the Smithsonian’s museums, research centers, libraries, archives and more. The site allows teachers and students to create and adapt personalized interactive instructional materials with online tools and share in the Smithsonian’s expansive community of knowledge and learning. Prepackaged collections contain lessons, activities and recommended resources made by Smithsonian museum educators and thousands of classroom teachers across the country. For more information about the Smithsonian Learning Lab, visit learninglab.si.edu, follow @SmithsonianLab on Twitter, or email learninglab@si.edu.