Like everyone else in the world, COVID-19 required the team at Connecticut History Day to do some quick pivoting. This certainly is unlike any Regional Contest season that any of us have ever experienced!
The first two regionals—held at UConn and Norwich Free Academy—had taken place and planning was underway for the Torrington Contest when schools began to close. At that time, the we decided to hold the remaining four contests as virtual contests because we did not want to cancel the contests and disappoint students.
Some schools closed so quickly that students could not bring their projects home to work on. Others did not initially have access to online resources. To address these problems, we have added a seventh “Make-up” Contest to the six Regional Contests. This “Make-up” Contest will take place on April 18th. Any student who could not participate in the Torrington, New Haven, Fairfield, or Hartford Contests due to the closing of schools is eligible to participate in this Make-up Contest. Teachers — please contact us to know if you have students who would like to participate, as they will need to register for the Make-up Contest.
The deadline to register is Thursday, April 9.
One of the things we miss most with running a virtual contest is seeing all of the students and enjoying their excitement. Contest days are fun days filled with lots of energy! However, we have found some positives in the situation.
I need to give special recognition to the CHD team—Nicole Sousa, Cyndee McManaman—and two of our colleagues from The Connecticut Network—Tom Paquette and Paul Skaff . In the space of 48 hours, our team was able to sit down and figure out a system for running virtual contests. Only one contest, Torrington, had to be postponed. Every other contest took place as planned.
The State Contest will also be held virtually. We are currently finalizing details for deadlines and judging and will be in touch soon about that information.
We know that a virtual contest is perhaps not quite as fun as one held in person. But, we believe it is important for students’ work to be recognized and appreciated. We are looking at some ideas for sharing student work—both online and in person—so please send any ideas or suggestions you might have to firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of the whole CHD team, I’d like to thank you -- the educators -- for your dedication and support. We sure hope to see you soon in person!
- Rebecca Taber-Conover