That History Day Guy

July 28, 2008

1st Annual Teacher’s Institute

Filed under: teacher support — historydayguy @ 5:21 pm


When I said I wanted to bring 12 teachers here and conduct a week long boot camp on New York State History Day at NYSHA, people said I was crazy. When I said it was during board week they told me I was REALLY CRAZY!

Despite my insanity I moved forward with it. Tobi Voigt and I put the word out via our on line newsletter and regional coordinators we had expressed interest from about 28 candidates from all over New York State. After reviewing their applications we were down to about 14. After last minute cancellations, 11 teachers arrived at Hartwick College’s Hill Top House to take up residency for a week. They traveled with us to the Farmers Museum where they enjoyed a Welcome BBQ and a look at the museum.

Tobi and I then briefed them on the week’s activities:

  • They were going to use the NYSHA library to research their topics
  • They would visit our collections and have a guided tour tours of the Thaw by Eva Fognell
  • They would hear from Bob Bullock on New York History
  • They would become familiar with research locations around New York from Katherine Gilbert from the Upstate History Alliance
  • They would receive training from exhibit designer Dan Wallice from The Baseball Hall of Fame
  • They would have a budget of $40 and 45 minutes in Wal-Mart to shop for supplies
  • They would have less than 48 hours to design and create their board and to write their process papers and bibliography.
  • Did I mention we assigned them partners, some of whom they had never met?

The whole week was amazing and culminated in an actual competition on Friday. Our special guest judges were Bob Weibel, New York State Historian and Julie Daniels, from the State Archives.

The work was amazing. The teachers learned valuable lessons in design, research skills, thesis writing and got to feel first hand the stress and joy of being History Day Students!

For a look at our first ever New York State History Day Teacher’s institute take a look at our pictures on Flikr


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