A group of Tiverton Middle School students made history for their school after they took first place in the National History Day Contest in April.

For the first time in Tiverton’s history, three students from Tiverton Middle School will move on to the National Competition at the University of Maryland in June.

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Christine Costa is a sixth-grade social studies teacher at Tiverton Middle School. She and her colleague Kristyn Giorgi were tasked with teaching their students how to create a National History Day project.

“Students were asked to conduct in-depth historical research on a student-selected topic,” said Costa. “They evaluate primary and secondary sources to create and support an evidence-based historical argument connected to the annual theme. This year's theme is ‘Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.’ Students developed their NHD projects from December through the end of February. They were allowed to work individually or in small groups and display their findings through an exhibit, research paper, documentary, website, or performance.”

Twelve Tiverton Middle School sixth graders advanced to the Rhode Island History Day state competition last month, where they presented their hard work.

After competing against schools from all over the state, Ben Brigham, William Correia, Abigail Gilfillen, and Elena Sylvia all took first place, advancing them to the National History Day Contest in Maryland set to take place next month.

“Having two of our student groups awarded top honors at the state level was very exciting,” said Costa. “These students are only 11 and 12 years old. It was an unforgettable experience to hear their names called and see them presented with their NHD medals.”

Now, it’s on to nationals for these brilliant young minds where they will share their historical findings alongside 3,000 students from across the country in hopes of becoming national winners and getting a chance to explore the rich history of Washington D.C.

While it’s incredibly exciting, the cost of travel is a point of struggle for some of the students.

“As parents, we are impressed with the independence, maturity, and work ethic conducted by our children throughout this process,” said Abigail Gilfillen’s mother, Kate. “We are now hoping our community can come together to raise funds to help offset the costs for these students traveling to D.C. in June.”

Donations to their mission can be made online.

Congratulations to these inspirational students!

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