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Okaloosa STEMM Academy Students Rank High in the 2024 Florida History Day Contest

National History Day (NHD) is an annual competition that requires students to create a project around a theme, with the theme this year being Turning Points in History. Through the research of primary and secondary sources, students displayed their research and conclusions through an exhibit, documentary, performance, website, or historical paper. Each state has its own competition, with the top 2 entries in each category advancing to the national competition. On May 6th and 7th, 18 students from Okaloosa County competed at the Florida state competition. Across the state, over 28,000 students took part in this process, and over 800 advanced to the state competition. 

Through their hard work and dedication, 5 of our 18 students from the Okaloosa STEMM Academy placed in the top three at the state competition. With her exceptional performance, Caden Crawley placed first in her performance titled Florida's Tourism Turning Point: How One Man's Dream Became the State's Biggest Business on a project about Walt Disney World. Jaylyn Contento and Austin Gritter placed second for their group exhibit titled America First Transcontinental Railroad. Jaedyn Ellis and Ashlynn Nolan placed third for their group website, Jesse Owens: Running Through Hitler. Mr. Andrew Adams, the 8th-grade U.S. History teacher at STEMM, played a crucial role in leading these students to their success. His guidance and support were instrumental in their achievements. 

Mr. Timothy Flynn has also been recognized as the Florida Middle School nominee for the National Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award. Every nominee for the prize is a teacher who demonstrates a commitment to engaging students in historical learning through the innovative use of primary sources, implementation of active learning strategies to foster historical thinking skills, and participation in the National History Day Contest. Superintendent Marcus Chambers stated, "Congratulations to all the students who participated in the Florida History Day contest, and special thanks to Mr. Flynn for his dedication and commitment to inspiring the next generation of historians and critical thinkers.”

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