Gearou brothers take fifth at National History Day contest

Elk River High School sophomores Josh and Sam Gearou, representing District 728 Community Education, recently placed fifth in the Senior Exhibit division category for the National History Day (NHD) contest.  The brothers also received the Outstanding State Entry.  The national competition was held at the University of Maryland.

Brothers Josh and Sam Gearou with their medals after competitions at the University of Maryland. Submitted photo

According to their Community Education teacher, Ron Hustvedt, “The twins did this as an extra project outside of their very busy and successful athletic and academic careers.”  Hustvedt said the Gearou brothers first completed NHD in the Salk STEM program.

Each year, more than half a million students participate in the NHD contest. According to the NHD website, students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites.

After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students like the Gearous present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries. These products are entered into competitions in the spring at local, state and finally at the national levels where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators.