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NEH Presents “Ask An Expert” Google + Hangouts for National History Day Students

WASHINGTON (January 23, 2014) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and National History Day (NHD) will introduce the more than 600,000 students participating in National History Day contests to prominent public historians in a series of NEH Google+ Hangouts that give a behind-the-scenes look at NEH-supported exhibitions, films, and online projects.

Museum and media professionals participating in the “Ask an Expert” NEH Google+ Hangouts will offer first-hand strategies for creating engaging exhibitions, documentary films, and websites. The Hangouts will introduce National History Day student participants —who complete their own projects in these categories— to techniques for historical research and powerful storytelling.

Three NEH grantees will teach students about the craft of researching and producing websites, exhibitions, and documentaries, using their NEH-funded projects as examples. Louise Lippincott, Chief Curator at the Carnegie Museum of Art will present the website for Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story; Brian Horrigan, Exhibit Curator, Minnesota Historical Society will present the The 1968 Exhibit; and Laurie Kahn, film director/producer, will present the documentary A Midwife’s Tale.

Participants in the NEH Google+ Hangouts can ask a question using the Twitter hashtag: #NHDHangouts.

National History Day is a year-long academic program in which students grades 6-12 conduct original historical research for papers, exhibits, websites, documentaries, and public performances. Each year students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories and in international schools overseas compete in local, regional, and state competitions for a chance to win a spot at the national finals.  Watch an NEH video on the National History Day competition.

NEH has been a supporter of National History Day since the program began in 1965. In addition to sponsoring sixteen National History Day awards for first place submissions across a range of categories, NEH also awards a National History Day prize for the best use of Chronicling America —a searchable online database of historic newspapers produced and maintained through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress— in a student project. EDSITEment, NEH’s educational website, also created a set of online resources around Chronicling America to assist students and educators in using the newspapers in historical research.

Register here to participate in these upcoming “Ask an Expert” NEH Google + Hangouts.

“Ask an Expert:” Websites -- Tuesday, January 28, 7-8 pm EST/ 4-5 pm PT    

Louise Lippincott, Chief Curator of Fine Arts, Carnegie Museum of Art will lead the NEH Google+ Hangout on Websites, presenting on their experiences building the website and online archive for the NEH-supported exhibition Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story.

 “Ask an Expert:” Exhibitions-- Thursday, January 30, 7-8 pm EST/ 4-5 pm PT

Brian Horrigan, Exhibit Curator, Minnesota Historical Society will lead the NEH Google+ Hangout on Exhibitions, sharing a behind-the-scenes look at his work putting together the NEH-supported exhibition The 1968 Exhibit

“Ask an Expert:” Documentaries-- Thursday, February 6 , 7-8 pm EST/ 4-5 pm PT

Laurie Kahn, film director/producer, will lead the NEH Google+ Hangout on Documentaries, using her NEH-support film A Midwife’s Tale, based on the diary of an 18th century midwife, as an example.

To submit a question for an “Ask the Expert” NEH Google+ Hangout, use the hashtag #NHDHangouts

National History Day will also partner with the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the Newseum to offer Google+ Hangouts for students preparing National History Day entries in the categories of “Performances” and “Papers” on January 21 and February 26, respectively.  Registration information and a complete list of NHD Google+ Hangouts is available at: http://www.nhd.org/hangouts.htm

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About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

Media Contacts: Paula Wasley at (202) 606-8424 or pwasley@neh.gov