Get your buzzers ready: Local Germantown student gears up for the National History Bee

Sylvan Paul, a seventh grade Houston Middle School student, is looking forward to the summer. This June, he and his family will journey to Chicago for the National History Fair where Paul and eight other students have been invited to represent the Mid-South.

The sponsoring company is working hard to build the hype and Paul is ecstatic, “I will be staying in the Hyatt and attending their History Fair and you can participate in other events and competitions in addition to the History Bee”.

They offer events like National Citizenship Bee, the Pop Culture Challenge, “The Great History Hunt”, and a Family Quiz Night. Once qualified for the National Finals, students have the option to compete in any of the other nine offered events. The bee also offers a lodging package, ensuring a once and a lifetime experience for the young history buffs.

The main event, however, is the head-to-head “buzz-in” History Bee competition where one student will walk away with the National Championship.

The National History Bee is an academic competition for elementary and middle school students that tests knowledge of a wide range of historical topics. The competition is divided into three distinct stages:

A school level history bee and a mandatory Online Qualifying Exam determine the local winners. Paul along with ten other Houston Middle Students qualified through this round.

The top students from the Online Qualifying Exam compete in one of the thirty-nine buzzer competitions across the United States in the Regional Finals. Paul was the only GMSD student to qualify for this face-to-face competition in Little Rock, AR. He and eight other students reigned supreme and were permitted to advance to the National Finals.

Finally, the top finishers from the Regional Finals are eligible to advance to the National Finals and compete for the title of National History Bee Champion. Paul, who was very modest during the interview, wanted to make sure that we gave some credit to Houston Middle social studies teacher Katoria Williams, who, he said, fostered his love and aptitude for history.

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