Students at Our Lady of the Angels Academy, Lansford, recently completed an array of projects as part of the National History Day (NHD) observance.

The program is a highly-regarded academic program for elementary and secondary school students aimed at helping them to focus on the "exciting world of the past."

Each year, more than a half million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide, participate in the NHD contest. 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 souorces and drawing conclusions about their topics' significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries.

There products are entered into competitions in the Spring at local, state and national levels, where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators. The program culminates in the Kenneth E. Behring National Contest each year held at the University of Maryland in College Park.

In addition to discovering the past, through participation in the program the students develop attributes that are critical for future success, including critical thinking and problem-solving skills, research and reading skills, oral and written communication and presentation skills, self esteem and confidence and a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process.

More than five million students have gone on to careers in business, law, medicine and countless other disciplines where they are putting into practice what they learned through NHD.

As part OLOA's Catholic Schools Week observance Jan. 29 through Feb. 3, the students will present their history projects during an open house program scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 29, from noon to 2 p.m. at the school, 123 E. Water St., Lansford.