By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds of children were showing their smarts and their creativity at a history competition being held, today and tomorrow, in Old City Philadelphia.

At the National Constitution Center, eighth grader Cassidy Franklin, of Fox Chase (second from right in photo below), and her three partners presented a display on Juliette Gordon Low, who founded the Girl Scouts in 1912.

Badges, vests, pictures, and even a box of Thin Mint cookies were incorporated into their project.

(Photo by John McDevitt)

(Photo by John McDevitt)


“I’m hoping that they will take away that if you put your mind to something, you can do it,” Franklin said afterward.   “Like, she started as a normal person and she created this big organization that now has two million girl members and 800,000 women members.”

Judges ask the contestants questions, seeing how knowledgeable the contestants are in their chosen topics.

There are also documentary and performance categories focusing on this year’s theme, “Leadership and Legacy in History.”

“You need to be able to pull together a cogent argument that is based on evidence, and you need to understand what your evidence is that you are dealing with,” notes  V. Chapman-Smith, with  National History Day Philly.  “Is it made-up evidence, or where did it come from?”

More than 600 Philadelphia schoolchildren are participating in this regional competition, with winners going on to state and perhaps national levels.  College scholarships are awarded to the top winners.

More than 800,000 students throughout the country participate in National History Day.