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National History Day 2005 Finals

Monday, June 13

Junior Presentations

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“The Pony Express: Mail Across the Country in Ten Days,” a junior individual exhibit by Joey Hart from Schofield.
The excitement of the national competition continued today as the junior division presented their projects and seniors took off for a tour packed day in Washington D.C. Quite a few members of the delegation will go home with lasting memories and sunburns! Although none of the junior performance or documentary students advanced to the final round, we are incredibly impressed with and proud of the way this team has represented the Badger State. On Wisconsin!

Emma and Sarah
Team Wisconsin Coordinators



Alex Frantz, Appleton

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The night before presenting, Alex Frantz and David Bronson take one last look at their documentary, Murrow v. McCarthy.
This week has been adventure beyond explanation. It is only Monday and it has already been worth it. My group is participating in the Junior Group Documentary Division. We presented this morning and viewed a few others. We unfortunately, didn’t advance. Hey, I look at it as something to shoot for next year, and any others that I participate in. The opening ceremony was very touching. An African American preformed a very motivational speech (about Amistad) that she entered in so many years ago. Last night I also learned a simple game called 99. The friendships are already forming. The button trading is going well, as I have about half the country. The meals are great. Hot college food almost looks like what it’s suppose to, and all of the fruit looks and tastes great. Plus, Krispy Kremes are available two of the three meals, and Ice Cream is also offered 2/3. Parking tickets here are outrageous, $30. Today we did some touring in D.C.. The Holocaust Museum is Exceptional. We also hit the major memorials (Washington, Lincoln, WW2, FDR, Korean War and the Jefferson) and the National Archives. This is a great time and I am having the time of my life. I am looking forward to going to the Smithsonian and the Spy Museum tomorrow. Carpe Diem

Hannah Starr, Eau Claire

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Hannah Starr portrays Betty Crocker in her group performance about logos.
It’s only Monday, but I already feel the spirit of NHD all the time. Despite the unbelievably humid weather, I’ve had a wonderful first day, complete with three wonderful meals, hanging out on campus, and even the unthinkable; sharing inside jokes with my history teacher. It has been quite an experience already. Allison and I performed in the afternoon, our best performance yet, and though we didn’t pass to finals, we both enjoy every minute. Right now I’m content sitting in possibly the only air-conditioned room on campus. In short, it’s been a long day, and I’m incredibly tired. I hope the rest of the week will be as wonderful!

Allison Gilmore, Eau Claire

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Allison Gilmore and Hannah Starr talk with their teacher, Mary Pomerening, before presenting their performance.
Wow! It was a long trip from Wisconsin, but the hours spent traveling were surly worth it. I just arrived here on campus this morning and I already love it. The weather is very hot, but Maryland is still a beautiful place. My partner Hannah and I are entered in the Junior Division for a group performance. Our topic focuses on logos and communication through art. We performed later in the afternoon and did a great job. We didn’t go onto finals, but we are still very satisfied with our performance. Being only Monday I believe the fun is just beginning. I am very excited to explore Washington D.C. and all of the monuments, because it is my first time out east. It was a very tiring day and I am looking forward to the next few days!

Tom Frantz, Parent from Appleton

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Mr. Frantz and Mr. Bronson congratulate their sons, David and Alex, after presenting their documentary.
If you’ve been reading most of the blog by now you’ve come to the conclusions that 1) it’s hot and humid here, 2) that the Wisconsin students are all thrilled to be here, 3) that while the outcomes of the competitions hadn’t been what they had hoped, 4th and most importantly) they’ll valued the experiences immensely. All very true from a parent’s perspective too.

Beyond those things I’ve grown to appreciate the cool oasis in the lounge on the second floor of the dorm. Emma and Sarah have created a great place for Team Wisconsin to hang out, get advice about everything (contest, tourist, and nitty gritty things), and to get a break from the heat (it’s air-conditioned here but not in any of our dorm rooms.) In short, Emma and Sarah are great at this because they really believe in NHD and the good things it does for the students and our state.

I’ve seen my son Alex grow in so many ways. He’s met students from all over the nation (and some from Europe too) and has enjoyed being immersed in the NHD activities and today during our first visit to DC. While we’ve been busy touring we’re finding that our list of “things to see” grows longer rather than shorter. The people we meet give us great ideas for “definite things to see.” Alex has also learned a lot by looking at other student’s exhibits, documentaries, and performances. NHD is something that works on many levels and it’s great to see the students grow on each one of them. This has been a phenomenal experience for us and Team Wisconsin. I recommend it highly!



Lucas Mynsberge and Ben deLong, Schofield

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Joey, Ben, and Lucas, from Schofield, await their interviews with the exhibit judges.
History Day so far has been a great time for us. We got here at the airport and found out how hot and humid Washington, D.C. really was. Thank goodness for some air conditioned rooms.

We were glad to represent Wisconsin in this large national competition. We learned a plethora of useful items for our future projects and for school. We have learned how to research quickly and efficiently to find information. Gathering all this information, we also gained a substantially larger knowledge of history in general. Over our History Day experiences, we learned how to maintain an excellent relationship and grow to be better friends. Sarah also helped us immensely. She not only helped and encouraged us in the National event, but we also had met with her earlier in the year, to help us gather information for the school event.

The History Day experience has been a great one for us. It will be one of those memories you could never forget even if you tried. We would like to thank those who have helped us get this far with so much fun, without them we know we wouldn’t be here today (you know who you are.) We also thank our parents for helping us to not procrastinate and get our project done. We suggest History Day for everyone and are looking forward to History Day in our future years of schooling.



Dayce McAndrews and Linda Sorenson, Teachers from Holmen

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Dayce and Linda’s Holmen Middle School students wait to begin their performance as the judges read their process paper.
Dear NHD Diary, The big day of competition has come…and gone. The group performed beyond expectations; we are so proud of them! After the high stress of the morning, we grabbed some lunch and went to the Smithsonians – Air & Space and Natural History. What an experience. Our favorite quote from the Smithsonians came from a British woman who exclaimed loudly to her friend while visiting the restroom, “I’ve never been to a place where they have so many bloomin’ ways to flush a bloody toilet!” Hmmm. In the Natural History Museum, the clerk in the gift shop was a former NHD winner. What a small world! Aside from a bit of disappointment from the kids at not making the final round, it was a tremendous day. The kids are collecting buttons at all meals, on the shuttle, on the metro, and anywhere else they can find. News from the dance was enthusiastic, and now they are in the “cool room” (the lounge with air conditioning) playing cards. Our final thought – Remember, it’s not just a day, it’s an adventure. How true!

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Emily Romeyn and her dad smiling despite the Maryland heat.


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What, no TV? Wisconsin kids from Appleton, Random Lake, and Holmen gather in the “cool room” for a round of cards.


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Kate Van de Loo and her mom, Sue, take a well-deserved ice cream break at the food court in the Union.


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