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National History Day 2008 Finals

Team Wisconsin Rocks the Junior Division!

NHD 2008 Finals
Jeffrey excitedly calls
home to share his
good news.

The day was busy for Team Wisconsin as students in the junior division presented for the judges. All of the students did a fantastic job and truly impressed the judges with their work. The senior division students spent the day in Washington D.C. and everyone returned in the evening for the student dance.

After an afternoon rain (which helped us all to cool off!), we received some exciting news. Four of Team Wisconsin's performance and documentary projects from the junior division will be moving on to final round judging tomorrow! Kevlyn Holmes and Julia Rothacker advanced with their junior group performance entitled "Kennedy and Khrushchev." Nate Smith advanced with his junior individual documentary about the Chinese Exclusion Era. Jeffrey Zhao also advanced with his junior individual documentary about the Kent State shootings. Finally, John Mullooly and Henry Luedtke advanced with "Turmoil in Tosa," a junior group documentary.

We are so proud of all the students' hard work, and we all can't wait to see the senior division projects that begin tomorrow.

-Sarah & Sarah Michele

Posted at 10:00 PM

Jennie, Student from Appleton

NHD 2008 Finals
Jennie sightseeing in
downtown D.C.

D.C is awesome! I'm having such a great time. The campus is so big. We have to walk everywhere. Today I got up, took a shower and headed down to the dining hall for breakfast. I had cheerios and a doughnut. It was a chocolate doughnut. Yumm!! During breakfast I did some button trading. I'm not too big on the whole trading of buttons, but I have some from other states. My mom is pounding on me to trade more buttons, but I really don't have the motivation to.

After breakfast we went to check out the place where I was performing. Once we saw it we had to go back to our dorm and get all of our props. Thank god for the shuttle (bus) that drove us and the props to the building right next to where I was performing. We waited at the building and got everything ready. Then I performed. I thought everything went really well. I didn't make any mistakes. I'm going to find out tonight if I made it to finals. We went to eat lunch after my performance. I had a turkey sandwich with French fries and cake for dessert. Then we went to see Adam's individual performance. He did Shoeless Joe's Truth. After that we came back to the dorm and relaxed.

I'm having such a great time. I've met a lot of people. The student dance is tonight and I'm looking forward to it. After the dance I'm looking forward to playing cards with the Wisconsin team. The dorm rooms are really hot, but after a few days you get used to it. I'm going to see the Holocaust Museum on Wednesday. I heard that it is incredible. If I had to give you some advice I would suggest that you ALWAYS where sunscreen. The sun is shining bright. My mom got really burnt.

Posted at 10:00 PM

Jordan and Melissa, Students from Eagle River

NHD 2008 Finals
Jordan & Melissa place
wreath at Arlington.

Staying in D.C. and Maryland is amazingly fun! There is so much to do and so much history to see. So far we have gotten to see all of the memorials, the Holocaust Museum, Mount Vernon, Arlington, the National Zoo, and part of the Smithsonian museum, but there is still lots more to come.

We were also able to participate in a wonderful opportunity at Arlington National Cemetery. We got to be a part of the wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was really cool to do this! We talked to the guard and actually were able to place the wreath on the tomb. It was a great experience.

We are also participating in the NHD Nationals competition. Today we presented our project and it went really well. We have put a lot of effort into this project and it is really cool to see it make it this far! Finally all of our hard work has paid off. The project itself and sightseeing in D.C. are not the only fun things we've done. Button trading among other NHD competitors is also extremely fun!

We are so glad that we are here, and wish we could stay longer. Hopefully we will have a great rest of the trip and whatever happens, we've had an awesome and fun filled time.

Posted at 10:01 PM

Henry & John, Students from Wauwatosa

NHD 2008 Finals
John & Henry
after showing their
project to the judges.

Wow!!! Today was great Maryland is awesome, I went here with my family last year which was awesome but doing it for NHD has been a BLAST!!! The buttons are a great idea and are loads of fun I hope they keep on doing it! Me and my partner John, did a joint group documentary called "Turmoil in Tosa". The best part is we're going on to the final round! We are sooo sooooo sooooo sooo exited! We're going for 1st place!!! It's been really fun just going around campus and the food is great! Well were going to have even more fun tomorrow and the rest of our trip, so wish us luck!!! Henry, National Finalist

The finals, I actually made it to the finals! I'm so excited! I could actually win. We could be the next great documenters. I just hope that nothing will go wrong! What if the dvd does not play? What if the screen freezes? None of that will happen. I hope not. We did so much work for 1 year as did everyone. We all had to work on our project for a year. It was worth it.
John, National Finalist

This is an awesome experience. The students have learned so much and I am impressed by the level of expertise and talent the all share with us during their presentations. And I can';t believe my son made it to finals!!! Yet, I'm not surprised. The amount of time and effort John and Henry have put into their work has been immense. Now it's off to finals tomorrow!
Angie, Parent

Posted at 10:03 PM

Alex, Student from West Allis

NHD 2008 Finals
Alex and his group
perform for the judges.

D.C. is a lot of fun. We went to many locations yesterday. We went to the Old Post Office Pavilion and we went and looked at the planes flying by the Washington Monument. Pretty cool experiences today. We went to the pool today and it closed right as we got comfortable. I presented my project today and I think that we did good. Hopefully we get to go to Finals. Tomorrow are the Senior Division competitions and the Junior Finals. Go Team Wisconsin.

Posted at 10:04 PM

Olivia, Sister from Monroe

NHD 2008 Finals
Olivia shows her
Wisconsin pride with
a cheese crown.

Maryland is great! I am having so much fun!!! I love the button trading the most. I only need 10 more buttons! I am very proud of my sister for making it to nationals. She worked very hard on her exhibit.

So far I have seen the Lincoln Memorial with Hannah (big sister) and Claire (mom). I stood on the step "I Have A Dream" by Martin Luther King Jr. It was really cool !!!

Tomorrow me, Hannah and Claire are going to the White House for a tour. I am SO excited!!!!

-By Olivia, age 8

Posted at 10:05 PM

Adam, Student from Green Bay

NHD 2008 Finals
Adam prepares for
his performance about
Shoeless Joe.

Washington D.C. is an amazing place to be. When I woke up for the morning of my performance, I really wasn't extremely nervous. I just told myself "I've gotten this far and that was tough to do."

My suggestions for future NHD performers is to check out your room where you are presenting your project. Also, when you leave from your dorm with your props, or other things you take to your presentation, take the red Charter bus. At your room, it usually is crowded outside, so it might be a good idea to go off to a cool quiet corner and calm down. It was great to become Shoeless Joe again.

When I left my performance I went to the exhibits, which were really cool. they were all so different and about so many different topics! Then I saw my results on the T.V. I scanned for a person from Wisconsin, and saw none. I was sad at first but after awhile I was already thinking about next year's category, "Individual in History," and the dance. So all in all, it was a good day. I can't wait to do NHD for the next five years! I recommend it to anyone who likes history! It is just like they say, "it is not a day, it is an experience."

Posted at 10:06 PM

John, Teacher from Appleton

NHD 2008 Finals
John, Jennie, & Linda
smile after the performance.

Hello Wisconsin, Appleton and Kaleidoscope Academy! It's Monday and team Wisconsin made it through the first day of competition in one piece. We are really coming together as a team and pulling for each other. This is my first experience at the national competition and it has been a more successful and positive experience than I could have ever imagined! Jennie had an incredible performance and we are eagerly awaiting the results to see if she made the finals. Only 10 out of 100 make it to finals in any event and it is a great honor, but the real honor is to have qualified to be one of only 2500 students throughout the country (including our friends from Guam) that are participating at the 2008 NHD National Competition. There are only winners here.

We are scheduled to go to the capital tomorrow courtesy of our friend and congressman Steve Kagen and thanks to some very generous people from Random Lake, we will be going to the U.S. Holocaust Museum followed by a meet and greet with Senator Kohl.

We still have much of D.C. to visit including a viewing of the declaration and constitution and we will surely not get to see it all, but there is nothing that compares to getting up close to history with all of the passion and energy that this group brings with them. This is an experience I wish everyone could have!

Posted at 10:07 PM
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