National History Day 2011 Finals
Wednesday: Senior Division Final Judging
Senator Kohl with the
students and parents of
Wednesday was a day of sightseeing for many families and Team Wisconsin also attended a special evening reception at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History just for NHD finalists and their families! A highlight of the day was also a group meeting with Senator Herb Kohl. Our students shared their experience with NHD and asked the senator great questions about big issues in the world and those affecting our state. We were very proud!
Today was also the last day of competition, with the Senior final rounds being held this morning. Team Wisconsin's Senior Group Performance from Holmen really entertained the crowd and judges.
The Team has made fast friends with students from other states with our midwestern kindness. Students have shared evenings playing games and decorating the Team Wisconsin lounge to show their state spirit.
Tomorrow will bring an early morning with final team activities and the awards ceremony. We'll be back to share results then!
Posted at 4:50 PM
Breanna and Charles, Senior Group Performance, Holmen
Briana and Charles were
selected to perform in
the final round of judging.
Charles and Briana selected an NHD topic with not only a great theme connection, but also a strong connection to the history of their own state. Charles described their project as "A theatrical demonstration of the debate between different cultures in Wisconsin's nineteenth century history by the controversial Bennett Law, which attempted to provide compulsory English language education for all children in Wisconsin, and its long term effects on Wisconsin's history."
Briana and Charles looked at a wide variety of resources to form the foundation of their research, focusing on newspapers, articles, and a variety of government documents. As they pulled these materials together, they began to analyze the significance of the topic in history. "The Wisconsin Bennett Law of 1889 led to successes in education reform and decreased language barriers, but through misinterpretation resulted in failures of intra-cultural conflict and a loss of German culture."
According to Charles, completing this project has influenced his appreciation of current events. "Along with AP U.S. History, NHD has widely expanded my knowledge of our history. I am now able to connect current events to happenings in the past and I enjoy watching the news now because of my historical research."
Posted at 9:33 PM
Johanna and Mariah, Senior Group Exhibit, Grantsburg
Johanna and Mariah's
Senior Group Exhibit
Mariah and Johanna selected their topic for National History Day, the Sioux Uprising of 1862, for two strategic reasons. Not only did it fit the annual theme, "Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences," but it also captured their interest. "One of the most tragic events in American history took place three hours away from us, which caught our attention… [The Traverse des Sioux Treaty] permanently influenced Indian relations throughout the United States and led to the largest mass execution in American history. This occurrence should be something we learn from."
Mariah recalled that the best experience they had while creating their project the research. "We had a wonderful research day where my partner Jo and I, along with our two phenomenal teachers, took a trip through Minnesota and visited the historical spots dealing with our topic. We had many interviews and overall it was a wonderful and very beneficial experience."
The experience of conducting an in-depth investigation of a topic and creating an exhibit has enriched the lives of both Mariah and Johanna. "National History Day taught me that there is always more to learn and more than meets the eye. It has rewarded me with valuable research skills and a desire to learn more about everything."
Posted at 9:42 PM
John and Philip, Junior Group Website, Milwaukee
John and Philip
excited about their website.
For their junior group website, John and Philip chose to focus on the topic of strategic bombing during World War II. "We were already interested in it and had read multiple books on the subject. We also knew that there was a large amount of information to analyze, unlike some of the more obscure topics."
Researching this topic helped John and Philip to understand its significance in history. "It was one of the major strategies used by the Allies to aid in the defeat of the Axis powers. It cost hundreds of thousands of lives." Furthermore, John and Philip were able to understand the importance of looking at a topic from multiple points of view. "It is important in history because it is important to recognize what we did to other countries. Usually we focus on what they did to us."
John and Philips's project demonstrates the breadth of information they investigated and skills they have learned. From technical skills, like mastering the NHD Website Editor, to critical thinking skills, NHD has helped them to become better students. As John explained, "now I evaluate historical topics in more detail and form my own opinions about them"
Posted at 9:46 PM