WARSAW — One Warsaw Community High School National History Day individual project and two Edgewood Middle School group projects will advance to represent the state of Indiana at the national contest in June.
The 2021 national contest will be held virtually.
Students entering the NHD contest can choose to enter as an individual or as a group. There are five categories: paper, performance, documentary, exhibit and website. Students develop a thesis and use primary and secondary sources to support their argument. All students write a process paper of 500 words or fewer, and answer questions on how they chose their topic, how it related to the theme, how they created their project, how they conducted research, and how their topic was significant in history.
Each year, National History Day uses a theme to provide a lens through which students can examine history. The 2020-21 theme is ‘Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.’ All contests this year were conducted virtually. Unlike in previous years, there were no interview portions for the contest. Despite these necessary temporary shifts, Warsaw Community Schools’ students excelled again.
The Edgewood group project earning first place for Indiana in the documentary category is Finley Bailey, Caleb Deuel, Robinson Hoffert and Wyatt Stapleton. These eighth-grade students produced, filmed and edited a nine-minute and 53-second documentary titled ‘Singing for Change: The Power of Music in the Civil Rights Movement.’
“The most important thing I learned from NHD this year was how powerful music can be in movements or in protests,” said Hoffert. “It can be used as a tool when you’re in a crisis or you can instantly be happy when you listen to your favorite song. I would like to think the parents who helped so much by encouraging us and helping us. I would also like to thank my teammates. I wouldn’t want any other group than Finn, Caleb and Wyatt. Last year when we made our first documentary on Jackie Robinson, that was fun. This year was just as fun.”
“I learned the importance of music in movements and for moral support,” said Bailey. “I would like to thank Mr. Matt Deuel and Mr. Richard Rooker.”
“The most important thing I learned in NHD was that without the power of music, civil rights would have not been the same,” said Stapleton. “I would like to thank my friends and the group I worked with.”
The Edgewood group earning second place for Indiana in the category of websites is Brianna Bencze, Tatum Bergan, Trai Davis and Camden Lennox. These eighth-grade students built a website that uses multimedia to communicate their historical argument, research and interpretation of their topic’s significance in history. Their website was titled ‘Hedy Lamar: The Secret Communication System.’ The Edgewood group earning third place in the exhibit category is Abigail Nicholas and Lauren Wallen. Their exhibit is titled ‘The Diary of Anne Frank.’
Representing WCHS, three former Lakeview students also achieved incredible success. Abigail Rahn, Class of 2022, competed in the Individual Paper category. Rahn’s piece is titled ‘Shackling Sermons: How the Pseudo-Christian Communication of Proslavery Preachers Fueled the South’s Defense of Slavery.’ Rahn took first place and will move on to represent Indiana at nationals. This was Rahn’s third year entering the NHD contest. Her favorite part about it is the research.
“I really enjoy learning about a topic and understanding different perspectives from different time periods,” said Rahn. “I’d like to thank Bethany Hrachovec from NHD Indiana for helping me with valuable feedback to learn the best way to communicate my argument.”
Also in the Class of 2022, Rebekah Harrison took third place in the Individual Paper category with a paper titled ‘Jim Crow Laws: Communicating Inferiority Across Generations.’ This is also Harrison’s third year. Her favorite part is being able to explore her topic and find sources that she didn’t know existed.
“I’d like to thank Mrs. Mandy Bailey, WCHS, for helping me process the feedback from judges and navigate the critique to find something helpful and improve my paper to compete at the next level,” said Harrison.
Raquel Brouwer, a current WCHS freshman, competed in the Individual Performance category and earned third place recognition at state. Brouwer was also awarded The Women’s History in Indiana Prize, sponsored by the Indiana Women’s History Association. Brouwer first competed in NHD as a seventh grade student at Lakeview, so this is also her third year. Her favorite part is being able to share her research with her peers.
“It was difficult with the contest being virtual this year because I really enjoyed learning from my peers when we’d travel to regional and state contests,” said Brouwer. “I’d like to thank Jonnie Fox, state coordinator for NHD in Indiana, who supported me throughout and sent me information so I could see posted showcases and continue to learn virtually from peers across the state.”
Each student thanked their parents for their involvement and support.