Two Barnum students made history March 29 when — in the small school’s first year participating in History Day — Emma Koski and Adam Karlstedt qualified at the regional competition to take their projects to the State History Day competition May 3 at the University of Minnesota campus in the Twin Cities.
For the History Day, students choose a topic that relates to an annual theme (“Rights and Responsibilities” this year), then they research that topic, and develop their research into one of five presentation categories: research paper, exhibit, documentary, performance, or website. Koski created an exhibit board on women’s voting rights. Karlstedt chose to make a website on the topic of Henrietta Lacks (visit his website online at http://97548185.nhd.weebly.com), an African-American woman who was unknowingly the source of cancer cells, which were replicated and sold by George Otto Gey to create the first known human immortal cell line for medical research.
Sarah Andrews teaches 10th grade U.S. History at Barnum High School and mentored Koski and Karlstedt and other participating students.
It was something Andrews had wanted to do since she started her career in education, noting that History Day teaches students important research and English skills and something more.
“It also gives Barnum students a chance to participate in something that is ‘bigger’ than Barnum,” Andrews said in an email to the Pine Journal. “It is a nationwide competition where students have the chance to win college scholarships. It also gives them a chance to see what other schools and students are doing throughout the area and the state. Not many high schools participate in this contest in the Northeast Region so our students have an incredible opportunity to make it to the state level and experience an event that celebrates learning and, let's not forget, to represent Barnum Schools!”
If students do well at State, they will advance to National History Day held in Washington, D.C. Andrews said Karlstedt is looking forward to the state competition, although Koski has decided not to attend.
Andrews said all the students worked very hard on their individual projects, some which were on display during spring conferences this week.
“This event also provides an opportunity for our students who want to challenge themselves academically and perhaps push themselves more than what is possible in the classroom,” Andrews said.