On Saturday, March 7, with brisk temperatures but sunny skies, 61 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade Birchwood students traveled to University Circle to compete at the district level of the National History Day competition held at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland History Center. With a mixture of nervousness and excitement, students presented their projects to teams of judges and were evaluated on the historical quality of the projects, the connection to the theme of Breaking Barriers in History, and the overall quality of the presentation. The results were outstanding! Twenty-six students qualified to compete at the state competition with a total of 14 projects. The state competition will be held on April 25, 2020, at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Six projects earned special prize awards. The Shaker Historical Society awarded a prize to a local history project that addressed equality in Cleveland. Angela received that award for her documentary on Dr. Myra Merrick. The Cleveland Grays gave recognition to numerous projects on military history. Receiving the award were Siya and Aanya for their documentary on the Navajo Code Talkers, Qiwen Wu for her documentary on the Opium Wars, and Dilan, Ryan, and Omar for their website on the Tuskegee Airmen. The Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve gave multiple cash awards for excellent projects on local history. Receiving this award was Madeleine, for her exhibit on the Karamu House, and Angela for her documentary on Dr. Merrick.
In the nine project categories, Birchwood had place finishes in six of the categories. Birchwood swept three categories, beginning with group documentaries. Reyna and Naoki placed first with their presentation on Roberto Clemente, Omar and Eashan placed second with their documentary on the Ghost Army in WWII, and Aanya and Siya place third for their presentation on the Navajo Code-Talkers.
Sweeping the individual documentary category were Angela with a first place finish for her project on Dr. Myra King Merrick, Qiwen with a second place finish for her documentary on the Opium Wars, and Nik with a third place finish for his project on the Manhattan Project.
Birchwood also swept the group performance category. Placing first with their performance about Dolores Huerta were Sofia, Nasreen, and Camille. Earning a second place award for their performance about Japanese Internment was Fiona, Audrey, and Mariana. Placing third were Isabella, Su-Kyi, and Brooke for their portrayal of Nellie Bly, an investigative reporter from the late 1800s.
In group websites, Rebecca and Abby placed first with their focus on the Harlem Renaissance, and Dilan, Omar, and Ryan took second with their website on the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII.
In the individual exhibit category, Moriah received an honorable mention for her exhibit on Josephine Baker. She also will compete at the state competition.
The final category for Birchwood state qualifiers was the historical paper category. Areesha placed first with her paper on the discovery of penicillin, and Samy placed second with her paper on Frida Kahlo.
Congratulations to all these students and good luck at the state competition in April!