This year's theme for National History Day is turning points. March 16 was a turning point in JFK Middle School history, as 23 students from the talented and gifted program competed in Manchester for the first time in 18 years. I cannot attest to the years 1969-1994, so I will be a respectable historian and stick to twhat I can document!
The challange this year for the TAG students was to pick a topic that represented a major turning point in human history. The students chose the group exhibit category and had to adhere to guidelines, including creating a process paper, a annotated works cited page, a thesis statement, and captions and pictures supporting their thesis statement. This is easier said than done!
Sixth graders Alex Krawiec, Julia Radziewicz, Skylar Steele, and Hannah Smith focused on Steve Jobs' disruptive innovation of touch screen technology. Zach Healy, Nick Steele, Matt Campo, and Jaquelyn Daigneau chose to do their group exhibit on Enfield's industrial revolution, namely Bigelow Carpet and Hazard Powder. Both topics drew praise from the judges.
Eighth graders Brian Ruel and Alex Jensen did their turning point topic on the atomic age, and the judges liked their mix of science and history. Ethan Shea and Kyle Chester had a good review on their global warming exhibit. Erica Lovering, Sara Prosinski, and Alessia Manzi's project focusing on America's fast food culture and the rise of obesity rates drew a lot of attention from the judges and the public.
Seventh graders Jeremy Comfry, Alaina Santos, Rose Garrow, and Kaylee Piotte created their exhibit around the jet engine and the rise of airlines, and received good reviews. Kevin Stroiney, Ashley Smith, Grace O'Neil, and Sydney Nash were able to place first in the junior group exhibit division, earning them a spot in the state finals at Central Connecticut State University on April 27. Their topic focused on the impact of irrigation on human history.
All TAG students worked very hard in preparation for Connecticut History Day. It was challenging, enjoyable, and eye-opening for them and me. We'll continue to 'make history' in future competitions.