History Day: Vancouver students win state, compete in nationals

History Day: Vancouver students win state, compete in nationals

Washington State Archives Southwest Regional Archivist Tracy Rebstock proudly announces that the state’s top Junior Division 2018 History Day project comes from Pleasant Valley Middle School in Vancouver.

Washington’s History Day is an annual contest conducted by National History Day, a nonprofit organization that engages students and teachers from across the United States to do original research on a topic of their choice and present it as a project.

Original research on historical topics is right up the State Archives’ alley. Archives strives to help students do the best research possible and create excellent projects. Over half a million students in the U.S. participate each year.

This year’s History Day theme was Conflict and Compromise. Eighth-graders Jaxon Lewis, Logan Bigelow, and Lucas Braunschweig designed and created a website for their project Compromise, Key to Success: James Reed Ellis and METRO.

Here’s the thesis of the project, from their website:

In the 1950s, Seattle-area cities were in conflict with their surrounding waters. Every day, communities dumped 20 million gallons of untreated waste into Lake Washington. James Reed Ellis harnessed post-World War II civic spirit to create METRO, the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle. METRO cleaned up Lake Washington and Puget Sound. Through compromise — everyone had a say; everybody got something — civic projects transformed the region.

On Thursday, May 31, Rebstock and Deputy State Archivist Terry Badger traveled to Pleasant Valley Middle School, of Battle Ground Public Schools, to watch the students present their website. The archivists presented Lewis, Bigelow, Braunschweig, and their teacher, Irene Soohoo with the Washington State Archives Regional/Local Research Award.

The students qualified for State Finals, where the trio would take first place and advance to Nationals, and received framed certificates signed by Secretary of State Kim Wyman and State Archivist Steve Excell.

The class was full of students enthusiastic about history, so Rebstock told them about next year’s contest, which will have the theme Triumph and Tragedy.

The boys went on to earn seventh place in the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Other History Day special recognitions

Recipient of the 2018 Washington State Archives Regional/Local Research Award:

Bailey Peite — Senior Division, individual documentary

School: Delta High School (Pasco – Richland), West Richland

Project title: “Embracing Diversity through Compromise: Saving Indian Culture: The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975”

Teacher: David Blacketer


Recipients of the 2018 State Archivist’s Awards:

Christine Ye — Junior Division, individual exhibit

School: Evergreen Middle School, Sammamish

Project title: “Suffrage in Washington: Campaigning through Chaos”

Teacher: Nicole Kesler

Andra Sipos, Eden Saunders, Sravya Ganti, and Yueyan Zhao — Senior Division, group performance

School: International Community School, Redmond

Project title: “The Boldt Decision: A Judge’s Vision that Inspired Native American Treaty Rights Recognition”

Teacher: Aleksandra Fraleigh

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