Vergennes students tuned in to Vermont history

MONTPELIER — On April 8, more than 300 students from around the state gathered at Montpelier High School to participate in the state’s annual Vermont History Day. Students were tasked with researching and presenting a topic relating to this year’s theme, “Taking a Stand.”
Vergennes Union Middle School Students Adam Clark and Jarret Muzzy came in first place in the junior group exhibit category for their exhibit, “Lucy Terry Prince.” The two were also awarded the Deborah Pickman Clifford Vermont Women’s History Prize for an outstanding entry focusing on a Vermont woman.
Clark and Muzzy will represent Vermont at National History Day in Maryland on June 11-15.
Vergennes Union High School student Ian Gramling will also be representing Vermont at National History Day for his second place win in the senior individual exhibit category for his exhibit, “The Winter War: Finland defies the Soviet Juggernaut.”
Also taking home a prize were Ferrisburgh Central School students Sam Michaels and Henry Anderson, for their exhibit on Bernie Sanders. Michaels and Anderson won the Vermont History Award for demonstrating outstanding use of primary sources.
Other local students competing at History Day were Vergennes Union Elementary School students Evan Rakowski, Carlyn Rapoport and Morgan Hurlburt, and VUMS student Ryley Olsen. These students all competed in the junior individual exhibit category and their topics were as follows: “Theodor Geisel’s Fight for the Environment and Against Nazis” by Evan Rakowski, “Benedict Spinoza: Crusader of Free Beliefs,” by Morgan Hurlburt, “Helen Keller: Champion of the Disabled” by Carlyn Rapoport, and “Joan of Arc: Fighting the French,” by Ryley Olsen. The adult advisors for the students included Rebecca Coffey, Melissa Muzzy, Josh Brooks and Kathy Douglas.
Vermont History Day is open to Vermont students in grades five through 12 and home study students ages 10 to 18. This educational program is designed to encourage students to develop research and critical thinking skills through the study of history. Students spend months researching their project, writing a process paper, and creating their exhibit.
On the day of the event, the students are interviewed by a panel of judges and their exhibits are scored based on a combination of the interview and how well their exhibit visually represented their research while addressing the year’s theme.
Students can also chose to enter a research paper, performance, documentary or website.

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