Three Chanhassen High School seniors — Jake Williams, Thomas Ramsey and Josh Dorion — earned honorable mention at the Minnesota History Day Senior Group Documentary division for the second consecutive year.
The trio were also recognized as winners of the Senior Global Studies award.
Every year 27,000 Minnesota students across the state participate in History Day with competition season kicking off in March. With the arrival of COVID-19 this spring, MNHS History Day staff quickly realized that in-person regional competitions, which gather thousands of students, parents and judges together, weren’t going to be possible.
But rather than cancel, staff challenged themselves to something they’d never done before: shift the remainder of History Day competitions online.
"During this time of uncertainty and so many cancellations, it was important to us to continue to give students an opportunity to showcase their work," said Sammi Jo Papas, National History in Minnesota co-coordinator. "Students have spent countless hours on research and project creation. We wanted them to have the ability to share that effort with judges and show off their academic achievements."
State History Day kicked off April 24 with 350 judges hard at work looking at 721 projects from 133 schools across Minnesota.
"This year's National History Day Experience was different in a few different ways. First was the topic we chose. During the 2019 year we created a documentary about the economics of Germany during the second World War, which was a safer topic because it happened in a period of time that we had covered extensively in our school's history classes, so we were set for the historical contest," said Williams, a Chanhassen High School senior.
"This year, however, we aimed to pick a topic that we were not familiar with and did not have the historical context we had last year. We decided to go with India overcoming colonialism; looking at how India gained independence and how it went from a British colony to a new country and how the new Indian state established the foundations of its economy," he added.
Williams said after the first experience in 2019, in which the group was introduced to a few large scholarly databases, this year's project research was greater in "quantity and quality."
Other local qualifiers were:
- Chanhassen High School: Junior Individual Website - Twelve Days of Freedom: The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 (Kinga Szabo)
- Chanhassen High School: Senior Group Website - Cointelpro: The Government's Long History of Oppression (Helaina Shelby, Julia Gronholz, Sydney Hardek)
- Chaska Middle School East: Junior Group Documentary - Capturing Children To Free Them: Lewis Hine (Kailee Moger, Keely Sandness)
- Chaska Middle School East: Junior Group Documentary - The MMR Vaccine (Callie McCoskey, Emily Perez)
- Chaska Middle School East: Junior Group Documentary - The New Deal (Marissa Long, Olivia Hatfield)
- Chaska Middle School East: Junior Group Website - The Triple Nickels (Andrew Alldredge, Bennett Adams)
- Chaska Middle School East: Junior Individual Exhibit - Breaking Down Leukemia (Elizabeth Kaufmann)
- Chaska Middle School East: Junior Individual Website - Marital Rape is Rape: Oregon v. Rideout (Halle Browning)
- Chaska Middle School West: Junior Group Documentary - Duke Ellington and Music with Social Significance (Jin Hammond, Kyle O'Connor, Will Wentink)
- Chaska Middle School West: Junior Group Exhibit - Title IX (Ellie Betlock, Mia Johnson)
- Chaska Middle School West: Junior Group Performance - Curt Flood and the Letter That Broke the Reserve Clause (Austin Charbonneau, Brayden Windschitl, Gavin Uhlenkamp, J.T. Rathbun)
- Chaska Middle School West: Junior Group Performance - Joan Baez: Combining Profession with Passion (Savannah Larson, Zoey Myers)
- Chaska Middle School West: Junior Group Website Project - Man-High (Jennifer Pierson, Nora Ganske)
- Chaska Middle School West: Junior Individual Documentary - Little Rock Nine (Amanda Siemienas)
- Chaska Middle School West: Junior Individual Exhibit - Anita Hill (Hailey Goemer)
- Chaska Middle School West: Junior Individual Exhibit - The Invention of the Sewing Machine (Olivia Lenius)