National History Day

National History Day

From left to right, Middle School Principal Amy Watkins, WHS Trustee Neil Horner, participating students Evan Mariyappa, Mason Hastings, Natalie Schreder, and Andrew Brozek, and the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Project Challenge Teacher, Peggy Jorgensen.

Regional award-winning Middle School Project Challenge students were celebrated at the Weston Historical Society on May 4th, 2014 with their “Rights and Responsibilities” presentations in connection with National History Day.

After completing their independent research and completing their presentations students from Peggy Jorgensen’s Project Challenge classes participated in a regional National Day competition held at Fairfield University on March 15. Twelve of these students, representing six projects — four brief videos, one performance piece, and one essay — stood out and these students won a chance to participate in the Connecticut State competition. They are:

Noelle Mendelson, Elephant Rights.

The documentary explores the work of those involved in saving and protecting rapidly diminishing elephant herds and includes the perspective of the poachers. (Documentary. Awarded 1st place)

Owen Tanzer, Faith Healing.

Some Pentacostalists have rejected medical care in favor of prayers, oils, and sometimes exorcisms. Might they be considered guilty of negligence and homicide? This performance explores the rights and responsibilities of those involved. (Performance. Awarded 1st place.)

Alex Nordlinger and Roman Scavone, Gun Rights.

A documentary about the right to bear arms and how it has been contested over the years. Both sides of the argument are explored. (Documentary. Awarded 3rd place.)

Doran Sekaran, Homestead Steel Strike.

The impact of an American industrial lockout and strike in 1892 that culminated in a battle between strikers and private security agents. (Paper. Awarded 3rd place.)

Brendan Moore, Beck Reiferson, and Tobey Bill. Pentagon Papers.

During the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsberg, a Pentagon employee, leaked secret documents to the press, resulting in a major test of the freedom of the press. (Documentary. Awarded 1st place.)

Mason Hastings, Andrew Brozek, Evan Mariyappa, and Natalie Schreder, Underground Railroad.

This documentary describes the system of safe havens that arose to help runaway slaves in the 1860’s. One of the stations was in Weston. (Documentary. Awarded 2nd place.)

Subsequently, two of these WMS teams won top honors in the Connecticut contest held on April 28, and will go on to present their work at the nationals. They are Alex Nordinger and Roman Scavone, who won first place for their video on Gun Rights and Brendan Moore, Beck Reiferson and Tobey Bill, who won second place for The Pentagon Papers.

This event represents another example of the cooperation that has evolved between the Weston Schools and the Society.

Click here to view Video of presentations.