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Students ‘Take a Stand in History’ during annual competition

Farmington+High+students+compete+at+the+statewide+National+History+Day+competition+in+Albuquerque.
Farmington High students compete at the statewide National History Day competition in Albuquerque.

Farmington High students compete at the statewide National History Day competition in Albuquerque.

Courtesy phtoto

Courtesy phtoto

Farmington High students compete at the statewide National History Day competition in Albuquerque.

Serena Mckibben, Staff writer

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Recently, 12 Farmington High School students traveled to Albuquerque to compete in the state National History Day competition.

NHD sponsor Erin Gockel described the competition as being “… like science fair but for history.”

Students choose a topic or person they feel has had an impact on history and relates to the current year’s theme. This year’s theme was “Taking a Stand in history.”

Example projects from FHS included women’s suffrage, Adeline Otero Warren, Emmeline Pankhurst, Muhammad Ali, and Rosa Parks

Students then work by themselves or with a partner to create a documentary, paper, exhibit, website, or performance.

By participating in NHD, students become writers, filmmakers, web designers, playwrights and artists as they create unique contemporary expressions of history.  Students learn critical thinking, problem solving skills, research and reading skills, all while building self esteem and confidence.

For many of the FHS students that went to the state competition this was their first year competing in NHD.

Keely Stockholm placed third in individual performance. Sierra Martinez won the Chicano Culture Award and Tiffany Hood and Mikaela Dart won the Women’s History Project award.

“I wrote a historical for my project on the Mirabal Sisters. They were three sisters who lived in the Dominican Republic. Throughout their short lives, they inspired a nation to break free from the rule of the dictator Rafael Trujillo,” explained Sierra Martinez. “I chose to write a paper because words have always come easy to me.”

Martinez said she enjoys competing in National History Day because it gives her a sense of belonging.

“Whenever I compete, I have the opportunity to communicate with the other students around me that share the same interests,” she said.

Martinez was inspired by the books, “In The Time of the Butterflies,” by Julia Alvarez, which was a summer reading option for last summer.

“I think that research is one of the best lifelong skills anyone can have,” Gockel explained when asked the importance of NHD. “By allowing students to choose their topic and category, students are able to practice those important research and critical thinking skills.”

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Students ‘Take a Stand in History’ during annual competition