Students come together for National History Day competition

Students come together for National History Day competition

HOUGHTON — Students in the Copper Country celebrate National History Day with a competition. ABC 10’s Amanda L’Esperance has the story.

Five schools from the Copper Country participated in this year’s History Day competition. Middle and high school students from Houghton, Hancock, Calumet, Lake Linden and Jeffers created historical research projects to be presented across various mediums. Some students arranged their work in a display, while others opted for essays, documentaries, websites and short plays. Dr. Jonathan Robins is a history professor at Michigan Tech and has helped coordinate History Day for the past 3 years.

Robins said, “We think it gives students a great place to showcase their work and to participate in some non–traditional forms of historical work. It’s not just writing papers, it’s developing multi–media projects, developing plays. And it gives, particularly our local students, an opportunity to get into archives and deal with local historical topics if they want.”

Some projects will be selected to compete at the state level in Bay City. Winners from that competition will go on to nationals in Washington, D.C.

Sophie Rowe is a senior at Houghton High School who’s competed at the national level before. This year, her team’s documentary on the Armenian Genocide has qualified them for states.

Rowe said, “I think it’s honestly a really great experience. It really gets you out there to do research on something that you think is really interesting and present it to different people in an exciting and interesting way. It’s a good way to get yourself out there, to meet new people at the different competitions and it’s a lot of fun. We’ve all had a great time with it.”

About 30 students who participated in this year’s History Day have qualified for the state competition.


Competition Results

Students, competing individually or in groups in two divisions (junior for grades 6-8 and senior for grades 9-12) competed on Saturday 20 Feb. 2016 at Michigan Tech in the Michigan History Day District 1 competition.  Over 90 students and 41 projects were judged for their historical content, presentation, and relation to this year’s theme, “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.”

The 21 entries listed below were awarded finalist status and are eligible to compete in Michigan’s state finals, to be held in April in Bay City.  Finalists also have been invited to display their entries at the Carnegie Museum in Houghton in May. We congratulate all the participants and look forward to next year’s competition, March 4, 2017 at Michigan Tech.

—Profs. Steve Walton and Jon Robins, Dept. of Social Sciences, Michigan Tech.

Michigan History Day – District 1 2016 Finalists

Junior Individual Paper
Irene Ra, Robert F. Kennedy:  An Encounter, Exploration, and Exchange in His Aspiration for Civil Rights, Houghton-Portage Township Middle School

Junior Group Exhibit
Brenna Hill, Mara Pietila, Henry Ford The Man Who Put America On Wheels, Jeffers High School
Brooke Heinonen, Dayna Johnson, Marissa Nordstrom, James Naismith Inventor of Basketball, Jeffers High School

Junior Group Performance
Lillian Pesola, Mary “Kate” Desrochers, Jane Goodall’s Journal, Houghton-Portage Township Middle School

Senior Individual Documentary
Eva Nemiroff, The Entity of Hannah Senesh, Houghton Portage Township High School
Hayley Williams, The Age of Sail, Calumet High School

Senior Individual Exhibit
Mitchell DeLong, Jesse Owens, Calumet High School

Senior Individual Paper
Emily Koszykowski, The North Pole Controversy: Who Discovered it First?, Houghton Portage Township High School
Kaleigh Miller, Jingo’s Exploration, Encounters, and Exchanges with Her Finnish Heritage, Lake Linden-Hubbell High School
Morgan Colling, The Tale of Genji: A Ripple in History, Houghton Portage Township High School

Senior Individual Website
Isaiah Sutinen, Steve Wozniak, Calumet High School
Laura Lyons, Jacque Cousteau, Lake Linden-Hubbell High School
Paige Solmonson, Wolf and moose populations on Isle Royale, Lake Linden-Hubbell High School

Senior Group Documentary
Abby Mauno, Marissa Labyak, Megan Bugni, Apollo 11- Exploration into Space, Houghton Portage Township High School
Cynthia Naber, Nicholas Oberto, Phoebe Hu, Sophie Rowe, The First Modern Genocide, Houghton Portage Township High School

Senior Group Exhibit
Abby Woodford, Katie Bershing, Lana Alaraje, Little Rock Nine: One Step Towards Justice, Houghton Portage Township High School
Audrey Levanen, Tori Alholinna, Australia: “Terra Nullius” “No Man’s Land”, Hancock Central High School
Karmyn Polakowski, Lindsay Sandell, Elizabeth Blackwell: The Gateway to Women in Medical Science, Houghton Portage Township High School

Senior Group Website
Ai Hui Yap, Grace Liu, Napas Phadungmatrwaragul, Prepsa Ghimire, Exploration, Encounter & Exchange: The Silk Road and Cultural Exchange, Houghton Portage Township High School
Aubrey Redinger, Chloe Haataja, Rebecca Smith, For the Greater Good?, Houghton Portage Township High School
Celia Peterson, Heidi Patrick, Ellis Island, Calumet High School