Seven Peaks School 7th-grade Students Progress to National History Day Finals

Seven Peaks School 7th-grade Students Progress to National History Day Finals

Seven Peaks School is proud to announce five of our 7th graders will present their research at NHD Nationals in Maryland this June. The following students are recognized for their outstanding achievements in advancing to Nationals in these categories:

1st Place, Lauren Henry
1st Place, Casey Hicks
2nd Place, Eimear Erickson

1st Place, Hannah Miller
2nd Place, Chase Cofas

What’s National History Day? Each year, schools from across the nation participate in the cross-curricular event called National History Day (NHD). All Seven Peaks students in MYP 2 (7th Grade) participated in NHD, joining students across the state and over half a million 6-12 grade students nationwide conducting in-depth historical research to produce dramatic performances, exhibits, multimedia documentaries, papers, and websites based on an annual theme.

The theme for this year was Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.

“I’m nervous about presenting in front of so many people,” said Chase Cofas, whose website won second place and the Indigenous History Award. “but, at the same time, excited to have the opportunity,” Cofas said.

Seven Peaks has a proud history with National History Day; we have had many students find success participating in both the state-level and national-level competitions at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, near Washington, DC.

Seven Peaks’ middle years history teacher and NHD Lead, Patrick O’Brien, explains what this honor means to him:

“I warmly congratulate our Seven Peaks students who will represent our community by competing against other middle school students across the country at the National History Day competition in June. A special thank you to Dr. Kruer, who, like me, strives for a student-centered approach that empowers our students to become effective communicators, critical thinkers, and inquirers who gain more depth of knowledge through their student-led projects. I relish watching you gain awareness of your time-management and research while becoming responsible global citizens. Best of luck to all of you! You five have earned this experience and opportunity!”

This unique approach to learning history through NHD carries many benefits for our students. Rather than simply reading a textbook and memorizing dates, students learn interdisciplinary characteristics of historical study, further developing their strong International Baccalaureate skills. Best of all, they will do so while cultivating their own interests and talents. Learning outcomes for this unit included:

• Identifying and practicing strong digital citizenship.
• Using creative expression to interpret primary and secondary sources.
• Implementing effective research strategies.
• Developing critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills.
• Synthesizing ideas across disciplines.

When interviewing our 7th graders, the consensus was all around excitement for the opportunity to travel to Washington DC (for the first time), sharing the experience with their classmates while getting the opportunity to present their hard work on a larger stage.

A special thank you to our lead teachers, Megan Kruer and Patrick O’Brien who have a wide range of experience teaching history through this research-based approach and are very pleased at the efforts of all of our 7th-grade students.

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