Chloe Felde poses next to her state qualifying exhibit on the O.J. Simpson trial.
Pictured are all of the JWMS students who qualified to participate in the National History Day state competition April in Madison.
4/6/2019 7:30:00 AM James Williams Middle School
announces National History Day state qualifiers
For the sixth year in a row, James Williams Middle School has qualified student historians for a trip to the state National History Day competition. Each year, seventh-grade students put deep historical research into a topic centered around a different historical theme, according to a School District of Rhinelander press release. "Students from other grades with strong historic curiosity also dive into the mysteries that surround a good topic. These students were part of a local competition held in February that qualified them for the regional competition held in Minocqua on March 23. Regional judging advanced them to the state contest in Madison on April 13."
This year, students selected topics that fit the annual them, Triumph and Tragedy in History.
Eighth grader Caleb Plamann will return to state on a team with Bryce Lundberg and Harley Reed in the website category. These three students took on the daunting challenge of an ancient topic, "Emperor Trajan and the Roman Empire." Judges were impressed they chose a topic that was so far in the past and that the group could still teach something new about the fall of Rome that they hadn't considered, the release states. This trio of students went back two millennia to find primary sources from the Roman Era, some of which conflicted with one another. Plamann says that a historian can't worry about being controversial because the interesting topics are those that can be interpreted different ways. Creating a website was a challenge because they had to bring together many media forms and still get their meaning across precisely within a 1,200 word limit.
Seventh-grade qualifiers this year include Alex Johnson, Chloe Felde, and Madeline Ketter.
Alex used the speeches of Civil Rights martyr Harvey Milk as primary sources in the first James Williams Middle School entry ever to qualify for state in the "Paper" category. Chloe Felde and Madeline Ketter created a state qualifying exhibit on the O.J. Simpson trial. The trial has already passed into history and was a solid match for the "Triumph and Tragedy theme."
All three of the seventh graders hope to complete a project next year when the annual theme is Breaking Barriers in History.
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