National History Day State Qualifiers
by Dana Serum
A group of three E-S students are set to compete at a state competition on April 25 in Madison for their National History Day Competition documentary project.
Juniors Kate Kensmoe, Josie Olson and Anna Schoen decided to do their project on the Leadership and Legacy of Helen Keller.
“We were looking for something inspiring, maybe a woman figure,” Olson said. “We have learned a lot about Keller’s amazing obstacles. She is a huge role model; She intrigued us.”
The ladies iMovie documentary project explained Keller’s leadership, life background and all of her accomplishments, and featured lots of pictures and video footage of Keller. The team also spoke with Women’s Studies Specialist Susan Crutchfield (of La Crosse) for information on Keller.
The team said in the first round of competition at the Eleva Strum Central High School, they had a few audio issues.
“It could’ve been louder, and we had a few voice hiccups,” Schoen said. “But it went well; we will keeping make adjustments.”
For the regional competition in La Crosse on March 30, The junior girls, along with eight other E-S students participated in competition (Alyssa Miland and Paige Monson are middle schoolers who competed in the Junior division. Ben Krochmalski and Matt Tonn, both Sophomores, created an exhibit dealing with the Sauk Native American Black Hawk. Mackenzie Hutchins, Riley Weltzien and Megan McLean created an exhibit examining Seymour Cray and his contributions to the computer industry. Gabe Gullicksrud made a documentary charting the progress of the Strum Grocery Store, Robbes).
The girls had an unforeseen circumstance, as team member Kate Kensmoe was sick after returning from the E-S Spain Field Trip on March 29. Olson and Schoen had to present without her.
“Afterwards, we were interviewed by the judges and spoke one on one about adjustments,” Olson said, leaving La Crosse as the single team to advance to state from E-S.
Social Studies Teacher Scott Dyar said he could not be more excited for the team to exhibit their documentary, adding this is the third consecutive year that Eleva-Strum has had students selected to advance to the State Competition with documentaries.
“It is a great opportunity for them to demonstrate their academic skills and of course a chance to progress on to the National exhibition in Maryland is a big thrill,” Dyar said. “These students are representing us very well.”
Dyar added what students may have felt was just a class assignment, has now become a vehicle for unique and important opportunities.
“I think that their documentary is one of the best student works I have seen,” Dyar said. “Their research early on, teamwork and creativity has really paid off.
The team members also are ready and excited to compete, with everyone healthy again.
“We are really excited to moving on to state,” Kensmoe said. “We all put a lot time and effort into the project and hard work really paid off.”
From previous experience, Dyar said that he knows state competition is strong.
“These ladies have a great film and I believe they have a real chance to advance,” Dyar said.