ISLAND POND -- While all students at Brighton Elementary School worked hard on history day projects, three students took first prize at the Vermont State History contest on April 6 at Spaulding High School in Barre.
Bryan Lefebvre, Colby Worth and Mark Fauteux took first place in the Junior Division (grades 6-8) website category. These students created a website based on the Seoul Olympics of 1988 as a turning point in history. The website showed the enormous change in Korean economy, politics, culture, and overall way of life before and after the Olympic games of 1988.
These students would be the first to tell you about what they learned and all of the fun they had. In a quick interview with them, they told about what they learned. "We learned how to create a website, and how to tell if information online is credible or not."
Each boy seemed to take away something different, but they all noted, "We learned a lot about Korean history, and the 38th parallel."
"Which is the most guarded border in the world," Bryan added. In talking with them, it is obvious they are passionate about their topic and the website they personally created. Besides taking first place in the website category, Bryan, Colby and Mark also won the International Award, a cash award of $125 given to the best international project at the competition.
Brighton's sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students have been participating in the inquiry process in a variation of ways for the last few months. History Day is basically a science fair for history topics. Each project has a focus on original research, primary source analysis, the creation of a student or group project, and attention to the year's theme. This year the theme was "Turning Points" of events, people, or ideas throughout history. Entry categories include exhibits, historical papers, documentaries, or websites. Each project is formally judged and assessed by a panel of judges.
Their website will go through another round of editing in order to prepare for the national contest held in Washington D.C. in June. The boys still have a lot of work ahead of them, but they are excited for the challenge. They will be the first students to represent Brighton Elementary in Washington D.C. at the National History Day contest.
"As a community I hope we can rally behind them and give them the support they deserve," said their teacher, Tyler Willis.
Those interested in helping the students with fundraising efforts in any way can contact Willis at BES, (802) 723-4373. The website can be viewed at this link: http://66222739.nhd.weebly.com/38th-parallel.html.