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Students Take First Prizes at DC National History Day
April 14, 2017
Several Real World History students competed this April at DC’s National History Day: Diamond Taylor, Esmeralda Gutierrez, and Jourdan Hilton each presented an individual exhibit display on Edward R. Murrow; while Mecca Hussein, Rudeimi Basora, and Kendall Parks worked together on a performance about the 1963 March on Washington. Four students — Diamond and the performance team — won first place in their respective categories.
Students incorporated this year’s contest theme, Taking a Stand in History, into their projects. They were evaluated according to their ability to “push past the antiquated view of history of mere facts and dates and drill down into historical content to develop perspective and understanding.”
Inspired by the theme, the three student performers incorporated songs and original poetry to link the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s to Black Lives Matter. One judge was impressed by the students’ “great passion and thought in their performance.”
The students’ internships through Real World History allowed them to connect their research to experiences in and outside of the classroom. All three performers were able to engage with Park Rangers through their internships on the National Mall. Meanwhile, Diamond’s internship enabled her to utilize the Newseum as a resource for her project on Edward R. Murrow.
The four students will move on to compete with nearly 3,000 students from all over the world at the National Contest in June.
As DC’s only credit citywide, credit-bearing course, Real World History deepens Inspired Teaching’s commitment to engagement-based education by connecting academic coursework with relevant internships for high school students across DC. Since the Fall of 2014, Real World History students have built their skills as historians in class while simultaneously immersing themselves as interns at historic institutions across DC, including: the Anacostia Museum, Mary McLeod Bethune House, Congressional Cemetery, Frederick Douglass House, Library of Congress, President Lincoln’s Cottage, National Archives and Records Administration, National Building Museum, National Museum of American History, National Park Service (at the National Mall), National Portrait Gallery, Charles Sumner Museum & Archives, Tudor Place, Woodrow Wilson House, and the Carter G. Woodson House.
Mecca Hussein, Rudeimi Basora, and Kendall Parks won for their performance about civil rights movements, which included song and original poetry.
Diamond Taylor presented her individual exhibit on Edward R. Murrow, incorporating political cartoons, photographs, and articles.