Real World History students win first and second place at the DC History Day competition

April 1, 2016

(The photo above shows two Real World History students with alumni from Eastern High School whom were interviewed as part of the students’ History Day projects) (Photo credit: Kien Nguyen/Center for Inspired Teaching)

This March, at DC’s History Day competition, two Real World History students, Bijion and Essence, won first place in the group exhibit category for their display about the Great Migration. This category was the most competitive division at this year’s DC competition, including more than 20 entries from students citywide. Having won the DC-level competition, Bijion and Essence will now advance to the national competition. These young scholars also won the award for the best use of oral history for their exhibit, which includes excerpts from the Real World History interviews they conducted with senior black Washingtonians who were part of the Great Migration.

national-history-day-logoTwo other Real World History students, Phillip & Mattie, won second place for their group performance about the 1968-69 Modern Strivers. The Modern Strivers were a group of high school students who were frustrated with the traditional Eurocentric education being offered to them at Eastern High School (DCPS). They adopted the name “Modern Strivers” and formed their own school called the Freedom Annex. Phillip and Mattie interviewed a score of Eastern alumni as part of their research and a number of those alums showed up to cheer them on at the citywide competition.

Supported by DC Public Schools; Capital City Public Charter School; the SEED School of Washington, DC; EL Haynes Public Charter School; Maya Angelou Public Charter School; and Next Step Public Charter School, Real World History, is DC’s first citywide course, piloting a new way to gauge high school success, providing a blueprint for 21st century teaching and learning that can be shared with visiting educators, policymakers, and community leaders from across the city.

Students enrolled in Real World History are educated in the classroom and through practical internships 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.

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