Booker Middle Students Place First In Florida History Fair

Booker Middle team will head to Washington for the National History Day competition.

Three students from in Sarasota received first-place honors in their category at the Florida State History Fair, held April 29-May 1 in Tallahassee.

Eighth-grade students Camille Armington, Kaley deLeon and Caitlin Gish were recognized in the Junior Division/Group Website for “Amelia Earhart: Aviator for Women's Rights.” The site explores the life of the aviation pioneer, whose plane disappeared during a flight in June 1937. The website includes a timeline, photo gallery, research paper and quotes about and by Earhart.

Visitors to the site can see a photo of the last letter Earhart wrote to her husband George Putnam before her final flight. “Please know that I am quite aware of the hazards,” she wrote. “Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” 

The students will advance to the national competition, which will be held during the National History Day event in Washington, June 10-14. Each year more than half a million students participate in the national event, which promotes history in the classroom by encouraging students to conduct original research about people, ideas and events of the past.

Participating students chose a topic and conducted research, using primary and secondary sources. They look through libraries, archives and museums, conduct oral history interviews and visit historic sites. After they analyze and interpret sources and draw a conclusion about the significance of their topic, they present their work in one of five ways: as a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary or a website.

Before competing at the state level, the team of Armington, deLeon and Gish participated in the Sarasota County History Fair March 20. Their website received the first-place award in the Junior Division/Group Website at the local event.

Other Sarasota County winners at the state level were Christa Koppuzha and Linden Mullins of Pine View School, which won third place, Senior Division/Group Exhibit, for “Against the Man: Student Protest Movement Under the New Left,” and Emily Grubbs of Pine View, whose Senior Division/Individual Exhibit, “The 1920s Women’s Fashion Revolution in America,” took the Outstanding County Award.


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