TFE Students Compete in History Day Competition

Three Fires Elementary Students Compete in Michigan History Day Competition
Posted on 03/25/2022
Dominik Hoeft and Jude Starkey with their project board3/25/2022 - Five Three Fires Elementary fifth grade students recently competed in the district event for the annual Michigan History Day Competition. Kaitlyn Curnalia, Dominik Hoeft, Melody Madden, Megan Mazurek, and Jude Starkey competed against fourth and fifth grade students from several counties in Southeast Michigan. This year's competition was held digitally, with students uploading their work for judges to review and score. Four of the students, Curnalia, Hoeft, Madden, and Starkey, earned one of the top three spots in their category and age group, advancing them to the state competition.

This year's competition theme was Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences. After selecting a historical topic related to the theme, the students conducted research using primary and secondary sources to learn about their topic and then wrote a thesis statement, process paper, and an annotated bibliography. The students also had to create an exhibit to share with the judges. The students completed much of their work during lunch, recess, and after-school As they prepare for the state event, the students are using the comments they received from the judges at the district event to help improve their exhibits.

Hoeft and Starkey entered the group exhibit category of the competition. Curnalia, Madden, and Mazurek each entered the individual exhibit category of the competition.

Their project Hoeft and Starkey focused on the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence and the debate and diplomacy that went into creating the document. While Hoeft thought he knew a lot about the Declaration of Independence, this project allowed him to see how much more there was to learn.

Curnalia's selected topic was the construction of the Mackinac Bridge. She learned about the decades of debate that finally led to the bridge's construction during her research. One of her favorite parts of the project was creating her exhibit board.

For her project, Madden studied the work of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a topic that has always interested her. While she has always had an interest in Dr. King's work, completing the research for the competition allowed Madden to learn more about the topic.

Mazurek completed her project on the Battle of Yorktown, the final battle of the Revolutionary War. Mazurek selected the topic in part because her favorite musical "Hamilton" included a song about the battle. Mazurek enjoyed learning new facts about the battle as she completed her research.

The students worked on their projects under the direction and mentorship of Cheri Carroll, Three Fires Elementary fifth-grade teacher, and Blaney Bell, Three Fires Elementary student teacher.

While students who participate in Michigan History Day at the elementary level cannot advance past the state competition, all of the students have expressed interest in participating next year as sixth-graders in the hopes of advancing to the national competition, which is held annually in Washington D.C.

About the Michigan History Day Competition
Michigan History Day, an affiliate of National History Day sponsored by the Historical Society of Michigan, is a year-long educational program where students in grades fourth through twelfth grade pick a historical topic related to an annual theme, conduct original research using primary and secondary sources, analyze their findings and draw conclusions about topics of significance in history and create final projects to showcase their work. The projects, which include papers, documentaries, performances, exhibits, and websites, can be entered in a series of competitions from the local to the national level.
Kaitlyn Curnalia with her project Board Melody Madden with her project board.   Megan Mazurek with her project board.