ARM­STRONG

Starkville Daily News - - AROUND TOWN -

sites and doc­u­men­taries. All projects had to fit into the theme of “con­flict and com­pro­mise.” This is the sec­ond year stu­dents from Arm­strong will par­tic­i­pate in the com­pe­ti­tion. While in Wash­ing­ton, the stu­dents will also be able to tour many mu­se­ums, mon­u­ments and other landmarks.

“You make a his­tory project, and it has to fol­low along with a theme each year,” said eighth grader April Guo-Yue. “This year's theme was con­flict and com­pro­mise, and our group chose to do (a doc­u­men­tary on) the ping-pong diplo­macy.”

April worked with a small group to pro­duce a doc­u­men­tary

on “ping-pong diplo­macy,” an ex­change be­tween Amer­i­can and Chi­nese ping-pong play­ers in the 1970s, which some schol­ars say helped ease Cold War ten­sions be­tween the two coun­tries and paved the way for a visit by Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon.

The group in­ter­viewed sev­eral East Asian his­to­ri­ans in Mis­sis­sippi to cre­ate their project.

April, who also par­tic­i­pated in the com­pe­ti­tion last year, de­scribed some of her ex­pe­ri­ences there.

“You get to meet many peo­ple from all around the world,” April said. “It makes you ap­pre­ci­ate his­tory a lot more than usual.”

In ad­di­tion to April, stu­dents hon­ored in­clude Jes­sica Yan, Soyeon Park and Amy Zhang, who cre­ated the doc­u­men­tary, Giles Jones and Max Feng, who cre­ated

a web­site, Alan Meng, who cre­ated another web­site and Mikaela Young, who wrote a re­search pa­per.

So­cial stud­ies teacher Craig Wood fur­ther ex­plained the com­pe­ti­tion, go­ing into de­tail about the re­quire­ments for stu­dents' Na­tional His­tory Day projects.

“It's a re­search-based thing with a lot of his­tory ba­sis for it,” Wood said. “They have to un­der­stand what a pri­mary source is, a sec­ondary source, how to do bib­li­ogra­phies. There's a lot of skills in­volved in it that a sixth grader nor­mally doesn't have.”

Wood said the group had grown over the three years Arm­strong stu­dents had par­tic­i­pated, with two qual­i­fy­ing the first year, six qual­i­fy­ing in 2017 and seven go­ing this year.

“This year we have a doc­u­men­tary go­ing, we

have a group web­site,” Wood said. “Last year we had a per­for­mance, a web­site and a re­search pa­per, so the kids pick many dif­fer­ent ways to do it.”

Wood also em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of keep­ing the pro­gram as open as pos­si­ble, leav­ing room for stu­dents across the en­tire school to en­ter projects.

The group is also seek­ing do­na­tions from the com­mu­nity for their trip. For more in­for­ma­tion, email starkvil­lenhd@gmail.com. Do­na­tions are tax de­ductible.

“Last week we did a huge garage sale to help raise money, and thank­fully a bunch of peo­ple do­nated to it,” Wood said. “We made a good bit, but we still need funds so the kids won't have to pay for any­thing when we get there.”

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