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 email@example.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.”