Joe Brown, Connor Hill, Daniel Hein, and Calvin Brooks, sixth grade students from Poultney Elementary School, have qualified for the National History Day competition.
Two others finished first in the Vermont History Day competition at Spaulding High School in Barre last week.
In order to qualify for National History Day, students must finish in first or second place in the state and earn a rating of "excellent "or "superior" from a panel of judges.
This year's theme will focus on Innovations in History: Impact and Change. The selection process involved 101 students at regional and state levels. National History Day will take place at the University of Maryland June 13-17.
Calvin Brooks and Daniel Hein placed first with a score of "superior" in the junior group Web site category for their project titled, "J. Robert Oppenheimer: Inventor of the Atomic Bomb." Brooks and Hein also won the Calvin Coolidge Award.
"I enjoyed studying more about the atomic bomb," said Brooks.
Joe Brown and Connor Hill cinched second with a score of "superior" in the group documentary category titled, "The Slate Trimming Machine: An Innovation that has Stood the Test of Time." Brown and Hill won a prize for best use of primary sources on a project dealing with the history of labor of Vermont.
"It was a great experience to learn about a topic that involves our hometown and one I hadn't really studied before," said Brown, "I also loved learning about new technology."
Hill said, "I enjoyed the project because the slate industry is very important to our local economy. I also enjoyed working closely with the museum educator at the Slate Valley Museum."
Jade Morrissey and Jayden Santos took home first place in the group performance category with a score of "good" for their play, "The Invention of Photography: Capturing Memories Forever."
The students strongly believe that attending the National History Day Contest will contribute to education in a way few experiences can. Such a contest is an exceptional opportunity for the students to hone their historical research, critical thinking, and analytical skills while meeting with students from across the U.S., as well as Guam, American Samoa, and Europe.
The qualified students need to raise approximately $3,000 to cover the cost of the trip. Although they will be sponsoring a few fundraisers, they will appreciate any donations.
For information on donations, please contact Keith Harrington at Poultney Elementary School at 802-287-5212.