SEED Students Take on National History Day

Teacher Bill Stevens shows off his signature arms-wide-open move in a group photo with students from the SEED Public Charter School following the in-school judging of National History Day projects.

Following the in-school judging of National History Day projects, teacher Bill Stevens shows off his signature arms-wide-open move in a group photo with students from the SEED School of Washington, D.C., a public charter school in Ward 7.

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week! Yesterday and today we’re posting about local teachers who champion the humanities in general and D.C. history specifically by partnering with the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

Teacher Bill Stevens, who has long brought his students to the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., this year required his juniors and seniors at the SEED School of Washington, D.C. to participate in National History Day. The students began by exploring the Historical Society’s online collections catalog in Fall 2014, before choosing a topic they would follow throughout the year.

Prior to coming for an in-person research session in the Kiplinger Research Library, Bill guided the students through the “pre-search” process, orienting them to the online catalog, the available subject and topical guides, and the steps that go into requesting specific material to be pulled. Once on-site, Research Services Librarian Laura Barry fielded the students’ pull requests and provided an in-depth orientation to the Library and collections, with a valuable assist by Historical Society member (and charter school teacher) Brian Rohal.

The students conducted research throughout the year and each completed a project that fit into one of five different categories of presentations (specifically, board exhibits, documentaries, live performances, websites, and papers). No matter the format, each project followed the 2014-2015 National History Day theme of “Leadership and Legacy in History.”

On April 29th, the SEED School of Washington, D.C. held its first-ever National History Day competition. Laura Barry and Library & Collections Director Anne McDonough, along with teachers, administrators and other professionals, joined Bill Stevens and his students for the school-wide competition. And while the topics ran the gamut, many focused specifically on issues and people closely tied to Washington, D.C. history, such as D.C. Emancipation Day; desegregation of D.C. public schools; the Scurlock Studio; the roll of jazz in integration; and local baseball’s Homestead Grays.

Congratulations are in order – to Bill, the entire SEED community, and to all who participated in the 2015 National History Project process. Following the day’s judging process, 22 students advanced to the city-wide competition, held at the National Archives on April 30 – and six of those students were chosen to compete in the national National History Day program, to be held in College Park, Md. June 14-18, 2015.

And here’s to next Fall’s visit to the Kiplinger Research Library by rising juniors and seniors at the SEED School of Washington, D.C.!

Judges for the school-wide competition included two representatives from the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

Judges for the school-wide competition included two representatives from the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

Sherrick Dunbar's web site, "The Scurlock Studio," addressed the impact of Addison Scurlock and his sons.

Sherrick Dunbar’s web site, “The Scurlock Studio,” addressed the impact of the work of Addison Scurlock and his sons. Sherrick went on to compete in the city-wide National History Day competition, held at the National Archives on April 30.

Delonte Cole and Isaiah Thomas's National History Day project was submitted in the website category, exploring the leadership and legacy of Abraham Lincoln.

Isaiah Thomas and Delonte Cole’s National History Day project was submitted in the website category, exploring the leadership and legacy of Abraham Lincoln.

Frances Blackmone's poster, "Desegregating Education in Washington DC,” built on research she conducted at Kiplinger Research Library.

Frances Blackmone’s poster, “Desegregating Education in Washington DC,” further developed research she conducted at Kiplinger Research Library. Frances advanced to the city-wide competition and will move on to the next round, at College Park, Md., on June 14-18. Frances’s classmates Dakoda daCosta, Tamiya Dunn, and Emmanuel Mack will also advance to Nationals.

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Bill Stevens, center, coordinated the judging process in addition to shepherding his students through the entire National History Day endeavor.

Bill Stevens and his juniors and seniors at the SEED Public Charter School visited the Kiplinger Research Library several times in the course of developing their projects for National History Day.

Bill Stevens and his juniors and seniors at the SEED Public Charter School visited the Kiplinger Research Library in the course of developing their projects for National History Day.

Prior to their visit, Bill Stevens walks his students through the online catalog (available via www.dchistory.org/research/) to identify primary and secondary resources that fit the scope of their project.

Prior to their visit, Bill Stevens walks his students through the online catalog; as researchers, they are responsible for identifying, requesting, and analyzing primary and secondary resources that fit the scope of their project.

Research Services Librarian Laura Barry works closely with the students before, during, and after their visits to the Kiplinger Research Library.

Research Services Librarian Laura Barry works closely with the students before, during, and after their visits to the Kiplinger Research Library. Laura was specifically requested by the students to be a judge at the school-wide competition!

Historical Society of Washington, D.C. member and teacher Brian Rohal lent a hand during a Fall 2014 visit by the SEED students.

Historical Society member and former public charter school teacher Brian Rohal lent a hand during a Fall 2014 visit by the SEED students.

Bill Stevens and his juniors and seniors at the SEED Public Charter School visited the Kiplinger Research Library several times in the course of developing their projects for National History Day.

Another research visit is complete! Here’s to next Fall’s visit by rising juniors and seniors at the SEED Public Charter School!

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