L to R: Karen Stairs, media specialist, Cailin Russell, Carter Terry, Callie Douglas, Emma LeClere, Chris Harmony, language arts teacher Allison Kelly
Music, movies, horse racing, political scandal and military history were topics researched and presented by five students at the fifth annual Young Historians Project dinner on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 in the Hickman County Extension Building.
The Young Historians Projects is a joint effort of Hickman County Schools, the Hickman County Historical Society with assistance from Paula McCuiston of the Hickman County Extension Service. Seventh graders in Allison Kelly's language arts class pick a 20th century person, place or thing that interests them. They research their topic, write a research paper and present their findings before their class.
Historian, author, and founding member of the Historical Society LaDonna Latham leads the Historical Society's cooperative effort. Latham goes into the classroom and works with students. While five students presented at the Tuesday's program competing for prizes, on Thursday all Young Historians will get commemorative medallions and cupcakes to celebrate their work.
Fostering a love of history and creating an affinity for independent research were goals of the Historical Society when the program began. Those goals are still front and center today. Hickman County Historical Society Chairman Ivan Potter told the audience that the program is unique. "There are no other projects in Kentucky like it." He urged students to consider their research the first step in resume building.
As finalists, the five student presenters were judged on content, research and presentation. (There were six scheduled to present, but Justice Midyett had a scheduling conflict.)
Chris Harmony received first place for his presentation of "The Age of Music". Chris took the audience of parents, educators and Hickman County Historical Society members on a magical mystery tour from bebop of the 1950s to rock and roll of the Sixties through the Eighties.
In second place, Carter Terry focused on the role of Canadian troops on D-Day. Canadian troops were charged with landing on Juno Beach, taking villages captive and doing it without air support. Despite losses, they accomplished their goals. He emphasized the importance of their success to winning World War II.
Three students tied for third place. Callie Douglas discussed the Watergate Scandal and the life of President Richard Nixon. Emma LeClere shared a biographical sketch of genius Walt Disney. Emma told her audience "Everyone likes a Disney movie."
Shown at right, Cailin Russell chose a racehorse, Secretariat, as her focus. The big red colt won the Triple Crown winner in 1973 breaking a long dry spell after the last win in 1948.
Young Historians Project was funded by a grant from America's Farms Grow Communities sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer.