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NY Mills students bring history to life

Darla Hedstrom with her History Day project about the Flappers of the 1920's Jazz Age.1 / 5
Kayse Salo, grade 12, researched the history of agriculture with her project, "Feeding of Mankind: How the Innovation of Agriculture Impacts How We Live."2 / 5
At right, New York Mills senior Stephanie Carrlson created a website with fellow classmate Savannah Thompson (not pictured). They were the only students who chose the website option for their History Day project, titled "Conquering The Ocean: European Exploration."3 / 5
Above, Betsy Helmeke, left, and Kendra McCall in front of their History Day video project, "Fascist Germany: Hitler's Quest for World Domination."4 / 5
Above, students Stephanie Lemon, left, and Julie Eisenlohr pose with Elvis in front of their display about the rocking 1950's.5 / 5

Did you know that rock 'n roll saved the radio from extinction?

That half of the world's workers are involved with agriculture?

That the flappers paved the way for some of the most significant shifts in American fashion?

This was just some of the insight spectators gained at the annual History Day at New York Mills School. The February 25 event featured displays from 7th and 12th grade history students.

The students presented their documentaries, websites, display boards, and powerpoint presentations in the Activity Center and room 409. Although the topics varied wildly, all of this year's History Day projects were based on the theme "Innovation in History: Impact and Change."

Kayse Salo, a 12th grader in Jason Boe's World History class, used the History Day project as a means to learn more about a topic that had always fascinated her: agriculture. She used a display board to feature her topic, "Feeding of Mankind: How the Innovation of Agriculture Impacts How We Live."

Those who stopped to listen to her share some of the highlights of her research learned how agriculture started in 10,000 B.C. "I thought it was cool that agriculture started a lot of civilizations," she says of her research. "It has a lot to do with our history."

Examining one of the worst parts of our history, 12th graders Kendra McCall and Betsy Helmeke, created an 8-minute long video, "Fascist Germany--Hitler's Quest for World Domination."

In explaining their project, the pair said how their History Day presentation varied from the rest in that it featured an innovation that negatively impacted the world. Nonetheless, they wanted to convey just how much Hitler's reign impacted the world we live in.

"You can still see the effects of it today," said Kendra, adding how it was unbelievable to her how someone could put the blame on innocent people. In order to convey the impact Hitler had on the world, Kendra and Betsy used pictures and talking to create the documentary style video. They, and many of the other presenters, also handed out packets of information about their project to people who stopped by their display area.

Other topics students choose for their presentations included themes such as "How Football Changed History," "The Atomic Bomb," "Conquering the Ocean: European Exploration," and "The Rocking 1950's: Changing the Beat of Music."