Local Students Learn, Compete and Explore at National History Day


By Anna Bryner

Six students from Carbon School District competed at National History Day June 15-19 at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.

Students Anna Bryner, Alexis Tallerico, Logan Engar, Paul Bryner and Tiffany Feichko represented Carbon School District among the roughly 3,000 participants during the event. The theme this year was “Rights and Responsibilities.”

At the national competition, students presented their projects and answered challenging analytical questions.

“I learned that you have to be aware of your project and the research you’ve done, but you shouldn’t be nervous,” Metzger stated, regarding the interview.

Helper Junior High social studies teacher Chris Sweeney added that students often have the opportunity to expose judges from other parts of the country to local topics. He also spoke of the benefits of being judged at the competition.

“I feel the kids get a chance to really work on and improve their presentation and interview skills as they explain their projects,” Sweeney said.

When asked about the students’ projects this year, he remarked, “The quality of projects improve year after year. What made this year so exciting was the number of quality projects we had. The quality was proven at the state level when Carbon County had nine students place in the top three of their respective categories. The students did a great job.”

In addition to being judged at the national competition, the participants also had other valuable opportunities.

“Our students get the chance to tour Washington, D.C. and see our nation’s government firsthand,” Sweeney said. “For example, this past trip we had the opportunity to take an extensive tour of the U.S. Capitol, which included a stop in the U.S House of Representatives’ Chambers. We were able to sit in the chambers and listen as our guide explained all of the activities that take place during a session of congress.”

Paul Bryner remarked that his favorite part of the trip was meeting with Utah Congressmen at the Capitol Building, including local representative Jason Chaffetz. Feichko also enjoyed the night tour where they saw monuments lit up at night aboard a double-decker bus.

“I thought it was a really fun experience and I would definitely recommend it to others,” stated Feichko.

Sweeney agreed.

“The trip, for me, was the best one yet. Our students did so well and it was great to take so many to Washington, D.C. I look forward to working with our social studies teachers this upcoming year to hopefully take more kids to National History Day,” he said.

The students from Carbon School District competed with the following projects:

Logan Engar, Individual Website: The Curt Flood Case: Athlete Rights
Tiffany Feichko, Individual Website: The Trail of Tears
Anna Bryner and Paul Bryner, Group Website: The Boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics
Nathaniel Metzger, Individual Documentary: Miranda Rights
Alexis Tallerico, Individual Documentary: Child Labor During the Industrial Revolution

The local region of National History Day is looking for local businesses to help sponsor the 2015 History Fair. Those interested in sponsoring the fair, sponsoring an award, or participating as a judge, please contact Chris Sweeney at Carbon High School or email: sweeneyc@carbonschools.org. They need the community’s help to keep up this success for future students.

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