By Eric Erickson
From more than 15,000 students across the state who submitted History Day research projects at school level events, just 60 advanced through regional and state competitions to ultimately represent Minnesota in National History Day.
That elite group of 60 includes five Como Park High School students who are alumni of Murray Middle School, and one current Murray student.
Como freshmen Kai Sackreiter, Alice Wagner-Hemstad and Zach Bollman, along with Como junior Soren Sackreiter advanced to nationals in the senior division’s group website category for their elaborate and topical project “For the Love of Learning: MECC and Communication Through Educational Technology.”
Como junior Taylor Fairbanks qualified in the senior division’s individual exhibit category for her well-researched and insightful digital display of “A Fight For the People’s Land” which examines and chronicles the formation of the White Earth Land Recovery Project.
Murray sixth grader Ayla Bornsztein is going to nationals in the junior division’s individual website category. Her project is titled “We can (ALL) do it: Communicating Womens’ Empowerment from WWII to Today.”
National History Day is traditionally held at the University of Maryland in the summer. But because of the pandemic, nationals will be virtual for the second year in a row.
Nevertheless, that reality hasn’t dampened the spirit and pride of the local qualifiers. The group has collaborated and exchanged ideas on how to improve their projects before nationals. Final submissions were due May 18. Virtual NHD events begin in mid-June with the final awards ceremony on June 19.
The Como-Murray contingent plans to view the livestream together in the company of their supportive teachers and families.
“Qualifying for nationals is validation of our hard work,” Soren Sackreiter said. “But the research process and skills you develop last past History Day.”
Eric Erickson is a social studies teacher at Como Park High School and a regular freelance writer for the Bugle.