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June 17, 2013 — Laramie home schoolers Hazel Homer-Wambean and Jackson Higgins claimed first place in the recent National History Day competition June 9-13 in College Park, Md.
They earned the opportunity to compete at nationals by winning first place in the Wyoming History Day competition at the University of Wyoming. Their entry, “The Golden Age of Radio: Turning Points in American Culture!” won first place in the Junior Group Performance category.
A second team from Wyoming, Brianne Beale and Nicole Collins from Jackson Hole, earned third place nationally in the Senior Group Documentary category. Their entry was titled “The Gray Wolf Reintroduction: A Scientific Approach to Protect the Yellowstone Ecosystem.”
The UW American Heritage Center (AHC) administers Wyoming History Day, with assistance from the Wyoming State Historical Society and the Wyoming Department of Parks and Natural Resources.
At the state competition, participating students in grades 6-12 from throughout Wyoming produced museum-type exhibits, multimedia documentaries, original performances or traditional research papers based on this year's theme, “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.” The top two entries in each category at the state competition advanced to the National History Day competition.
Both the Laramie and Jackson students did considerable research at the AHC, UW’s historical manuscripts repository, official archives and rare books library. Its collections encompass not only Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West, but, for certain topics, historical collections that originate outside the region. One of those is the U.S. entertainment industry.
This was not the first year that students from Wyoming, the state with the nation’s smallest population, took first place at National History Day. In 2009, Robert Coulter of Lander’s South Elementary School was awarded first place in the junior division’s Individual Documentary category for his entry, “Senekerim Dohanian: Uncle Sam’s Ace Insect Hunter.”
In 2008, Cheyenne’s Jacob Zumo won in the same category.
Laramie home schoolers Hazel Homer-Wambean and Jackson Higgins claimed first place in the recent National History Day competition June 9-13 in College Park, Md. (AHC Photo)