Ottoson students made history at the 2023 National History Day Contest held at the University of Maryland In College Park on June 11-15. Four Ottoson projects that had received first and second place in the Massachusetts contest held in April competed at the national level. Of these, one captured first place nationally in the Junior Group Website Category, and another came in the top ten in the Junior Group Documentary category and was the Junior Division Outstanding Affiliate Entry winner for Massachusetts.
PARC v Pennsylvania: Pioneering the Right to Education for Children with Cognitive Impairments was the first place winner. This project had captured first place in Massachusetts and it was completed by Ottoson students Spencer Carman, Alexandra Lay, and Harry Liu. You may view the website here. It tells the story of the class action suit that led to Pennsylvania being the first state to “...to require that school districts provide a free public education to all cognitively impaired children.”.
Now I've Got The Pill: Oral Contraceptives and How They Changed The Lives of American Women was the top ten finisher that was recognized as the Outstanding Affiliate Entry winner. This project was the work of OMS students Cora Dutton, Nadia Hackbarth-Davis, Jiwan Ryu, and Elena Zaganjori. It won second place in the Massachusetts contest. You may view the 10-minute documentary here. It describes the history of birth control and the activism that led to the development and legalization of oral contraceptives.
Two other projects competed at the national contest. The Legacy of Chinese Transcontinental Railroad Workers is an Individual Documentary by OMS student Yiyan Shen. The group documentary Destroyer of Worlds: How the Manhattan Project Crossed Frontiers in Warfare and World Politics, is the work of OMS students Ruby Chuaqui and Saoirse Vakil.
All of these excellent projects were created under the 2023 National History Day theme of Frontiers in History: People Places, Ideas. Each project submitted was the result of approximately six months of hard work. This year there were nine projects that took part in the state contest–one from Arlington High School, five from OMS, and three from the Gibbs School. Social Studies teachers at each school–Emily Tessler at AHS, Jason Levy at OMS, and Adam Amster at Gibbs–guided the work. Congratulations to all the students who took part.