Urbana Junior High eighth graders Patrick Karg and Logan Pence will compete in June against other students nationally for the top National History Day prize.
To compete in National History Day, students develop historical research projects in their local schools, then competed regionally and statewide. Projects could be on a traditional tri-fold cardboard display, put on a computer or performed.
Karg and Pence’s project was about Konrad Zuse, the founder of binary code in computer, which is the language all computers use today.
A third student, seventh-grader Paige Deere, won an engineering award for her project on “The Space Race,” and won a cash prize for it, Technology and Social Studies Teacher Amanda Goodwin said.
This was Urbana Junior High’s first year competing for History Day. The local competition was held in January. A group of teachers were involved in getting the History Day program going at Urbana. They include Goodwin, Mandy Parker, Melanie Davis, Ashley Falkerth, Elizabeth Skelton and Tim Mackey.
Goodwin brought the idea to Urbana from Triad, where she had been teaching for more than a decade.
“I’m stoked,” she said of the two students heading to the national competition. “It’s amazing. Our whole team, we’re fired up. Our first year in and we got two to go to nationals.
“This is an amazing academic opportunity,” Goodwin added. “This is a competition for kids who don’t necessarily do sports. Most of the time, academic competitions get overlooked. This is a great way for the community to celebrate academic competition.”
Staff and the two students are seeking donations from community members to help fund the trip to attend the competition. A GoFundMe account has been set up (www.gofundme.com) to help pay for the trip. Goodwin estimates the entire trip will cost $3,000, for the two students and a teacher chaperone to travel to the competition and stay there, as well as cover meals and registration costs.
Goodwin said the cost to register to attend has already been raised, but the account will continue to accept donations to June to try and reach that $3,000 goal. Individuals and businesses can also donate cash by dropping it off at the junior high school front desk or call Skelton at 937-653-1439 or Elizabeth.Skelton@urbanacityschools.org for more information or to donate.
To donate via GoFundMe, go to the website at www.gofundme.com and search for Urbana, Ohio. Karg and Pence’s fundraiser is called “National History Day in DC.”
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.