Laue, KC team make history
Laue’s Individual Documentary In the Eye of the Beholder: Edwin Powell Hubble was judged the best among the top 81 junior division entries from all of the United States. As the national champion in his category, Laue received a $1,000 cash award.
Laue had some thrills and spills along the way. While finishing up his video, the editing system he knew broke down forcing him to transfer his work to three other tapes. Then Laue was pressed to learn a new, completely foreign rendering system to complete his project.
“My documentary was on Edwin Powell Hubble, the astronomer who discovered evidence that proved the universe is expanding,” Laue said. “Along the way I got to interview his assistant - the last living person to have known Hubbell at the time of his research. That was a moving experience.”
Fruitvale Junior High’s junior division Group Performance team of Drew Crossman, Tatum Holland, Brittany Rice, James Tison and Sarah Wilson will split the $500 cash award they received for finishing second with their entry Defending Freedom’s Frontier at the 38th Parallel.
According to Tison, the team spent two months writing the script which went through 19 draft changes.
Presenting a performance on the Korean War was challenging because of the balance of coverage needed,” Wilson explained. “I had to play the part of a communist. Fortunately, I was able to contact and interview a North Korean communist official to get that perspective.”
In addition to finishing second, the team was invited to give a live performance at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Crossman said,” It was awesome.”
Holland thinks the award is nice but feels something else motivated the team to give its fine performance.
“The project meant so much to so many Korean veterans,” Holland said. “They told us how it had taken the burden off their shoulders and made them feel better about their sacrifice.”
Another Fruitvale student, Akriti Bhambi, took third place honors in the junior division Historical Paper category with her entry The Hydrogen Bomb: A New Frontier of Peace Through Terror and received a $250 cash prize. Bhambi received an additional special honor - the United States Foreign Relations Award from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. The award goes to the entry that gives the best “sophisticated analysis of any individual or problem in the history of American diplomacy.”
Although they didn’t place in the top three, the Fruitvale Junior High junior division Group Documentary team of Jordan Henry and Noel Walters, did reach the finals - the top 14 out of 81 entries - with their project Tuskegee Airmen: Pioneers of the Civil Rights Frontier. Other competitors from Kern County included Connor Crawford and Darryl Smith from Fruitvale who competed in the junior division Group Exhibit category and Liberty High’s Margaret Abernathy in the senior division Individual Performance category.
Competing at National History Day means the students had to have finished first at the Kern County History Day and California History Day competitions held earlier in the year.
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