NILES Girls' project wins in history contest
About 260 students throughout the state competed.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
NILES -- Edison Junior High School students Angela Kleese, Amanda Nestor and Jaclyn Sears have turned an interest in animals into a trip to a national competition.
The eighth-graders won the junior group exhibit at the Ohio History State Competition in Columbus. They and their exhibit, "Jane Goodall, Frontier Woman in Anthropology," will travel to the national competition next month at the University of Maryland.
Goodall, a scientist, lived with chimpanzees to learn about their way of life.
About 260 students were in the Ohio competition.
Finished third: Edison eighth-graders Anthony Pallante, Nathan Mang, Trevor Sudano and Colby Tisdale finished third in the state competition with their project on the 38th Parallel, which divides North and South Korea. They interviewed area veterans from the Korean War as part of their research.
The boys and their project will be featured in an article in an upcoming issue of the American Legion magazine, said Gaye Breegle, who teaches accelerated social studies at the school.
The students started working on their projects in January. "It's a lot of work, but it's also a lot of fun," Amanda said.
The girls learned from Goodall's appearance schedule posted on the Internet that she was to be in Akron and traveled there to meet and interview her.
A representative from Goodall's institute will go to the national competition.
They used the interview, books, articles, Web sites and other information to assemble their 6-foot exhibit.
"The endangered species act was passed after her research," Jaclyn said.
Facts about research: Goodall's research, living among chimpanzees, disproved the "man the tool-maker" idea, Amanda said.
"It said that man was the only one who can use tools," she said. "She [Goodall] showed that each species is intelligent in its own way."
Goodall observed chimps using a tool to dig ants out of a mound for food, Angela said.
The students gave a presentation to the judges, but their exhibit had to stand on its own, informing spectators about Goodall and her work.
"It helps if you can get the judges to laugh," Jaclyn said of one of the group's strategies.
To do that, Angela relayed the tale of Goodall learning how a chicken lays an egg.
"Her mother wouldn't tell her so she went into the barn and hid under the hay," Angela said. Goodall remained in her hiding spot for six hours while police and her mother searched for her.
"Then she saw a chicken lay an egg and she was excited and ran to tell her mom," Angela said. "Her mom wasn't mad or anything and Jane Goodall said during her speech that her mom was always supportive of her."
Breegle pointed to the support provided by parents of the students participating in history competition.
"They've contributed their time, money and ideas to help the kids," she said.