NILES Eighth-graders' project picked for U.S. show
The eighth-graders' project is one of 10 from across the country to be displayed at the National Archives next month.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
NILES -- Three Edison Junior High School pupils will have their project displayed with some of the items that shaped American history.
Eighth-graders Angela Kleese, Amanda Nestor and Jaclyn Sears won first place in the junior group exhibit at the Ohio History State Competition earlier this month in Columbus, earning them a berth at the National History Day competition June 11-14 at the University of Maryland.
The girls and their teacher, Gaye Breegle, have since learned that their project, "Jane Goodall, Frontier Woman in Anthropology," also will be displayed at the National Archives June 13.
"The projects were selected by the state coordinators as outstanding representations from their state," said Mark Robinson, a spokesman for the National Archive.
A group of state archivists who work with the Smithsonian Museum of American History then narrowed the recommendations to 10 projects for display, he said.
Winning research: The Niles girls' project will join projects from Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, New York, Nebraska and Virginia that will be displayed next to the U.S. Constitution in the Rotunda and on the Portico of the National Archives Building.
"They're the only ones from Ohio," said Jennifer Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Historical Society.
The girls rattle off facts about their subject, like some of their peers list their favorite pop music artists.
Goodall started her studies in Africa when she was 23, Amanda says. "Tarzan" and "The Jungle Book" were among the scientist's favorite books as a child, Jaclyn throws in.
The girls earned first place at the history day event at Youngstown State University to advance to the state competition in Columbus.
All of the projects focus on the theme, "Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas."
Angela, Amanda and Jaclyn studied articles, books and Web sites about Goodall, a scientist who lived with chimpanzees to learn about how the animals live. They even met and interviewed their subject after learning she would be in Akron lecturing.
The girls and their parents cart the 6-foot jungle display of cardboard, papier-m & acirc;ch & eacute;, photographs and artificial foliage from competition to competition.
They started working on their project in January, compiling and citing many primary and secondary sources. Each project must inform the judges on its own, without the pupils there to explain it, Breegle said.
Pupils also deliver a presentation to judges at each competition, answering their questions.
Not first time: This marks the third year that Edison pupils have advanced to the national competition, the teacher said.
A representative from Goodall's institute is expected to go to the national competition.
The girls delivered their presentation last week to fifth- and sixth-graders at Garfield Elementary School, telling them about the history day event. Breegle wanted the pupils to do one more formal presentation before the national competition.
"You can take your research as far as you would like," Angela tells the pupils that may follow in her footsteps in a few years. "It's a lot of fun."