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South Pointe Medals at History Day L.A.

NEWS                                                                                        Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 880 S. Lemon Avenue
March 26, 2012                                                                        Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

South Pointe Medals at History Day L.A.
Two students qualify for state competition

DIAMOND BAR, CA—South Pointe Middle School students brought home awards from the 32nd Annual History Day competition held March 10 at Azusa Pacific University.

First Place winners Leslie Sim and Brendan Houng also qualified for the state competition, History Day California, to be held April 28 at the Riverside Convention Center! 

History Day L.A. encourages students to prepare posters, exhibits, papers, web sites, performances, and documentary presentations on a historical theme.

This year it was “Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History”.

During the event, projects were judged, historical re-enactors led in hands-on activities, and students got a chance to see other projects.

8th grader Brendan Houng won a 1st Place medal for his documentary titled “ The Model T Revolutionizes the Auto Industry“.  He focused on the Model T because it related to cars and his dad fixes cars.

“It related to me,” he said.  The best part was also the opportunity to practice making videos.

Brendan said didn’t expect to qualify for state, but is excited about the going to the next level of the competition.

“It’s a great chance and I can’t wait to go!” he said.

7th grader Leslie Sim was awarded a 1st Place medal for her research paper titled “The Chinese Cultural Revolution: Reaction and Reformation in China.” She also received the Ken Easum Founders Award, a special recognition for her use of primary sources (interviews) in her work.

Leslie said she selected her project topic because her grandparents were part of the Revolution and victims of the Communist take-over in 1965.

“So ever since I was young and I knew their stories by heart,” she said.  

When she heard about the History Day contest she said, “I want to do something that represents my culture!”  She interviewed her grandparents and her mother as primary resources.

“It’s something that’s really strong in me,” she said.

Leslie said she wasn’t expecting to win because she saw a lot of good people at the competition.

“It’s going to be fun at state!” she said.

Three additional South Pointe students received awards at the competition.

7th grader Peyrin Kao won a 4th Place Award for his exhibit titled “Full Steam Ahead: How Trains Have Benefitted Society”. Peyrin easily got on board choosing the topic because “trains have been a hobby for a really long time,” he said.

For his project, Peyrin researched how they benefit society.

“And with traffic in Los Angeles, trains are a really good option,” he said. His display featured a tri-fold board with information and pictures.
“I learned a lot about the topic,” he said.

7th grader Nicole Matsuda brought home an Honorable Mention Award for her website titled “The Gempei War“ about civil conflict fought in medieval Japan from 1800-1885 when the shogun first rose to power. She said the project also gave her a chance to practice her website design skills.  

8th grader Margaret Wang won a Finalist Award in the Junior Exhibition. Her project that was titled “Sit-Ins  - the Cause and Effect” focused on the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement.

“The best part was learning how non-violence can be so important to our country,” she said. Projects were judged by community members and history-social science professionals. Winners from all categories are invited to compete at the state level. The event was presented by the Los Angeles County Office of Education.

“Mrs. (Marsha) Dickerson and I were very happy to provide a platform for these students to exhibit their skills. We could not be more proud of them, they are awesome kids!” said Social Studies Teacher Nancy Bednar.

In preparation for the competition, the two teachers hosted History Day South Pointe for 7th and 8th graders in January. The winners from the school event went on to compete at the History Day L.A. competition.

Shown:  South Pointe’s History Day LA winners Nicole Matsuda, Leslie Sim, Brendan Houng, Margaret Wang, and Peyrin Kao. (#2349)

First Place winners 7th grader Leslie Sim and 8th grader Brendan Houng qualified to compete in History Day California on April 28. (#2345)