Bishop Seabury Academy: Students’ projects showcased at the Smithsonian museums (Announcement)

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Note: The Lawrence Times is offering some space for area organizations and organizers to express their views, provide updates and attempt to reach other folks who might share their mission. This post is contributed content (i.e., not produced by the Times staff). See more in our Community Voices section, or see how to submit your own piece.

Two Bishop Seabury Academy students had their National History Day projects showcased at the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. on June 14, as part of the National History Day competition held annually in College Park, Maryland. Their projects were selected from all of the qualifying entries from Kansas to represent the state in the Smithsonian showcases. 

Aiden Najafizadeh’s exhibit, “Freedom’s Frontier: The Lecompton Constitution,” was showcased at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. 

Mia Rasmussen’s documentary, “Kansas City Jazz: A Frontier for Black Success,” was chosen by the staff at the National Museum of African American History and Culture to be showcased in the Oprah Winfrey theater at the museum. 

National History Day (NHD) is a yearlong academic program focused on historical research, interpretation and creative expression for sixth through 12th grade students. At Bishop Seabury, all seventh, ninth, and 11th grade students complete a research project using NHD guidelines and may choose to compete in the district-level competition. First through third places at district qualify for state.

Students who place first or second at the state level may participate in the annual national competition in the nation’s capital. This year, eight Bishop Seabury students qualified for the national competition, and six were able to attend. Students and teacher Sonja Czarnecki organized a taco dinner fundraiser to support the cost of attendance. 

Other BSA students who competed at NHD were: 

• Katie Mastrosimone: “Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Her Contributions to the Frontier of Rock Music” (performance) 

• Katherine Eudaly: “How Sewing Machines Impacted Women in Society” (performance) 

• Campbell Helling, Sage McHenry, and Spencer Timkar: “The Race to the South Pole: Earth’s Final Frontier” (documentary) 

• Marcella MacGonagle qualified with her website, “The Street Art/Graffiti Movement,” but was unable to participate at nationals. 

In their free time during their trip, some of the students and parents were able to tour the U.S. Capitol and meet with Rep. Tracey Mann. As a surprise treat, the group was able to observe the U.S. House of Representatives voting. They also toured the White House and enjoyed visiting other sites in the capitol, such as the Library of Congress and Supreme Court.

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More Community Voices:

Mackenzie Clark/Lawrence Times

Clay Wirestone: I knew Kansas officials would overstep after Marion raid. I didn’t expect it to be in Lawrence. (Column)

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”The fiasco in Marion generated national attention. This dustup in Douglas County will likely fly under the radar, given that it was conducted in the far more restrained forum of legal filings. But we should all be on notice,” Clay Wirestone writes in this Kansas Reflector column.

Letter to the Times: Turning neighborhoods into marketplaces without children

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”There is a long-term financial advantage for cities to stabilize their modest housing stock and the infrastructure which already exists by utilizing district overlays that provide a level playing field for working families to buy into the market and become long-term residents,” Deborah Snyder writes in this letter to the Times.


Click here to find out how to send a letter to the Times
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