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Maine’s Positive Story of the Day ~ Bruce M. Whittier Middle School in Poland ~

In February, Bruce M. Whittier Middle School held our 13th edition of Whittier History Day. More than 90 community members volunteered as judges and interviewed students on their selected research topics.Whittier History Day is a regional qualifier for Maine National History Day, held annually at the University of Orono. Top projects at the state level move on to the national competition in Washington, D.C. Over the years, about thirty students have taken their projects to D.C., including two last spring.The project is a source of pride for our school, students, their families, and our community. The rallying cry is, “All hands on deck.” All staff pitches in to support students in completing their work and preparing our school for the big event.This year, we held an open house the night prior to History Day, and the response was overwhelming. Hundreds of visitors came to school to look at projects and celebrate students’ research.History Day is a culmination of a long-term project emphasizing the development of students’ research skills.  Through the project, students learn the essentials for navigating the Information Age through locating appropriate sources, determining the sources’ reliability, forming thesis statements, finding evidence to support their ideas structuring their evidence and ideas in a compelling, clear way. Students learn to write with purpose, cite sources, edit writing and formally present their original work.The most exciting part is seeing students shine when they speak about what they learned with an audience. It is an event that is not without hard work and challenges, but the payoff is tremendous.

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