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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow A day to recall Barbies, crime scenes and the mentally ill

A day to recall Barbies, crime scenes and the mentally ill

Anne Hensley, Tanya Denne and Erin Brookshire turned their passion for that icon of American girls  Barbie herself  into a trip to next months statewide competition for National History Day. The girls used their fathers power tools to build the exhibit themselves. Two other teams, plus a speaker, will represent Baker High School at the state competition. (Baker City Herald photograph by Mike Ferguson).
Anne Hensley, Tanya Denne and Erin Brookshire turned their passion for that icon of American girls Barbie herself into a trip to next months statewide competition for National History Day. The girls used their fathers power tools to build the exhibit themselves. Two other teams, plus a speaker, will represent Baker High School at the state competition. (Baker City Herald photograph by Mike Ferguson).

By MIKE FERGUSON

Of the Baker City Herald

One students project highlighting more than a century of womens basketball took the familiar shape of a basketball hoop. Another group honored their favorite childhood activity by building their version of a homemade Barbie Dream House. A third honored their fathers police work with a display explaining how modern crime labs help bring criminals to justice.

In all, 10 groups entered displays and one student made a speech for this years National History Day competition. Through hours of research and seemingly infinite patience and care building their displays, students explored this years theme, Revolution, Reaction and Reform in History.

The creativity demonstrated by students of Baker High School history teacher Cammy Warner took on many forms:

o Five girls (Jill Berryman, Skye Forsgren, Whitney Hoopes, Melissa MacManiman and Leah Michel) have, among them, three dads in law enforcement. That led to their display called Crime Lab: A Revolution in Crimefighting, one of three entries that will go on to the state competition in late April in Salem.

The display featured many of the tools that help modern-day detectives solve crimes (from rubber gloves and cotton swabs to microscopes) and even had a small vial of blood for effect.

Im a big fan of TV crime shows, Michel said. It was fun to take what many of us have grown up with and apply it to our project.

o Erin Brookshire, Tanya Denne and Anne Hensley said they thought long and hard before singling out Barbie, a paramount figure and a revolutionary object in little girls lives.

Using their fathers power tools but applying their own vision, the three built a wooden display dollhouse for which any young girl would gladly trade her store-bought version.

Inside were display shelves stocked with dolls, clothes and other accessories that the three students had obviously enjoyed for many years.

We built our own wooden house and trust me, we were breaking new ground as three girls using our fathers power tools, the three wrote in their report. After the nailing, gluing and painting, we found ourselves staring in awe at a dollhouse each of us would have been grateful to have as children.

That exhibit also will go on to the state competition, as will a tribute to the French mental health reformer Philippe Pinel. Jessica Hahn, Debby Heckman and Anna Rodgers teamed up on a display that depicted the misery endured by asylum patients before Pinels 19th century reforms and the hope instilled afterward.

Wed been studying mental health in our health class, and we knew Pinel wasnt widely known, so we figured, Lets recognize him, Heckman said. He was responsible for unchaining patients and treating them in a more normal way.

Heather Irbys speech on the FFA organization won her a trip to the state competition as well.

Sean Jacobson, Colin Kuehl and Tim Seymour created a multi-media tribute to Gen. George S. Patton called Patton: A Revolutionary Soldier. Their display, which had everything from videotape of the memorable George C. Scott title performance to toy figurines, paid tribute to some of the generals colorful quotes given to his troops. That advice included, When in doubt, attack, Fixed fortifications are monuments to mans stupidity, and A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied 10 minutes later.

Each participant received a certificate and a medal from the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. In addition, each participant going on to the state competition received a $25 gift certificate to Bettys Books, compliments of Trail Tenders.

Last year, students Brett Chapman, Steven Collins and Jed Rembold took their display on the George Lucas film Star Wars to the National History Day competition in College Park, Maryland. At least two groups this year said they were inspired by that achievement.

It was grand and glorious to hear what students were coming up with, said NHOTICs Nancy Harms, who was present when judging took place last weekend and, along with Center director Gay Ernst, put medals around the neck of each entrant.

 
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