How much can you tell us about the Armenian Genocide? Navajo code talkers?
How about building a tower out of balsa wood that supports 215 pounds?
Ignacio Middle School students have that covered.
With such success, in fact, that several groups of them have been or are heading to state competitions on the Front Range to show off their academic stuff.
Destination Imagination students will compete in Denver tomorrow for state competition. At regionals, they built a vertical tower of rubber bands, balsa wood, glue, and tape to support 215 pounds of weight. And it also had be a musical structure that could make noise. The girls were tweaking their project this week to get it ready for state.
Three more IMS students will present their projects April 30 at Colorado History Day in Denver.
Breanna Henderson took first among all eighth graders in the region at Fort Lewis College for her examination of the Armenian genocide. Henderson said she hadn't known about the death of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians at the turn of the 20th century until a teacher suggested it for a project. About half of Armenia's population was exterminated, she explained, and the topic resonates today as Christian and Muslim populations unfortunately are still killing each other.
Elco Garcia, whose mother is Navajo, wanted to explore the history of the Navajo code talkers of World War II. He said he was surprised to learn that a white U.S. soldier, Phillip Johnston, first had the idea to use the Navajo language as a basis for a code. Johnston was a World War I veteran who had grown up on the Navajo reservation. Garcia took second in the eighth-grade competition for his work.
Matthew Belleau qualified in the seventh-grade division for his study of using telescopes to explore space. Contrary to popular belief, Belleau said, Galileo didn't invent the first telescope, although he was the first to systematically explore the solar system with a telescope. The device actually has been credited to other astronomers, including Hans Lippershey.
One student who already made her trip to state is Emerald Owens, who won the regional spelling bee in January at Ignacio High School. She went to Denver University on March 12 and completed in the written test, but did not advance to the oral finals. There was only one word on the written test that was in the study packet provided to all of the competitors, she said, ameliorate. She had a legal pad full of words she wrote out in preparation for the bees. Still, she had a good time and is proud to be on the list of top spellers from around the state.