Crossroads Elementary School’s Maddie Johnston is the first student to qualify for the National History Day’s Kentucky competition.
Thanks to her performance last month at regionals, Maddie participated at state April 22nd in Lexington and earned Second Place. The fifth grader is the 11 year-old daughter of Lindsey and David Johnston.
“It feels good,” Maddie said. “I am continuing research on my history icon, Rosie the Riveter, so I know more about her importance in American history before state competition.”
Her project was on Rosie the Riveter for National History Day which is sponsored by the Kentucky Junior Historical Society through the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort. Rosie the Riveter was suggested by her gifted and talented teacher Laureen Laumeyer.
“Students had a choice of how to display their knowledge at the University of Louisville’s regional competition,” she said. “Maddie chose to do an individual exhibit which was scored as a ‘stand-alone’ project. Judges called Maddie in to answer specific questions and clarify anything. Other types of projects for elementary include: website, exhibit, presentation, and documentary.”
Maddie said she attempted to keep calm and carry on when a judge was asking questions.
“Doing the research really helped my presentation,” she said. “I was prepared.”
According to information from The History Channel website, women worked in a variety of positions previously closed to them during World War II. The aviation industry saw the greatest increase in female workers with more than 310,000 women worked in the U.S. aircraft industry in 1943, making up 65 percent of the industry’s total workforce (compared to just 1 percent in the pre-war years). The munitions industry also heavily recruited women workers, as illustrated by the U.S. government’s “Rosie the Riveter” propaganda campaign. Based in small part on a real-life munitions worker, but primarily a fictitious character, the strong, bandanna-clad Rosie became one of the most successful recruitment tools in American history, and the most iconic image of working women in the World War II era.
At regional competition, students do not place 1st, 2nd, etc. Instead, they receive a ‘qualifying’ score that allows them to move onto the state level competition.
“In Maddie’s category at regionals, only 3 students moved on to the state level,” Laumeyer said.
This year’s theme was ‘Taking a Stand in History.’ Students are allowed to pick any topic (at least 25 years or older). They have to develop a thesis statement, then prove their thesis statement with primary and secondary sources. They must also have a conclusion, annotated bibliography, and a process paper.
“Maddie is a highly motivated young lady that strives to do her best!” Laumeyer said.