Friday, April 30, 2010

BOERNE MIDDLE SCHOOL HISTORY STUDENTS: ABOVE AND BEYOND THE WASP HISTORY!

On Saturday, May 7th, students from Mr. Degner's  8th grade American History class from Boerne Middle School North, Boerne, Texas,  will compete in the 30TH ANNUAL TEXAS HISTORY DAY contest, at the University of Texas in Austin.  The students are hoping to advance to the NATIONAL HISTORY DAY contest at the University of Maryland in June, 2010.

The student's project on the WASP is a wonderful example of the inspirational history of the Women Airforce Service Pilots and what it can mean to this generation and generations to come.

Please read on to find out more about these great kids!


Each year Middle School teacher, Bryan Degner, assigns his 8th grade American History students a project that must follow the guidelines of the National History Day (NHD) contest.  The students have five categories to choose from and their topic must relate to the theme provided by the NHD.  This year’s theme is “Innovation in History, Impact and Change.”  A group of 8th graders selected the WASP as their topic because they believed that using  women pilots to ferry planes for the Army during World War II was an innovative idea and the WASP had a tremendous impact on military aviation.

In order to educate people and bring the story of the WASP alive, these five students decided to enter the performance category.  They conducted hours of research reading books, magazines, and newspaper articles but their best source was the WASP themselves.  The students interviewed eight WASP either over the phone, email or by letter.  The information they gathered was used to write a script for a 10 minute performance that depicts the history of the WASP. 

These students won 1st place at their school history fair and 2nd at the San Antonio Regional History Fair. On May 7, 2010 they will compete at the Texas History Day contest and hope to advance to the national contest at the University of Maryland in June.

l to r: Heather Schloss, Callen Hamilton, Connor Campbell, Caroline Coale, Emily Bow

The following are comments from each of the five students in the group:

Callen I think the history of the WASP is important. These women made a difference when some people weren’t ready for women to serve in the military.  It’s because of the WASP that women have opportunities in military aviation. The thing that impressed me the most about the WASP was how strong and determined they were. They served their country not for recognition but because they loved to fly and wanted to do their part during the war.

Connor:  One of the things I learned about the WASP was how tough these women were and how they were forgotten for so long.  Speaking with the WASP was a great honor and it was a lot of fun listening to their stories.

Caroline:  I think the history of the WASP is important because they showed that women are just as brave and hard working as men.  We didn’t know the WASP were going to receive the Congressional Gold Medal when we started the project.  It has been an honor to share the story of the WASP with many people that had never heard of them.

Emily: I learned from this project that women can be just as strong and determined as any man. Thank you, WASP.

Heather:  One of the fun things about this project was dressing in the zoot suits and performing at competition. One of my favorite memories was hearing Mrs. Rosa Lea Meek tell us that before she left Love Field they were told to “go home, marry your high school sweetheart and have babies.”  It’s hard to believe that was the way women were thought of. 

PERFORMANCE PHOTOS:



Representing 1st female USAF Thunderbird pilot,
Maj (now Lt. Col) Nicole Malachowski

GOOD LUCK TO CALLEN, CONNER, CAROLINE, EMILY AND HEATHER!  LET THE CAN DO ATTITUDE OF THE WASP, THEIR PATRIOTISM AND THEIR SPIRIT BE SHINING BRIGHT IN YOUR PERFORMANCES.  FOR ALL OF US, YOU ARE ALREADY WINNERS!

GOD BLESS YOU AND THANK YOU FOR SHARING!

NANCY PARRISH, DIRECTOR  & WASP DEANIE PARRISH, ASSO. DIRECTOR
WINGS ACROSS AMERICA

2 comments:

Frank C. said...

Ajua! Que viva las WASP!

As a Spanish Colonial historical interpreter (and with my 15 year old daughter), I present the history of a small but important part of our American history. I was delighted to see the work that these students are doing to interpret another small but very important part of history. You all look wonderful, and what you're doing is very, very cool. Keep up the good work.

Frank C. Martinez IV
(aka Francisco Carlos Martinez Rojas, cuera del Rey y sargento del Presidio de San Francisco)

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