First Place Finish in History Day

First place winners Abby Varricchio and Olivia Escalante.

On Tuesday March 15, students in world history went to an event called History Day, which can be compared to the science fair. The regional competition was held at JMU and was split up into five different categories: a documentary, performance, exhibit, research paper, and website.

Olivia's exhibit on Sir Alexander Fleming.

Olivia’s exhibit on Sir Alexander Fleming.

Millbrook had two first place winners at the regional competition. Abby Varricchio won for her research paper on Nellie Bly, and Olivia Escalante for her exhibit on Sir Alexander Fleming. They both will be advancing to the State competition in Petersburg, VA on April 23.

Nellie Bly was a female journalist who lived during the late 1800s. From Abby’s point of view, she “changed the face of journalism.” Nellie wouldn’t just conduct research through asking questions, but instead immersed herself in the environment in which she was researching. For example, if she was researching treatment of women working in a factory, she would pose as a factory worker and experience it firsthand. Abby’s paper was 20 pages long and took over three months of research.

Sir Alexander Fleming was the inventor of the popular antibiotic penicillin. This drug has saved millions of lives across the world. After she was given the assignment Olivia used this as a way to answer questions she had after a recent ear infection. Since penicillin is used for ear infections, Olivia wondered what penicillin was and who was responsible for making it. Olivia said the hardest part of her project was conducting the research and getting her findings situated, while actually making the exhibit was easier