Historical play wins national award


July 27, 1999|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

HISTORY CAME ALIVE recently at the National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland, College Park, where five pupils from the Sykesville area competed.

Alicia DeNardis, Amy Huggins, Diane Krainak, Carissa Morency and Krista Waldhauser were awarded Outstanding State Entry in the junior division for their group performance, "Dynamis Dynamite." Their performance focused on famed industrialist, philanthropist and inventor Alfred Nobel and his discovery of dynamite.

The word "dynamis" is Greek for "powerful" and the girls, pupils at Holy Family School in Randallstown, gave powerful performances at regional and state competitions held in the spring at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and University of Maryland, Baltimore before advancing to national competition.

Under the guidance of social studies teacher Linda Sprenkle, the girls chose their topic based on this year's theme, "Science, Technology, Invention in History: Impact, Influence, Change" and began conducting research in September.

Students competing in the National History Day Contest were permitted to present their work in a variety of ways, including museum-type exhibits, video documentaries, original performances or traditional research papers. The girls chose to create an original performance to present their research.

A social gathering during the 1860s was the scene as the girls portrayed Nobel, his nephew Emmanuel, Nobel's employer and several citizens discussing the manufacturing of dynamite.

Although Nobel's intended use of dynamite was for mining, railroading and bridge building, many citizens were against its destructive nature, only focusing on its uses for war and misdeeds.

Period costumes created mainly by parent Leslie Krainak and a set decorated by the girls enhanced their performance, which was evaluated by three judges.

More than 300 historians and other educational professionals evaluated students' work at the national level. Scholarships worth $125,000 were awarded to select students, with about 100 students taking home cash prizes between $250 and $5,000.

In addition to their medals for Outstanding State Entry, Alicia and Krista (both 13), and Amy, Diane and Carissa (all 14) took home memories from the competition, where they had the opportunity to meet other young history buffs from across the country.

Trading souvenir buttons with participants and making friends created a lasting impression on the group.

"Trading the buttons was fun," said Alicia. "Even though we might have been competing against each other, everybody had a smile on their face."

The educational experience was also not lost on the girls.

"Learning while you're meeting people is great," said Carissa. "It's better than sitting in a lecture."

Author's reception

The Shenmen Clinic at Spirit Gate Center in Sykesville will sponsor a reception for author Rajinder Singh at 2: 30 p.m. today at the center, 14010 Forsythe Road.

Singh, on an East Coast tour promoting his book "Empowering Your Soul Through Meditation," has been recognized for his efforts in promoting peace and his ideas on bringing various religions together to speak about peace.

Singh is an also a teacher of meditation.

"He is quite an inspirational person," said Alan Shenmen, who, with his wife, Carolyn, operates the Shenmen Clinic, where the couple uses acupuncture and meditation to promote spirituality and inner peace.

Anyone may attend the reception. There is no charge.

"Spirituality is free," said Shenmen.

Information: 410-442-5605 or 1-888-SHENMEN.

Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 7/27/99

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