High School Students to Present Historical Research at Annual Symposium
Seventeen students from Irvington High School will participate in the annual Peter K. Oley “Tomorrow’s Historians” Student Research Symposium on May 31 at 7 p.m. Throughout the event, which is co-hosted by the high school social studies department and the Irvington Historical Society, students will share findings from their historical research with local historians, community members and classmates.
“The event provides the students with the opportunity to share their research, to engage in a live discussion and debate with their peers and the community, and to apply their research to other fields outside of their research topic,” said social studies teacher Dr. Erik Weiselberg, who organized the event and will serve as moderator.
The students will discuss topics such as the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII and the attempt by the Allies to capture strategic bridges along the Rhine during Operation Market Garden. Other topics will explore the social and economic roots of the Salem Witch Trials to the historical emergence of transgenderism and feminism in the arts. Students will also discuss Edith Wilson's stewardship of the presidency, the influence of journalism on the Watergate scandal and on reporting of the war in Vietnam as well as Edward Snowden's expose of N.S.A. surveillance. The evening will also include an update from students working on a local history internship, including topics of the Battle of White Plains of 1776 and Cyrus W. Field's Ardsley.
“The symposium offers students an opportunity to demonstrate ‘historical thinking skills’ such as interpretation of source material, analyzing continuity and change over time, comparison within and across time periods and cultures, contextualization, argumentation and synthesis,” Dr. Weiselberg said. “In sum, students get a chance to become experts in their field and to participate in and create an academic community at the highest level. Plus, it is a great opportunity for personal growth and to highlight scholarly achievement.”
Dr. Weiselberg said the event is considered one of the highlights of the academic year. Members of the Irvington Historical Society, high school administration and social studies department as well as professional historians will provide remarks during the symposium and distribute awards to the students. History professors Dr. Neil Maher and Dr. Patricia Bonomi, who are also members of the Irvington Historical Society, will host the event.
The annual event honors the memory of Peter Oley who was an elementary school teacher and track coach in the Irvington Union Free School District for more than 30 years. He was also president of the Irvington Historical Society and the official historian of the Village of Irvington.
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