Centuries of history came to life in Bristow’s multi-purpose room as part of the seventh annual History Night held Feb. 5. Bristow students must complete a handcrafted art project to reflect their understanding of one of the many topics covered in their history class, and awards were given to the best three projects in each grade. Sixth-graders focused on the ancient societies of China and Mesopotamia, while seventh-graders explored influential cultures from the Renaissance era and countries in Central America. Eighth-graders expressed their knowledge of American history from the 18th and 19th centuries.
History Night Coordinator Kiko Ceja said he was impressed with this year’s display of talent: “It’s great to see how students have brought history to life. Each student got to choose what topic they wanted to do a project for. It was their choice, so they got to have fun with it. It’s exciting to see how students use this as an exercise to learn about historical events as well as explore their own creativity.”
Ceja said he was most impressed with the seventh-graders who recreated famous Renaissance paintings – and the judges agreed. Esther Mou’s painting of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” took top prize for the seventh-grade class. Kimberly Christie took third place for her recreation of Johannes Vermeer’s “The Girl with the Pearl Earring,” which she created by arranging discarded circles from a hole punch.
Kimberly said she spent a week punching out the dots. It took another four days to glue each dot in place. “My mom gave me the idea. I thought that picture would be the easiest to do with dots, but it wasn’t that fun. It took a lot of time, but I’m happy that I won a prize.”
Other students turned their projects into a family affair.
Seventh grader Alex Charvet created a Roman galleon with popsicle sticks with the help of his dad and younger brother. Mom Jennifer said she was proud of the end result. “The family contributed to the project, but Alex did all the hard work.”
Shannon Coe said she wanted to help her daughter, sixth-grader Tailor, with her construction of an Egyptian pyramid, complete with a mummy inside, but Tailor had other ideas. “I wanted to do my thing,” Tailor said. “It was fun to make, and I like getting to show it off for everyone to see.”
Ultimately, Shannon said she was impressed with her daughter’s creativity as well as that of the entire Bristow community. “Of course my daughter’s (project) is my favorite, but there are some really amazing projects out here. You can tell the students worked hard on these. It’s hard to pick a favorite.”
While the plethora of projects was eye candy for all in attendance, Bristow students were asked to pick their three favorite projects in order to earn some extra-credit points toward their history grades.
Seventh-graders Sonya Ortega, Lizbeth Gonzalez, Stephanie Lopez and Brenda Rios made a stop by a 6-foot tall catapult, taking a moment to assess it before concluding it was one of their favorites. “It looks like it would really work,” said Sonya.
“Yeah, it could work,” Lizbeth said as Stephanie and Brenda nodded in agreement as they made notes on their work sheet. “There must have been a lot of research to get it right. A lot of effort went into this.”
As students and parents canvassed the room, taking a look at more than 800 art projects, Principal Russell Cornell took a moment to look over a recreation of the painting of Emanuel Leutze’s “Washington Crossing the Delaware.”
“I’m astounded by the talent of our students,” Cornell said. “I can’t even make a stick figure, but these kids are able to recreate legendary art. This event gives our students the chance to express their knowledge artistically instead of writing a paper or taking a test. Plus this is a project that the entire family can be involved in, so I’m proud that we can host an educational event that also promotes family.”
Best of Show ribbons were awarded to sixth-graders Ray Angelo Siapno – first; Lorenzo Gomez – second; and Brett Peterson – third; seventh-graders Esther Mou – first; Garet Kimball – second; and Kimberly Christie –third; and eighth-graders Olivia Sotelo – first; Drew Kenkel – second; and Zach Thorton – third.