Learning through Languages Symposium Showcases High School Students’ Global Research

February 6, 2019

Ninety-seven high school students from across North Carolina participated in the fourth annual Learning through Languages High School Research Symposium, sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University on February 1, 2019. The event was organized by six area studies centers at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke, including the UNC African Studies Center; Carolina Asia Center; Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies; UNC Center for European Studies; UNC Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies; and the UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

The symposium provided a unique opportunity for North Carolina world language students to showcase their language, research and presentation skills by investigating a contemporary global issue. Participating students are studying Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian or Spanish, including heritage speakers.

Students presented their original research at the symposium in the FedEx Global Education Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. They researched current issues across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Russia and East Europe in their language of study. Their presentations were judged by UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke faculty, staff and graduate students.

“Every year I look forward to participating as a judge because I see the high school students excel at the challenge of researching and presenting important topics in another language. Providing a venue where the students interact in multiple languages LTL sends a very positive message about the value of language diversity,” said Joan Clifford, assistant professor of the practice in the Spanish Language Program in the Department of Romance Studies at Duke University.

The area studies centers partnered with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction World Languages department to plan the program, collaborating on a webinar in September featuring information about the symposium and resources for world language study.

Thirty-six teams from the following high schools participated: Cannon School, Carrboro High School, Chapel Hill High School, Chatham Charter School, Durham Academy, East Chapel Hill High School, East Mecklenburg High School, Isaac Bear Early College, C.E. Jordan High School, KIPP Pride High, Lincoln Charter School, Marvin Ridge High School, Parkland High School, Saint Mary’s School and Southern Wayne High School.

Teachers have reported that the greatest benefits of their students’ participation in the symposium include using oral and written expression in a practical, content-based project; engaging in global studies and learning about the world; and participating in cooperative learning.

Twenty-six different awards were given for student projects. Teams of two or three students competed for honors in best overall research projects in each world region track; intermediate and advanced awards related to scholarship, project visuals and use of written and oral language; and a students’ choice award. The organizers congratulate all students who participated.

 

Winning Teams

WORLD REGION TRACK AWARDS

Best Overall Research Project on Africa: Team #2: Julia Conner and Dani Kaufman-Sedano of Carrboro High School, teacher Amy Olsen, for “VIH en Sudáfrica: Los factores sociales que causan a mujeres a ser las víctimas principals.”

Honorable Mention of Research Project on Africa: Team #5: Kira Branch, Julia Elliott and Ellie Koenig of Chapel Hill High School, teacher Christen Campbell, for “Les Effets Environnementaux d’Urbanisation à Dakar.”

Best Overall Research Project on Asia: Team #10: Regan Andringa-Seed, Sophie Buchheit and Faith Joo of East Chapel Hill School, teacher Justin Seifts, for “Crece la penetración del cambio climático: Las implicaciones para la gente pobre de Asia.”

Honorable Mention of Research Project on Asia: Team #9: Spencer Adler and Davi Sapiro-Gheiler of Durham Academy, teacher Bonnie Wang, for “社交媒体的影响.”

Best Overall Research Project on Europe: Team #18: Emma Huang, Griffin Motley and Hannah Wander of Chapel Hill High School, teacher Christen Campbell, for “Le Gaspillage Alimentaire en France.”

Honorable Mention of Research Project on Europe: Team #16: Isabel Mahon and Gisele Scimone of East Chapel Hill High School, teacher Valerie Huet, for “La Spaccatura della Sicilia.”

Best Overall Research Project on the Middle East & North Africa: Team #30: Josie DeRonja and Rim Metina-Belknap of Saint Mary’s School, teacher Nadia Metina-Belknap, for “Les nouveaux schémas de l’immigration et de la migration au Maghreb requièrent de nouvelles mesures politiques et sociales.”

Honorable Mention of Research Project on Middle East & North Africa: Team #29: Holly Springate and Reah Syed of The Cannon School, teacher Leslie Strempel, for “El Activismo de las Mujeres en el Oriente Medio y África del Norte.”

Best Overall Research Project on Latin America & the Caribbean: Team #23: Salome Luviano Carrillo and Fatima Rueda-Martinez of KIPP Pride High School, teacher Myra Belgreat, for “El Oro Verde.”

Honorable Mention of Research Project on Latin America & the Caribbean: Team #22: Julia McCabe, Sarah McCann and Dylan Selkin of Marvin Ridge High School, teacher Alejandra Elliott, for “Efectos de la Corrupción en Venezuela.”

Best Overall Research Project on Russia and East Europe: Team #34: Evelyn LeDuc, Annika Narbut and Michelle Pajak of East Chapel Hill High School, teacher Molly Brooks, for “La guerre en l’Ukraine et les effets sur les citoyens.”

Honorable Mention of Research Project on Russia and East Europe: Team #36: Flora Ivanova and Isabel-Belen Neumann-Rivera of Marvin Ridge High School, teacher Dawn Jones, for “Welche Auswirkungen hatte die begrenzte Rechtsstaatlichkeit auf die sozialpolitische Struktur in Armenien?”

INTERMEDIATE CATEGORY AWARDS

Best Use of Written and Oral Language (Intermediate): Team #16: Isabel Mahon and Gisele Scimone of East Chapel Hill High School, teacher Valerie Huet, for “La Spaccatura della Sicilia.”

Honorable Mention of Best Use of Written and Oral Language (Intermediate): Team #13: Itzel Crisanto, Samuel Vavra and Zachary Voncannon of East Mecklenburg High School, teacher Diane Smith, for “Une analyse de l’impact de la Diaspora africaine moderne en France.”

Best Scholarship (Intermediate): Team #34: Evelyn LeDuc, Annika Narbut and Michelle Pajak of East Chapel Hill High School, teacher Molly Brooks, for “La guerre en l’Ukraine et les effets sur les citoyens.”

Honorable Mention of Best Scholarship (Intermediate): Team #16: Isabel Mahon and Gisele Scimone of East Chapel Hill High School, teacher Valerie Huet, for “La Spaccatura della Sicilia.”

Most Innovative and Illustrative Project Visual (Intermediate): Team #20: Jonathan Morales-Moreno, Frida Perez-Peralta and Grayson Syster of Isaac Bear Early College, teacher Kitt Starnes, for “Impacts of Hurricane Irma and Maria in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Honorable Mention of Most Innovative and Illustrative Project Visual (Intermediate): Team #34: Evelyn LeDuc, Annika Narbut and Michelle Pajak of East Chapel Hill High School, teacher Molly Brooks, for “La guerre en l’Ukraine et les effets sur les citoyens.”

ADVANCED CATEGORY AWARDS

Best Use of Written and Oral Language (Advanced): Team #2: Julia Conner and Dani Kaufman-Sedano of Carrboro High School, teacher Amy Olsen, for “VIH en Sudáfrica: Los factores sociales que causan a mujeres a ser las víctimas principals

Honorable Mention of Best Use of Written and Oral Language (Advanced): Team #9: Spencer Adler and Davi Sapiro-Gheiler of Durham Academy, teacher Bonnie Wang, for “社交媒体的影响.”

Best Scholarship (Advanced): Team #2: Julia Conner and Dani Kaufman-Sedano of Carrboro High School, teacher Amy Olsen, for “VIH en Sudáfrica: Los factores sociales que causan a mujeres a ser las víctimas principals.”

Honorable Mention of Best Scholarship (Advanced): Team #29: Holly Springate and Reah Syed of The Cannon School, teacher Leslie Strempel, for “El Activismo de las Mujeres en el Oriente Medio y África del Norte.”

Most Innovative and Illustrative Project Visual (Advanced): Team #23: Salome Luviano Carrillo and Fatima Rueda-Martinez of KIPP Pride High School, teacher Myra Belgreat, for “El “Oro Verde.”

Honorable Mention of Most Innovative and Illustrative Project Visual (Advanced): Team #10: Regan Andringa-Seed, Sophie Buchheit and Faith Joo of East Chapel Hill School, teacher Justin Seifts, for “Crece la penetración del cambio climático: Las implicaciones para la gente pobre de Asia.”

STUDENTS’ CHOICE AWARD

Students’ Choice Award: Team #3: Camden Hutchinson and Giovanna Solorzano of Lincoln Charter School-Denver, teacher Aubrey Straub, for “La Crisis del Agua en Uganda.”

Honorable Mention of Student’s Choice Award: Team #18: Emma Huang, Griffin Motley and Hannah Wander of Chapel Hill High School, teacher Christen Campbell, for “Le Gaspillage Alimentaire en France.”