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The Sad Story of Japanese-American Internment During World War II

by Kelly Vazquez, age 18

Anti-Asian sentiments have been around for some time now, but with COVID-19, Asian hate has risen all across the globe. However, this is not the first time Asian groups have faced discrimination. A prime example is the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attacks in 1941, when the Japanese military attacked the US Naval base by surprise, killing 2,403 service members, seriously injuring 1,178 others, and destroying about 170 planes and multiple ships.

The response from President Franklin Roosevelt was Executive Order 9066, which established Japanese internment camps from 1942 to 1954 during World War II. This policy —now known as one of the worst American civil rights violations — stripped the civil rights of people of Japanese descent, including U.S. citizens, and forced them into isolated camps.

What exactly was Executive Order 9066? After the tragic Pearl Harbor attacks, Roosevelt signed the order on February 19, 1942, to prevent espionage on American shores, creating military zones in states with large Japanese demographics — such as California, Washington, and Oregon. Americans of Japanese descent and Japanese immigrants were forced out of their homes and into the camps. The order impacted an estimated 120,000 people, many of whom were Americans. [Read More]

The Last Voyage of the SS Phoenix

by Kelly Vazquez, age 17

On November 11th, 1847, the steamboat S.S. Phoenix, was sailing across Lake Michigan. It carried an estimated 293 passengers, many of whom were emigrants from the Netherlands. However, many of these passengers would never go on to see their destination.

Around 4:00 am on November 21st, smoke began to escape the ship's engine room as the boilers overheated and set overhead wooden beams on fire. When the crewmen discovered the fire, the Phoenix was within seven miles of the town of Sheboygan.

Although at first, the crew managed to contain the flames, the fire raged out of control shortly after. The ship's passengers were alerted and First Mate Watts organized the crew and passengers into a bucket brigade (passing buckets of water down a line of people) in an attempt to fight the fire. The fire continued to grow. Watts ordered the ship to turn towards the shore, but the fire overwhelmed the engine room and the ship drifted until it stopped about five miles from shore and nine miles from Sheboygan. [Read More]

Rosa Parks, Civil Rights Icon

by Sol-Saray, age 11

Many people may have heard of the brave woman who stood up for herself and refused to give up her seat to a white man. That woman was known as Rosa Parks.

Rosa Louise McCauley was born in Tuskegee, Alabama on February 4, 1913. She was daughter of James McCauley, who worked as a carpenter, and Leona McCauley, who worked as a teacher. Rosa's grandparents were enslaved. Rosa grew up in times where racism and segregation was very harsh; due to Jim Crow laws in the South, Black Americans had to sit separately on the bus from white Americans.

On December 1, 1955, she boarded the bus after a long day of work. She chose to sit in the front of the bus, spots typically designated for white people. When demanded to give her seat to a white passenger, she refused and was arrested and fined shortly after. As a result of her arrest, people started boycotting the Montgomery buses in protest by walking instead of using bus transportation. The boycott lasted over a year and resulted in the U.S Supreme Court ruling in favor of ending racial segregation on buses. [Read More]

East L.A. Student Walkouts Propelled the Chicano Movement

by Valeria Moreno Lopez, age 16

The 1960s was a time of change for many underrepresented communities in the United States. Between the civil rights movement and racial conflicts occurring, many people took the opportunity to strongly voice their basic needs. An example is the East L.A. walkouts of 1968, a series of protests led by Chicano students that advocated for the improvement of their education.

Obvious flaws in the Los Angeles school systems were always apparent to Chicano students. The unfurnished buildings could not support the growing population, hence leading to overcrowding; and much of the staff were inadequately trained for teaching. The lack of education quality denied many academic and career opportunities for Latinos that were readily available to white students. Nearly 130,000 Latinos made up 75 percent of East L.A.'s student body, but due to the lack of support, the number of school drop-outs mounted to 50 percent or above. Although Chicano students contacted their school administrations to fix the flaws, nothing changed.

Students, however, were not alone in the fight against the discriminatory issues they faced. In particular, Sal Castro, a Mexican-American social studies teacher at Lincoln High School in Los Angeles, encouraged Chicano students to dwell more on their culture and take pride in their identity. In 1967, Castro, and community members, began organizing protests and helping students walk out of their classes to march in the streets. Many Chicanos from East L.A. schools and concerned parents joined. Together they created a list of 39 demands, such as employing more Latino staff, allowing bilingualism to be used in classrooms, and an increase of Mexican and Mexican-American history lessons. [Read More]

Women Pioneers in the STEM Fields

by Devika Pal, age 17

As early as the mid-19th century, women made vast contributions to astronomy. They had to fight for representation and recognition in this field. Pioneers such as Maria Mitchell and a group of women known as the Harvard Computers paved the way for the women who followed. However, even now, many women struggle to receive credit for their work.

Maria Mitchell is recognized as the first professional woman astronomer in the United States. She discovered a comet in 1847 using a small telescope, which was later named after her, Miss Mitchell’s Comet. The discovery was initially credited to Italian astronomer Francesco de Vico even though he discovered it after she did; it was not until later that it was credited to Mitchell. The first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Joseph Henry, even published the comet’s discovery in 1848 without mention of Mitchell’s name. His actions reflect the refusal to credit women astronomers for their achievements, a common tendency at that time. Despite being initially overlooked, she was admitted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1848, becoming the first woman to be recognized by the Academy.

During the early 20th century, Harvard Observatory Director Edward Charles Pickering put together a team of women astronomers who came to be known as the “Harvard Computers.” These women carried out astronomical calculations and invented the Harvard spectral classification, which they used to classify hundreds of stars. Over a century later, this system is still being used by modern astronomers. However, the women worked in substandard conditions, only earning 25 to 50 cents an hour, much less than the men made, while performing a similar wide range of duties. Even Annie Jump Cannon—who was central to development of the Havard classification system—was not credited by name in the title. [Read More]

The Ancient Library of Pergamum

by Hiba Al-Quraishi, age 14

The ancient library of Pergamum, located in what is now Turkey, was built in the third century B.C. by members of the Attalid dynasty. The library, constructed by a small kingdom that lasted only 150 years, is now one of the most famous libraries in antiquity.

Following the destruction of Alexander the Great’s empire, Lysimachus, a general in Alexander the Great’s army, founded the Monarchy of Pergamum or Attalid kingdom during the Hellenistic period. This kingdom was situated in what is now Turkey, in the western portion of Asia Minor.

Around 130 BC, the Roman Republic acquired the Kingdom of Pergamum. Even though this kingdom only existed for roughly 150 years, they managed to construct one of the greatest libraries ever seen in antiquity and for centuries. The large library of Pergamum remained a significant hub of study. [Read More]

How an Ancient Civilization Thrived and then Collapsed

by Emily Rodriguez, age 13

A mysterious ancient civilization on the island of Malta collapsed within two generations, despite surviving for more than a millennium.

The ancient civilization was known as the Temple Culture, it arose around 6,000 years ago on Malta and other islands in the Mediterranean sea. Groups of scientists analyzed pollen and DNA from skulls and bones that were buried deep in the Earth to find an explanation for the quick collapse. According to a tree ring analysis, the whole region was exposed to horrible climates. This analysis and other research makes up an ongoing investigation into why the civilization collapsed.

Upwards of several thousand people lived on Malta. These people built a strong and successful civilization through collaboration. The people built sacred sites, one of them being Ggantija Temple complex. Their buildings are known as some of the first free-standing buildings. The temples held the people together. Historians assumed the temples honored a mother goddess. However, recents findings led historians to believe the people focused on their worship, feasting, and rituals insteads of on a deity (god or goddess, in ancient Greek). Despite their affective lifestyle, after around 1,500 years, the civilization and its people were gone. [Read More]

Cathedral on a Hill: Ancient Structure in Turkey Might be the Oldest on Planet Earth

by Jules Da Costa, age 13

Have you ever wondered what the world’s oldest structure is? Well, archaeologists have found an answer: Gobekli Tepe.

The Gobekli Tepe, informally known as “Cathedral on a Hill,” is located east of the Mediterranean Sea in the country of Turkey. It was discovered atop a limestone plateau close to Urfa. It currently stands as humanity's oldest known structure, built over 11,000 years ago.

In 1996, German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt led an expedition on the mountaintop. After over a decade of excavations, Schmidt concluded that the monument gives further insight on when early humans switched from a nomadic lifestyle to an agricultural lifestyle. He and his team found stone tools and other promising evidence that hunter-gatherers based at the Gobekli Tepe site carved tools and built structures. [read more]

How a Library Made Baghdad the World's Most Important Center of Learning

by Mariama Bah, age 15

When hearing about grand libraries, one might think of the Library of Alexandria or the Library of Congress. However a different library was established in the 9th century as one of the world’s greatest centers of science and learning.

The House of Wisdom was founded in the city of Baghdad, Iraq during the Islamic Golden Age, which lasted from the 8th to the 14th century. The Islamic Golden Age was an important period in Islamic history characterized by a series of rapid scientific, cultural, and economic advancements.

Although the House of Wisdom was visited by scholars from all around the Middle East, it was owned by the Abbasid Dynasty, which ruled over the Islamic Empire. Details on the library’s founding are debated. Many believe it was started by Abu Ja’far al-Mansur, who collected books on the sciences. What started as one hall became an educational capital. Students regardless of gender, faith, ethnicity, or language were welcomed into the House of Wisdom. [Read More]

World War Two Battalion Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

by Mahalia Pearson, age 12

During World War II, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion employed people of African-American, Caribbean, and Mexican descent. The women who worked in the Postal Directory Department were grouped in the Women Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and later were called the Women Army Corps (WAC) on July 1, 1943.

Unfortunately, in 1945, multiple warehouses in England had a large backlog of mail from soldiers that had not been distributed. Before it could be sent out, the mail would take six months to process first, and there were seven million soldiers and government workers waiting for their correspondence. This issue left soldiers upset since they were not receiving their mail. The 855 Black women from the WAC were granted the opportunity to go overseas, due to the support and pressure from different African American organizations. When arrived in Europe they started sending out mail. They worked seven days a week, circling through three eight-hour shifts per day. These women delivered more than 17 million letters in the last several months of the war.

These women were slandered by male soldiers based on their race and gender. Major Charity Adams, the female African-American officer with the highest rank, led her corps through a boycott against the facilities for being segregated. The reason for the discrimination they faced was because they were Black women in a primarily white place. As a solution, they decided to create their facilities such as hair salons, food halls, and refreshment bars. [Read More]

Secrets of the Ice: Archaeologists Discover Ancient Arrowhead inside a Melting Glacier

by Camila Cruz, age 15

As glaciers begin to melt, archaeologists in Scandinavia are discovering artifacts that help them learn more about the past. Recently, researchers found a well-preserved 1,500-year-old arrow, in what they believe is an ancient hunting ground.

The archaeologists who discovered the arrow are part of “Secrets Of The Ice”, a group of scientists and glacial archaeologists in Norway who explore and pinpoint glaciers. This arrow is not just any arrow. Not only is it believed to be older than the Vikings that inhabited the land from roughly 800-1100 AD, but it is also extremely well preserved.

The arrow was found between two rocks in Norway in an area where ancient people likely hunted reindeer. The archeologists think that the arrow was lost in the snow when one of the hunters missed a shot. Archaeologists believe the arrow was frozen into a glacier, and when the glacier melted it made its way down to where it was found. The fletching which helps stabilize the arrow while it’s flying is gone, but the arrowhead is still attached to the shaft, which is a unique discovery. [Read More]

Remembering Jim Brown: NFL Legend's Impact Beyond Sports, from Athletics to Activism

by Katina Maclin, age 17

Jim Brown, two-time NFL champion and four-time league MVP, recently passed away. Although he was well-known for his achievements in the NFL, his impact reached far beyond the world of sports.

Jim Brown was born in 1936 in St. Simons Island, Georgia. Growing up, he was an athletic and versatile young man. He attended the University of Syracuse in New York, where he was a star football and lacrosse athlete. He shined both on the field and in the classroom, as he was deemed an excellent student.

Drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the first round, Brown prospered in the NFL, quickly becoming a Star. He gained many awards and was named All-Pro eight times. He made himself a well-known name in pro football. [Read More]

Restoration of 1868 Brisbane House in Arena, Wisconsin Wins Another Prestigious Award

by Ayelen Flores Ruiz, age 13

The historic Brisbane House in Arena, Wisconsin, is renowned for its builder's past. William Henry Brisbane, known as an "abolitionist," faced significant scrutiny when he embraced this cause and subsequently relocated from his Southern home state.

Born on October 12, 1806, Brisbane began his journey as a cadet at the Norwich Military Academy in Norwich, Vermont. He later inherited 33 enslaved individuals from his family. While residing in a South Carolina house with his slaves, Brisbane underwent a transformation in his beliefs, recognizing the inherent wrongfulness of slavery. He made the courageous decision to set his slaves free, a move that garnered heavy criticism and disdain from his community. Nonetheless, this opposition did not deter him from persisting in his human rights campaign. To escape judgment and pursue his cause, Brisbane left South Carolina and settled in what is now Arena, Wisconsin, embarking on a new chapter in his life.

Brisbane harbored grand plans to construct a house where he could reside and eventually provide accommodation for others after his passing. The house was built in the "I-style," a design Southerners transported with them when they migrated North. Characterized by its towering structure and an interior adorned with numerous large windows that facilitated excellent ventilation in the summer, the house also featured tall doors. Remarkably, the house still stands in good condition. [Read More]

The Dead Sea's Lifelessness, Ancient Wealth, and Healing Wonders

by Kevin Chen, age 15

Though the Dead Sea sounds like a scary place, the same reasons this body of water can not support plant or animal life made it a valuable resource in the ancient world. Back in the Roman era (476 C.E.), salt was considered highly valuable, so much so that Roman soldiers would be paid in salt, instead of money. The Latin word “salary” came from the word “salt”.

The Dead Sea, actually a lake, has had different names throughout history such as the Salt Sea and the Sea of the Plain. It is one of the four saltiest bodies of water in the whole world, containing up to 10 times as many minerals and salts as most oceans. Due to its high salinity, there are not any plants or animals that inhabit the Dead Sea. This excessive amount of salt and mineral concentration is because of the warm climate which causes water to evaporate. This drastically reduces the water-to-salt ratio in the lake. The lake is so salty that people can float on it.

The Dead Sea has also been known to have healing powers. The salt and minerals in the lake can be beneficial for skin diseases. The oxygen rate is 5% higher than most places on Earth, which can also help those with asthma and arthritis. The black mud found around the Dead Sea was once used as soap in ancient Greece because it could penetrate pores and nourish the skin. Now, multiple hotels around the Dead Sea provide an opportunity to try the benefits of the world’s first health resort. [Read More]

The History of Pringles Chips

by Moore Vang, age 14

In the 1950s, the company Procter & Gamble wanted to design a chip that

did not break, had flavor and had a new shape. After nearly a century, Pringles has generated popularity around the world and is one of the best chips out there.

A chemist named Fredric Baur created the design of the Pringle, which was [Read More]

Lake Chad: A Vital Ecosystem and Historic Hub of Civilization

by Dayanis Torres-Cruz, age 13

Lake Chad is made up of 17,000 square kilometers of fresh water located at the midpoint of dunes that stretch across Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. Lake Chad has a rich history, but scientists say that the lake's water level changes based on rain and dry seasons, and its habitat surroundings are changing.

The ecosystem in Lake Chad has a variety of open waters, some permanent and others temporary. These bodies of water contain helpful nutrients that sustain the biodiversity in the lake. Many animals, such as hippopotamuses, Nile crocodiles, tortoises, sea turtles, otters, a few native birds, migratory birds, and about 120 types of fish all call Lake Chad home.

Historically, Lake Chad was settled around 500 BC at the earliest. The ancient Sao civilization had a deep history and connection to Lake Chad. Their history traces back to the Paleolithic age and it is believed that the Sao civilization came to Lake Chad from the Nile valley around the fifth century. The Sao civilization, one of the oldest known, left remains of architecture, showing that they lived by fishing and farming, and were very creative people. [Read More]

Beneath the Pacific Ocean: Explorers Find Japanese Ship Sunk During World War Two

by Sedona Afeworki, age 14

On April 18, 2023, a Japanese shipwreck was located in the South China Sea. This was Australia’s largest death at sea during World War II.

This scary story begins with the ship: Montevideo Maru, which was carrying both prisoners and civilians that were taken during the Battle of Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. The Sturgeon, an American submarine shot four torpedoes after watching the ship all night on July 1, 1942. It took less than 10 minutes to sink.

That night, 1,080 lives were taken. Those people were from 14 different nations. More than 90% of the people who died were Australian. Family members waited years for letters from their missing family members on board, only to find out that their loved ones had drowned. [Read More]

What was Life Like in the Ice Age?

by Kaleab Afeworki, age 11

The Ice Age was a cold time period where wooly mammoths roamed free, sea levels were at bay, and isthmuses served as a natural means of transportation.

Historically, there have been five major Ice Ages, with the first dating 2.3 billion years ago. During the first Ice Age, a huge layer of ice that was more than 650 feet thick encoated one-third of the Earth. Today, leftover ice still covers Greenland and Antarctica.

The book World History Encyclopedia states, “Since the Quaternary Ice Age, there have been 17 glacial (cold) and 17 interglacial (warm) periods.” Ice Ages start from the Earth changing its direction in its path as it orbits the Sun. The first Ice Age was called the Huronian Glaciation. Right now, we are living in the Holocene, a geological time period that began 11,700 years ago after the most recent major Ice Age. [Read More]

120-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Fossil Sheds Light on Bird Evolution

by Dayanara Flores Gonzalez, 15

Scientists have just discovered a 120-million-year-old fossil that could help us learn more about landbound dinosaurs and their evolution into flying birds.

The Cratonavis Zhui bird was revealed to have a dinosaur-like head and a body similar to that of today's birds.

This bird originated from the northeast region of China. CT scans found its skull to be nearly identical to that of a theropod dinosaur, similar to the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Chinese Academy of Sciences reports that the Cratonavis skull had not evolved its mobile upper jaw like other birds. [Read More]

Milwaukeean becomes first Black woman mathematician to have her papers in Library of Congress manuscript collection

by Hanna Eyobed, age 17

Gloria Ford Gilmer was an expert at ethnomathematics: how math manifests itself into the lives of cultures all around the world. She was a Black woman who dedicated her life to math: both the learning and teaching of it.

Gilmer received many of her accolades after her passing in August 2021. A historian of science and technology at the Library of Congress’ Manuscript Division, Josh Levy, reached out to Gilmer's family to uncover work that had been stored away. Gilmer left a legacy of success and transcending the odds; her files, documents, photographs, and VHS tapes were held in 64 bankers boxes and are now maintained in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, an honor that has not been held by a Black woman before her. Her work is now able to be examined and used for further research for other historians to explore for educational purposes.

Gilmer paved the way for Black intellectuals to follow. With her concentration in ethnomathematics, Gilmer taught all over Milwaukee, including the Milwaukee Area Technical College, the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, and various Milwaukee public schools. She was the first Black educator in many of the spaces she entered. There were many firsts in Gilmer's career, such as first Black person to earn a doctorate from Marquette University, first Black woman to sit on the Board of Governors for the Mathematical Association of America, and first Black woman to have her papers kept in the Library of Congress’ Manuscript Division. [Read More]

The African Kingdom of Kush Lasted Almost 2,000 Years

by Anissa Attidekou, age 13

In Africa's vast and storied history, the Kingdom of Kush is a shining example of the continent’s rich and diverse civilizations. The kingdom was established in what is present-day Sudan. Kush thrived from 800 BCE to 300 AD for over a thousand years. The kingdom of Kush rose to become a formidable power in Northeast Africa, leaving an indelible mark on the region’s history.

The Kush developed a distinct culture that was influenced by Egypt and Rome. Two of its major cities are located in the White and Blue Nile. Pharaohs were drawn to the kingdom's resources and launched their military to capture them. The Kush people worshiped similar gods and practiced identical rituals such as mummification and pyramid-building. Egypt was eventually weakened by outside invaders and Kush became independent around 1,800 BC.

Kush’s prosperity was deeply rooted in its control of trade routes. Its position allowed it to be a trading link between the civilizations of the Mediterranean and those of sub-Saharan Africa. This trade brought wealth and cultural exchange that developed the kingdom. [Read More]

The Silk Road Paved the Way for Cultural Exchange and Prosperity

by Daileni Cruz, age 10

The Silk Road was an ancient trade route connecting the two great civilizations of Rome and China. They would trade wool, gold, silver, and silk along this road.

In 138 BC, Zhang Qian journeyed from China to Central Asia. He is known as “The Father of the Silk Road.” His sea voyages exposed the Chinese to Greek culture. New breeds of horses, grapes, and alfalfa were brought to China because of his journeys. The trade route that people mainly used followed the Great Wall of China to the northwest and climbed the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan, and went through Afghanistan before finishing in Rome.

Asia began to lose its Roman territory as Arabian power began to increase in the Mediterranean area. Due to their differences, the Silk Road became unsafe. The Silk Road slowly disappeared as people stopped using it for trade. Sea routes were then discovered as a safe and faster means of trade. [Read More]

Remembering Toni Morrison, USPS to Honor Renowned Novelist with Commemorative Stamp

by Riya Adhikari, age 11

Toni Morrison was a famous novelist who wrote non-fiction books about African Americans. She passed away on August 5th, 2019 at the age of 88 years old.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is designing a stamp in honor of Toni Morrison. She wrote about the struggles of being an African American in the United States and created a voice for many people.

Toni Morrison's writing was beautifully created and artistically worded. Some of her most famous novels are “Beloved,” “The Bluest Eye,” and “Song of Solomon.” After writing some of her best work, she taught literature and writing at Princeton University for 17 years. [Read More]

Tony Bennett's Remarkable Basketball Journey from Player to NCAA Championship Coach

by Owen Atayi, age 15

Tony Bennett is currently a National College Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball head coach for the Virginia Cavaliers. However, Bennett isn’t simply just a coach; he was first a great basketball player.

Anthony Guy Bennett was born June 1, 1969, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Growing up, Bennett enjoyed playing the game of basketball. In high school, Bennett was a six-foot point guard who attended Green Bay Preble High School. After high school, Bennett made a big jump to college basketball where he represented his father, Dick Bennett on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix men’s basketball team.

In college, Bennett averaged 21.5 points per game as a junior and 20.2 points per game as a senior. Bennett wasn’t just your ordinary basketball player. He shot a whopping 51 percent from the three-point range. Bennett finished off his college career in 1992 and was named Mid-Continent Conference’s all-time leader, along with many other NCAA accolades. [Read More]

Catherine the Great Reformed Russia with an Iron Fist

by Haliah Berkowitz, age 12

Catherine the Great was a German princess, who married the Grand Dux Peter, and did many amazing things for her country. She also died in a way not many would imagine.

Catherine married the Grand Dux of Russia, heir to the Russian throne, and became Empress Catherine the Great. However, their relationship was one-sided. She often found Peter unattractive and weak because of various illnesses saying, ”I should have loved my new husband if only he had been willing or able to be in the least loveable.” The rift in their relationship grew bigger. They both supported different political ideas. Catherine even had an affair with the man who eventually would take over the throne.

Born a German princess by the name Sophia Augusta Frederika Von Anhalt-Zerbst, she changed her name to Catherine when she married to have a more Russian name. Her husband was a king named Peter the Great. He founded St. Petersburg, a city in Russia in 1703. He led Russia to victory against Sweden in the Battle of Poltava in 1709. [Read More]

Scientists Find T-Rex Ancestor in Montana

by Mariama Bah, age 16

Archaeologists in northeast Montana have uncovered fossils that may link to ancestors of the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex).

Fossils of Daspletosaurus wilsoni, the speculated ancestor of the T. rex, were found in Valley County, Montana. In 2017. Jack Wilson, a crew member at the Badlands Dinosaur Museum, noticed a small bone protruding from a cliff in the Judith River Formation. Between then and 2021, multiple fossils were found.

Torosus, the first species of the Daspletosaurus genus was uncovered by Charles M. Sternberg, a Canadian paleontologist, in 1921. Sternberg originally classified the fossils as a species of Gorgosaurus, a smaller tyrannosaurid dinosaur whose fossils were also found in Alberta, Canada. But it wasn’t until 1970 when fellow Canadian paleontologist, Dale Russell, classified the fossils under Daspletosaurus, which had a heavier build and larger body. [Read More]

How Humans Harnessed Fire

by Sedona Afeworki, age 14

Fire, a chemical reaction, is the burning of a combustible substance with oxygen, fuel, and heat. The reaction radiates heat and light. There are various uses for fire such as to cook food, to keep warm, and to light a candle. However, how did early humans use fire to their advantage?

The first proof of fire dates to around 440 million years ago, before human existence. Millions of years later, the ancestors of early humans called “hominins” discovered how fire could be used once they moved to the african savannas. However hominins were not the first to discover fire; in reality, no one did. Instead, there were chemical reactions that kept happening in the grasslands, which resulted in many wildfires. Instead of trying to invent it, hominins tried to control fire and some archeologists believe that the hominins learned to do so and maintain flame around 2.5 million years ago. But there was no apparent evidence to prove this theory. While stone tools can still be found by archaeologists many years later, the presence of fire cannot be tracked in early history.

By observing the behavior of animals today, researchers have attempted to explain how hominins first used fire. For example, different types of birds and even chimpanzees in the savanna take advantage of the newly mobilized and visible prey. [Read More]

A Rare Piece of Wisconsin History: Most Expensive Bike Ever Sold at Auction

by Jules Da Costa, age 15

The most expensive bike ever sold at an auction was a 1908 Strap Tank Harley-Davidson, which happens to be a rare piece of Wisconsin history.

Manufactured in Wisconsin, the 1908 Harley-Davidson was sold at an auction for $935,000, after the auction fees. The motorcycle was sold at the end of January at the Mecum Auction in Las Vegas. The 1908 that sold is suspected to be one of 12 to ever be made. A 1907 Strap Tank was sold for $715,000 in 2015, making it the fifth most expensive bike sold at an auction.

The 1908 Strap Tank is one of the most unique models in Harley-Davidson history and is considered the earliest model most people can find. This model is most known for its features and original parts. It was given the name “Strap Tank” because of how its fuel tank is connected by nickel straps. As a result of these one of a kind features, these motorcycles can be very difficult to find and are rarely sold at auctions. [Read More]

William Bebee Pushed Barriers in Scuba Diving

by Marie Pietz, age 11

Exploring the sea is something that most of us don’t think about, but it’s important to understand the dangers of it as well as seeing how it can be successfully accomplished.

A common danger is running out of oxygen. This may happen because the diver has gone too far down underwater and does not have enough time to return to the surface. Another massive danger is the pressure underwater, which can crush and kill the diver. This may happen because the pressure is so high that it crushes the bathysphere, an old kind of submarine that was used throughout the 1930s.

William Bebee was man on a mission to break many records, especially those in the science field. William was born in Brooklyn, New York in the late 1870s, and in the 1930s he began breaking records in the New York Zoos. In 1934, he set the record for the deepest bathysphere descent at the depth of 3,028 feet. At the time many believed it was a bad idea. [Read More]

Quanah Parker Became a Famous Comanche Leader

by Sandy Flores-Ruiz, age 16

The last surviving chief of the Quahada Comanche Indian tribe was Quanah Parker. He was born in 1845 in Elk Creek, near Wichita Mountain, in what is today known as Oklahoma City. He is known for his resistance against white settlement and for his leadership in helping his community adapt to life on the reservation.

Quanah Parker’s birth resulted from a conflict between Native Americans and white settlers. His mother, Cynthia Ann Parker, was captured when she was child and later converted to the Native American way of life. She met Quanah’s father, Chief Peta Nocona, whom she later married. They had three children: Quanah, Pecos, and Topsana. However, Quanah’s childhood was a nightmare where he endured a long battle with the Texas Rangers. As a result of the battle, both his mother and sister were taken against their will. After being held captive for more than twenty-four years, Cynthia refused to re-assimilate. She committed suicide in 1871 after losing her daughter a couple of years earlier due to illness, leaving Quanah and his brother as orphans.

The Comanche tribe was very disorganized during Chief Peta Nocona’s leadership, nevertheless, many feared them. In fact, the tribe was one of the first to obtain horses from the Spanish. The Comanche established themselves as expert riders and set the pattern for nomadic horse culture life, which became common among plain tribes in the 18th and 19th centuries. When Quanah became chief, the Comanche were in almost a constant state of war with Mexico, Texas, and other Native American tribes. Quanah Parker led the tribe in a very successful battle and many believed in him because he was the son of a respected leader. [Read More]

Ghost Towns and Glaciers: The Legend of Kennicot

by Anissa Attidekou, age 13

Despite the fact that ghost stories can be scary, they are always interesting. The tale of this ghostly Alaskan glacier might give you a chill, but it will also get you hooked with its unique story.

This ghostly glacier was discovered and explored during the 1800s and site was eventually named the Kennicott Glacier. The mountains around the glacier are embedded with tons of copper. During the 1800s and 1900s, the rise of electricity and telephone use meant an increase in demand for copper wiring. After finding out about the Kennicott Glacier and its copper, several companies quickly built mines.

At its peak, these mining operations employed around 600 miners. They worked long hours every day. The miners produced a lot of copper allowing the owners of the mines to make a great amount of money. [Read More]

The Unique History of Lake Ivanhoe, Wisconsin

by Josepha Da Costa, age 18

This past summer, Lake Ivanhoe was one of 40 new historical markers to be designated in Wisconsin. It became only the 8th marker, out of 600, in the state to feature Black History. Peter Baker, a current resident who grew up in Lake Ivanhoe, “the safest place and the coolest place” he’d ever been in his life, played an important part in the process of celebrating this history. His tireless efforts for over 20 years finally made this commemoration possible.

Lake Ivanhoe was founded in 1926, in the town of Bloomfield, by three Black men from Chicago: politician Bradford Watson, business executive Frank Anglin, and attorney Jeremiah Brumfield. These men were looking for a summer vacation place to visit with their families to get away from the racial unrest in Chicago at the time, which was a result of the Great Migration. As Black people started frequently moving to the northern cities, specifically Chicago, segregation became increasingly prominent. Since Black people were not welcome in predominantly white resorts in neighboring places like Lake Geneva, they decided to create their own. This was where the first entirely Black owned community in Wisconsin was born.

The town’s streets were named after famous historical people like Crispus Attucks and Phyllis Wheatley. A large gazebo was built in the middle of town where the neighborhood families were able to hold cookouts, gatherings and concerts. For most of the 1920s, Lake Ivanhoe was a safe haven for Black families to reside and enjoy. However, after the stock market crash in the 1930s, the once lively resort quickly became abandoned. [Read More]

How One of China's Most Beautiful Attractions Saved Lives

by Sedona Afeworki, age 14

Where would be a good place to hide if something bad ever happened? The Guilin Hills is a place in China where many people hid during World War II and the following civil war when clashing armies turned the region into a battlefield. The hills also have a lot of caves, one of many ways they’ve played a role in Chinese history.

The Guilin Hills, which means “forest of cassia trees”, stands within the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region near the Li River in southern China. The Hills are part of the “limestone region”, which spreads from south-central China to Vietnam.

Between 1949 and 1973, Guilin was closed to most sightseers while Communist forces were in power. In 1973, it was reopened, and Guilin transformed into one of China’s most beautiful attractions. [Read More]

The End of Brazil's Soccer "Golden Age"

by Moore Vang, age 14

Brazil’s national team has had many achievements, beginning with winning their first-ever World Cup in 1958. Illustrator John Mulliken from Sports Illustrated wrote about their win saying, “Brazil itself went wild.” Brazil may have looked impressive, but in some people's eyes that was not the case. The French leader by the name of Charles de Gaulle in 1963 stated, “Brazil, that is not a serious country.” During this time many people doubted Brazil, but Brazil was very ambitious about soccer.

The sport first came to Brazil in 1894. The game originally came from Britain but spread to people of the lower class. A breakthrough came in 1923, when a club founded by Portuguese bankers in 1898 allowed poor black players to join their club. They went on to win a city championship that same year.

From 1938 to the 1990’s, Brazil experienced a golden era of soccer. In that time, it strengthened Brazil’s national identity. It even hosted the 1950 World Cup at the Rio Stadium, which was the world’s largest at the time. Even with the team’s great soccer skills, the country was still criticized as an underdeveloped nation. The sport of soccer elevated Brazil to a high level in the second half of the 20th century. [Read More]

From Bronx "Breaks" to L.A. Rap: The History of Hip-Hop

by Zayn Khalid, age 12

Hip-hop was created nearly fifty years ago. Many of us listen to hip-hop every day, yet many people don’t know its history.

It all started back in 1973 when, “DJ Kool Herc” threw a party for his sister in their apartment building on Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx, New York. He played a type of music called “breaks'', which included some drums, funky percussion, and bass put together. This was where hip-hop was born.

Being a DJ in hip-hop was all about moving your finger back and forth on the vinyl and being creative with it. Later it evolved. People started putting rhyming couplets, which are two-lined poems, in front of the music, then to triplets, three-lined poems, and then to multiple rhyming lines. However, people in Harlem and the Bronx did not believe that rap would ever be a real genre. That changed in 1979 when producer Sylvia Robinson gathered three kids and recorded rhymes over a beat that turned into the famous hit ”Rapper's Delight'' by Sugarhill Gang, which sold millions of copies. The lyrics in that song were stolen from lyrics they heard at parties. This angered many in the community because Sugarhill became known for something the community was already doing. [Read More]

Volcano Explosion Shoots Water into Space

by Theodore Morrison, age 15

A volcanic eruption that occurred in the Pacific Ocean on January 12, 2022 reserved itself a spot in history when it ejected its water vapor into space for the first time in recorded history.

This water vapor, erupting from the volcano Hunga Tonga, which awoke in December of 2021, disrupted the ionosphere, a layer of our planet's atmosphere, at levels emulating a solar geomagnetic storm. The water vapor, in addition to simply reaching space in an historic event, momentarily absorbed light particles. Additionally, the eruption generated unprecedented levels of lightning, generating a minimum of 400,000 lightning strikes during the event.

These findings, observed from NASA’s Global Ultraviolet Imager, were presented in a couple of scientific conferences, including some during a particular meeting in Chicago. The data shows that the eruption overpowered a geomagnetic storm in terms of effects. [Read More]

Who Created These Mysterious Pillars in Ireland?

by Jonah Smith, age 14

Strange pillars reside in County Antrim, Ireland. They have an unusual shape that appears to be man made. These tightly wedged pillars descend in tiers, in a staircase all the way down to the sea. These columns are mostly hexagonal, though the number of sides these structures have may vary. Although their shape implies that they are manufactured, the complete opposite is true.

There are similar structures such as the Giant’s Causeway in Scotland or Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. With having so many of these unexplained structures around the world, myths for how they were made arose. For the Giant’s Causeway, it is said [locally] that the Irish giant, Finn Mac Cool, drove the columns into the sea one by one so that he could walk to Scotland to fight his rival. These exciting stories theorizing their construction adds new life and attractiveness to these beautiful structures.

The creation of these abnormalities is way more complex than it might seem. During the period where North America and Europe recently split up, the new North Atlantic Ocean in between the two was still a developing feature. The northern area of both Europe and North America was in place, but the body of water still had to form the edges of these continents. The western coast of Greenland separated from Canada around 80 million years ago, but the southwestern coast was still firmly attached to the opposing northwestern coast of the British Isles. 20 million years later, these coasts began to separate and there were major volcanoes in place of a few Scottish islands. [Read More]

The Mammal that Helped Take Over the Globe

by Ayelen Flores Ruiz, age 12

Researchers have discovered a prehistoric mammal with a two to five years life cycle that they call the Manbearpig. The mammal’s short lifespan is likely due to their months-long pregnancy, a trait scientists believe helped mammals dominate the world after the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The name Manbearpig came from the features it contained: a face like a bear; a body similar to a pig; and five fingered hands. These mammals are also known by their scientific name, Pantolamba bathmodon, and were plant eaters. The Manbearpig lived about 62 million years ago. The Manbearpig was one of the largest mammals of its time and seemed to appear after the dinosaur extinction, which allowed mammals to grow to larger sizes than ever before. It was a member of the placental group of mammals, animals who do their prenatal development in the womb of their mother.

Researchers were able to discover how fast they would grow throughout their life from the enamel of their teeth, which looked different during different life stages. These mammals' lives were short and they died at a younger age than typical animals, between two and five years of life. The Manbearpig had a really short life cycle because it stayed in the womb for about seven months, a pregnancy much longer than is observed in modern marsupials, but similar to extreme modern placentals like giraffes and wildebeests. The most extreme modern placentals are usually walking within hours of birth, and usually only give birth to one baby per litter. This species nursed for one or two months after they were born. In a year, they would reach adulthood. The longest a Manbearpig was found to have lived was 11 years. [Read More]

From Modest Chateau to Palace Fit for Kings

by Ashley Mercado, age 14

King Louis XII originally chose Versailles, an area just outside of Paris, as the site for a modest hunting chateau. However, over the years it developed into something far more elegant.

“Louis” was a commonly chosen name for princes over many generations. To distinguish the different kings, roman numerals would be placed after their name to note who was who in order of their birth. Louis the XIV, also known as the Sun King, wanted to expand the chateau into a grand palace, and began construction on the project in 1661. Versailles became Louis the XIV’s permanent residence in 1682, and later the French court was established there. The heart of the building was the Hall of Mirrors—a big gallery of 17 windows that offered a grand view of the stunning gardens.

Louis XIV directed the architect Gabriel to do further work on the building, such as the addition of an opera salon and an additional palace called the Petit Trianon. Louis XVI added a library, and his wife Marie Antoinette took over the Petit Trianon. Two designers worked on Versailles. The original designer was Louis Le Vau followed by Jules Hardouin Mansart who assumed responsibility and worked on Versailles for 30 years. The one responsible for the landscaping of Versailles was Andrė Le Nȏtre. In October of 1789, revolutionaries angry at the rich due to colossal income inequality went to Versailles and caused great damage to the palace. [Read More]

The Wright Brothers: American Inventors and Pioneers of Aviation — by Max Moreno, age 10

In December 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright, often known as the Wright brothers, built the first successful piloted aircraft. It was a propelled two-seater plane and flew 120 feet, lasting 12 seconds in the air. [Read More]

How Codebreakers Turned the Tide at Midway — by Shahad Al Quraishi, age 15

The Battle of Midway was a major turning point during World War II. It was a battle that ultimately altered Japanese plans and the fluctuation of power in the Pacific. The battle took place on a small island named Midway in the Pacific Ocean. At the time, this island was home to a United States base, but it offered the perfect location for Japan to station their own forces for an attack on Pearl Harbor. [Read More]

Behind the Deadly Hiroshima Bombing — <i>by Hiba Al-Quraishi, age 14</i>

On August 9, 1945, the United States ended World War II at a terrible human cost by dropping the “Fat Man” nuclear implosive bomb in Nagasaki. This was three days after the atomic uranium bomb named “Little Boy” had decimated Hiroshima. [Read More]

How Early Jazz Developed in New Orleans — by Aissata Bah, age 12

There are many opinions of what is important in jazz history, specifically in New Orleans. The musical genre contains history that takes roots in colonization, slavery and much more. [Read More]

Local Observatory Renamed For STEM Pioneer Jocelyn Bell Burnell — by Mariah Justice, age 17

“Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another,” said Greek philosopher Plato. With the renaming event on September 7 for the Bell Burnell Observatory— previously the Oscar Mayer Observatory—Madison has a new facility for cultivating the exploration of astronomy. [Read More]

The Fire that Reached From Alberta to Pennsylvania — by Dyanara Flores-Gomez, age 14

In early June of 1950, a fire started in northern Alberta, Canada, and spread through northeastern British Columbia. It burned four million acres of land. This fire became the largest fire in North America and was named the Chinchaga fire. It was also known as the Wisp fire or Fire 19. [Read More]

The Viking Tale of Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir — by Aissata Bah, age 12

If you know who Vikings were, you might think that the men were stronger, more courageous and adventurous than the women, but that is not the case. There is evidence that suggests Viking women were just as brave and capable as the men. One of those women was Gudrid. [Read More]

2.5-Yard Elephant Tusk Fossil Discovered in Israel — by Desteny Alvarez, age 17

Researchers in Israel recently found a 2.5-yard-long fossil that belonged to a long-extinct straight-tusked elephant. It is believed to be the largest fossil ever found at a prehistoric site in the country. [Read More]

Germany's Fairytale Castle Come to Life — by Dayanara Flores Gonzalez, age 14

Neuschwanstein is a castle that is located in Germany, which took 17 years to construct. It took 15 men to carve the king's bed and it took them 4 ½ years to finish. Neuschwanstein was a fairytale brought to life. [Read More]

Low Water Levels in Mississippi River
Expose Artifacts and History — by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 15

The Mississippi River is the second longest river in the United States and is 2,340 miles long. Although the Mississippi River is a majestic river, there are still many mysteries in this river, especially regarding its artifacts. [Read More]

Science Fiction Writer, Octavia Butler, Recognized by NASA — by Elim Eyobed, age 11

Who is your favorite writer? Hemingway? Shakespeare? Well, one great writer you may have never heard of is Octavia E. Butler. Butler was an esteemed African American author who was recently recognized by NASA for her groundbreaking talents. NASA scientists even named a Mars landing site after her. [Read More]

From Water to Land Back to Water Again: the Evolution of the Qikitania — by Giovanni Tecuatl Lopez, age 17

There are many speculations regarding evolution and how it took place. Many think of evolution as a linear timeline; but this is not always the case and such can be seen in creatures like the Qikitania and Tiktaalik. [Read More]

The Greatness of Hank Aaron — by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 14

Hank Louis Aaron was one of the greatest African-American Major League Baseball (MLB) players. Hank was known for breaking Babe Ruth’s Hall Of Fame and Most Valuable Player (MVP) home run record. He hit 755 career home runs, to Ruth who racked up 714 hits for the Boston Red Sox. [Read More]

The Surprising History Behind Tulips — by Abigail Gezae, age 10

Tulips are popular flowers that come in several types, 75 to be exact. If you were wondering, the name tulip comes from the Turkish language. [Read More]

Mount Everest: The Colossal Climb — by Aarosh Subedi, age 10

Mount Everest is one of the Himalayas' tallest mountains in the world and lies in the continent of Asia. [Read More]

The Deadliest Hurricane in Honduras' History — by Dayanara Flores Gonzalez, age 14

Striking in 1974, Hurricane Fifi was one of the largest and most dangerous hurricanes in Honduras’ History. Hurricane Fifi swept through more than half of the people’s homes and left more than 100,000 to 150,000 people homeless. When the hurricane struck, thousands were left without food and shelter. [Read More]

How Submarines Sparked Arctic Exploration — by Daniel Li, age 14

Built-in 1952, the USS Nautilus was the first submarine ever powered by a nuclear reactor and, coincidentally, also the first to ever reach the North Pole by traveling under ice. William Anderson, the commander of the Nautilus, wrote in his logbook, “Embarked following personage at North Pole: Santa Claus, affiliation: Christmas.” Spending multiple days underwater had not seemed to affect the commander’s sense of humor. [Read More]

History of Argentina’s “Dirty War” Era — by Valeria Moreno Lopez, age 15

History classes often overlook the history of Latin countries. Sometimes that’s true no matter how tragic events were. Nearly five decades ago, Argentina’s military government unleashed a seven-year war against its own people. In what would become known as the Dirty War, thousands of victims mysteriously “disappeared.” Most were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered. [Read More]

The Mysterious Story Behind America's Lost Snow Cruiser — by Jazmin Becerril, age 14

During the United States Antarctic Expedition Service of 1939, an amazing new vehicle – unlike any other – was used. The creator, Thomas Poulter, came up with the idea for a huge mobile vehicle base after experiencing a near-death situation in which he was stuck at an Antarctic base due to the weather. He sold his idea to the Research Foundation of the Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois in the mid-1930s which agreed to design the vehicle under Poulter’s supervision. [Read More]

Two Lost Ships Discovered at the Bottom of Lake Michigan — by Jeremiah Warren, age 11

Can you imagine diving in a lake and finding a shipwreck? It’s estimated that there are 6,000 shipwrecks in the bottom of the great lakes. Bernie Hellstrom, a diver, was one who found two ships – Peshtigo and St. Andrews – in the depths of Lake Michigan. Both of these ships collided more than 140 years ago. [Read More]

Historians Study in Planet Earth’s Oldest Library — by Shahad Al Quraishi, age 15

The Royal Library of Ashurbanipal, also referred to by many as the first library in the world, is considered one of the most important creations in human history. The library, which is located in present-day Iraq near Mosul, was created and built by the sixth Neo-Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal. [Read More]

Learn the Tragic Story Behind the Monstrous Medusa — by Anissa Attidekou, age 12

Medusa: the most common thought would be a hideous woman with snakes for hair. Believe it or not, Medusa was not always like this. Her story is a long and heartbreaking one. [Read More]

What Life Was Like for Wisconsin's Early People — by Max Moreno, age 9

It is challenging to think about what life was like a thousand years ago. However, how about thinking all the way back to 10,000 years ago, when Wisconsin Natives were constructing living areas, tools, and mounds. [read more]

The Life of a Young Egypt King: King Tutankhamun — by Justin Medina, age 13

King Tutankhamun, better known as King Tut, was ancient Egypt’s youngest Pharaoh being only nine years old. He was largely erased from history until his tomb was discovered in the early 1900s. His tomb and mummy continue to be studied today using high-tech tools. [Read More]

The Tragic Story of Beautiful Egyptian Goddess Isis — by Emily Rodriguez Lima, age 13

Hieroglyphics depict tragically beautiful tales of the gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt such as Isis, whose myth brims with mystical magic, selfless healing, lethal wars, and even brooding beheadings. Historians uncovered her story through pyramid stones that date back to the 2350 and 2100 BCE period. [Read More]

Researchers Discover Secrets Within Ancient Library — by Ashley Mercado, age 13

We are still finding long-lost languages thanks to discoveries of researchers at ancient libraries. One of the world’s oldest libraries, Saint Catherine’s Monastery, is still in use today. Here, thousands of ancient texts were found. [Read More]

The History Behind Zodiac Signs — by Emily Bautista, age 13

Zodiac signs are a topic of mystery for many people. Many people do not know how they came to be or what they are used for. [Read More]

Behind Prince, the Dynamic Pop Legend — by Elim Eyobed, age 11

If you live and breathe air, you have definitely heard of Prince. His album, “1999”, almost singled him out as one of the greatest musicians of all time. Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7, 1958. His father, John Nelson, was a jazz pianist, and Mattie Nelson, his mother, was a vocalist. His life at home was not stable, so at the age of 12, he left and was adopted by the Anderson family. [Read More]