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Year 2 - Fellows Research
Christine Esposito

Download Research Product (.zip/2.6 MB)

Mapping the Constitutional Convention - US History

Creating the Constitution was a messy business. Many of the issues surrounding its creation would continue to exist for decades after it was ratified. Some of those same issues are still being debated today. If we expect students to understand what came after the Constitution, we must first help them to understand what came before and how that shaped the debate about the need for a new government, what that government should look like and how it should be implemented.

Arming students with this knowledge will help them to understand how those issues continued to a play a part in the development of the United States. By exposing students to the original arguments of the Framers, they are better able to understand westward expansion, the causes and arguments surrounding the Civil War, as well as current issues that pit the rights of states against those of the federal government. 

Scott Mace

Download Research Product (.zip/1.4 MB)

Brown v. Board of Education:  Benefit or Detriment - US History

What this paper will set out to do is to look back on the calcifying of Jim Crow laws throughout the South starting around 1890.  I will then discuss the emergence of the modern Civil Rights movement in post WWII America.  What were the factors that led to Brown v. Board?    I will then look at the five cases that comprised Brown.  What were their similarities and differences?  Understanding the implications in the decision will lead to a quick look at the justices who heard the case.  What were their backgrounds and what were their inclinations prior to hearing Brown?  The decision itself will be dealt with by looking at the relative arguments for both sides.  How was the decision obtained?  Why did the justices insist on hearing the case not once, but twice?  Reactions will then be explored.  How quickly was the Court’s decision complied with?  Where was the resistance the most intense and why?  Why was there a need for Brown II?  What extreme measures were taken by certain localities to avoid compliance?  Finally I will explore the black community’s response to Brown v. Board.  How did desegregation reshape the African-American community for good and ill?  Arguments will be explored for alternative forms of education that marginalize integration as an important aspect. 

Jeremy Newcomb

Download Research Product (.zip/507 KB)

The Effects of the Civil War on Virginia:  A Study of Change - US History

The Civil War changed the population and demographics of Virginia dramatically.  The end of slavery, coupled with death tolls and casualty rates, altered not just the populace but also the largely agricultural economy.  What changed in Virginia during the 1860’s and why?

The hypothesis my research tested is that areas/counties that experienced the greatest changes in population will have also seen the largest decline in farming and farm values, while those areas with little change in population will have witnessed either a small improvement or no change at all in their farming economies.  GIS software was used to analyze the collected data and create thematic maps to test the hypothesis.

Donna Shifflett

Download Research Product (.zip/56 KB)

Why Yorktown? - Virginia Studies

My research product is a collection of hands-on classroom activities that give students and teachers opportunities to better understand and appreciate Nathanael Greene’s place in American History.  The Why Yorktown? GIS mapping lessons include battles before and after the Declaration of Independence was signed, locations of large cities around the time of the war, and battles that Nathanael Greene fought in the south.

The Artifact Chest allows students to touch replicas of items that were present during the Revolutionary War.  Students will work cooperatively in order to research Greene and the Revolutionary War and form educated opinions and share those decisions with their classmates. The paper follows many important events that Greene experienced from his birth in 1742 until his death in 1786, focusing on his participation in the war.

Chris Shedd

Download Research Product (.zip/7 MB)

Oberlin College and The Underground Railroad - US History

In 1833 two Presbyterian ministers founded Oberlin Collegiate Institute.  The goal of the college was to create a community that was based on religious faith and equality  (Patrick Morgans 17-18).   Oberlin College admitted African Americans and female students far earlier than most colleges in the United States.  Many Underground Railroad Stations existed in the Oberlin Community.  Oberlin’s progressive ideas of equality inspired at least one alumnus to start a station on the Underground Railroad in Iowa.  The college’s dedication to the abolitionist movement was such that some believe the town contributed to the start of the Civil War. Oberlin produced the type of thinkers that would help change the racial attitudes of a nation.  By 1842, it is estimated that 3,000 escaped slaves traveled through one of the six Underground Railroad routes that ran through Oberlin  (Brandt 41). The Oberlin rescue of 1858, where students and faculty defended a fugitive slave reverberated around the country.  Oberlin’s impact on the Underground Railroad cannot be underestimated because the college and surrounding town comprised a key route that helped thousands of slaves escape.  This research will examine Oberlin and its impact on the Underground Railroad and equal rights for all people.

This research product includes the following:

1.  A brief history of Oberlin College.
2.  “Ten Things Every Student Should Know About Oberlin”
3.  A PowerPoint slideshow that includes a brief history of Oberlin and the Underground Railroad, historic pictures, and a section that examines the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue of 1858 and asks students to discuss what they think the reaction was around the country.

John Hobson

Download Research Product (.zip/148 KB)

The Identity of the Republican Party in Virginia - US History/US Government

The dynamic and competitive nature of two-party politics in Virginia at present lies in direct contrast to the political museum piece that characterized the better part of post-bellum Virginia politics.   This recent two-party competitiveness comes on the heels of a relatively brief period of Republican ascendancy in the Old Dominion preceded by a long period of one-party domination by the Democrats.  While Virginia displays some unique qualities with regard to its political history, it can still be mostly understood in the context of southern political history in which the Democrats asserted one-party control.  Once the fissures over civil rights and the expanding role of the federal government emerged between the national Democrats and the Virginia Democrats, conservative white voters began to align themselves with the Republican Party.

The purpose of my paper is to take snapshots of the Republican Party over time in the state of Virginia through the examination of key figures  of William Mahone, C. Bascom Slemp, Linwood Holton, and George Allen.   The accompanying GIS project examines geographic patterns in partisan alignment in Virginia over time. 

Ann Marie Gaylord

Download Research Product (.zip/153 KB)

Harriet Tubman: “Keep Going” - VA Studies/US History Grade 4

To help students identify with the directional, social, and economic relationships of slavery, I created a GIS animation of slavery percentages per state from 1790 to 1860.  Looking at this map will help students understand why it was important for Harriet Tubman and other runaway slaves to travel North towards the “promise land.”  In addition, I made an interactive, Harriet Tubman trivia game which takes students through an exciting journey North as they learn and explore interesting facts about Tubman’s life. 

Douglas Moore

Download Research Product (.zip/14 KB)

Plessy to Brown and Beyond - US History/Civics

For my research project, I began by researching the series of lawsuits filed by the NAACP between 1935 and 1950 that sought to equalize educational facilities. For example, in Alston v. Norfolk (1940), the court ruled that an African American teacher in a segregated school doing the same job as a white teacher was to be paid the same salary. My original goal was see how effective these lawsuits were in achieving the required equality in separate school systems. After meeting with my advisor, I expanded my research to examine the changes made in the litigation both in Brown and subsequent cases. My research paper and GIS project are resources that teachers may choose to use in activities the focus on segregation, desegregation, and massive resistance.

Robert Stewart

Download Research Product (.zip/440 KB)

The Forge of Vulcan: A Study of the Tredegar Iron Works - US History

The thesis that is being tested in my research is that the Tredegar Works did manage on a limited scale to accomplish arming a modern army given the obvious disadvantages that  the agrarian based South, had on day one of the conflict.  And if the South was able to arm itself on a limited scale, what resources were available to them?   Why was the Tredegar the obvious choice as a war plant?  What if any infrastructure existed to support this task of arming the Confederacy and the role it played in shaping events on the battlefield?  Additionally, is there evidence of an interdiction effort on the part of the Federal Government to destroy Confederate War production at Tredegar and if so how?  Primary resources from the U.S. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies were used, various secondary scholarly resources, and GIS mapping technology was employed by the writer to display data gleaned from this investigation.    

Stephanie Hammer

Download Research Product (.zip/33 MB)

Music in the Military - US History

The soldiers sent to World War II took with them the musical culture of their homeland.  In addition the military provided entertainment in the form of military bands and USO performances.  What role did music and entertainment play in contributing to the positive moral of soldiers in World War II?
For my project I researched and created a powerpoint, talking notes, and lesson plan  The U.S Army for Military History in Washington, D.C. provided historical documents and journal articles related to music in the military. I also interviewed my father regarding his participation in informal military bands.  For other primary source information I read recollections about music during the war and searched The Veteran’s History Project at the Library of Congress.  The Library of Congress and National Archives were invaluable sources for access to photographs that illustrate my findings.

Holly Newman (Master Fellow)

Download Research Product (.zip/38 KB)

Civil Liberties - US History/US Goverment

This unit covers the major Supreme Court cases that have defined the meaning of the First Amendment as we understand it today, but it, by no means, covers EVERY Supreme Court case dealing with the 1st amendment.  I have included for teachers a list of additional resources, which detail many OTHER cases surrounding the 1st amendment, some of which center solely around cases that deal with students.

Teresa Goodin (Master Fellow)

Download Research Product (.zip/71 KB)

African Trade - US History

This lesson set focuses on African Trade.  After completing the lesson:

Students will understand how trade connected African civilizations.
Students will understand how trade connected Africa and Europe.

Student as Historian - US History

This final project requires the student to recognize trends in history and to understand major themes and concepts that are present in our nation’s history.

Students research a topic in U.S. History to 1877.  They are required to find, read and research both primary and secondary sources.  They then organize what they have found  into an essay that relates to one of the principles below.
•    Differences may result in compromise or conflict.
•    Expansion changes society socially, politically and economically.
•    Expansion may result in compromise or conflict.

Overland Trails: Studying Emigrant movement from 1840-1860 - US History

This lesson should follow some introductory study of westward emigration and the Overland Trails.  Settlers' motivations and means of transportation should be covered before this lesson.  Students use primary and secondary sources to understand factors that contributed to the number of Overland Trail emigrants during the peak emigration years.  The students will also understand how to conduct research in order to explain data sets.

B. Maxwell

Download Research Product (.zip/ KB)

Jamestown Museum Unit - US History/Virginia Studies

The Jamestown Museum Unit is intended to challenge students in two directions.  Students will learn the Jamestown curriculum set forth by the Virginia Standards of Learning while also learning about museums and the profession of curators. The five lessons take students through a variety of experiences that center around the Jamestown story and museums.  These lessons were developed for gifted students grades 4 and 5, however the instruction can be adapted to fit all students and different grade levels.


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