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Eighth grader wins nationwide essay contest

Congratulations to eighth grader Clare K. who has been named a winner in the Big History Project essay contest. The nationwide competition was open to all students participating in the Big History curriculum, which is a pilot program involving some 1,200 schools across the country. Clare was one of three winners chosen to receive $100 for their school and classroom. More exciting than the cash award however, is that Bill Gates will read the three winning essays. Gates is one of the major backers of the Big History program.

The essay topic was to answer the simple yet provocative question, “What does it mean to be human?” In 337 words, Clare met the challenge head on and wrote an insightful piece that captured the human experience from the simple to the complex. 

"Clare's essay really captured the spirit of the Big History course. She was able to use the concepts we discussed this year and then wove them into her essay using them in a very insightful manner. It was truly a most deserving piece," says Claire's Grade 8 History teacher Peter Abramson.

Rather than examining world history as discreet events that simply happened over time, the Big History curriculum looks at world history as an interconnected continuum of shifts, in the world and on Earth. The program is constructed to tell the story of the Universe and to explain mankind's role in that story. Brookwood was one of the first to be accepted into the pilot program and is one of the few middle schools participating. Most of the schools in the program are high schools.

Click to read more about Big History.