Top Website Captures Innovator’s Dream Turned Reality

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Congratulations to Syosset High School sophomore Nicole Avidon, who won first place in the individual website development competition at the National History Day Long Island Regional held earlier this month at Hofstra University. Nicole won for her website, "Walt Disney Turning Dreams into Reality," which will be presented at the state competition in Cooperstown, New York, this spring.

“I just love Disney and thought it would be very interesting to create my project based on this,” said Nicole, who is interested in computer science. Her website captured the essence of this year’s National History Day theme, “Exploration, Encounter and Exchange in History,” showing Walt Disney’s innovation in taking his concepts for entertainment and turning them into a worldwide enterprise.

Nicole designed a homepage and banner with subpages that address the three ‘E’s” of the theme. The exploration tab demonstrated Walt Disney’s innovation in animation and interest in the future, including space; the encounter tab covered the many hurdles and obstacles Disney faced – bankruptcy, the Great Depression, etc. – in making his vision become reality; and the exchange tab connected how Mickey Mouse, the theme parks, movies and the overall Disney brand have had a significant global impact. She interviewed four different Disney employees and incorporated animation, graphics and videos to her site to make it interesting, interactive and informative.

National History Day contests are held in all 50 states, the District of Columbia,

American Samoa, Guam, and at international schools in Central America, China, Korea and South Asia. Students create historical projects in one of five categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website. Using primary and secondary sources, participants focus their projects around the annual theme. The top two entries in each category from each affiliate are invited to the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest in College Park, Maryland, held June 12-16.

“National History Day is more than just a day – it’s an experience,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Creating an entry for the contest helps students hone research and critical thinking skills that are hugely beneficial to college and career readiness. And the competitive aspect of the contest is often a nice motivator to nudge students to go above and beyond what they might otherwise have done.”

This is the third consecutive year Nicole has participated in the National History website contest, previously earning third place as an alternate at the state-level competition for her website on Title IX. The district wishes her well as she advances in the competition.