The documentary The Science of Determination: Dr. Percy Lavon Julian, the Hidden Chemist created by Lander Middle Schoolers, Matthew Gray, Josey Johnson, Brett Pettibone, and Annika Wilmot, was one of the thirty-five selected by National History Day® (NHD), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and the Smithsonian Learning Lab to compete in the 2020 NHD National Contest.
The films were screened and selected by NMAAHC staff and premier today, June 17th, as a special collection of the Smithsonian Learning Lab. To be selected for the showcase, students needed to address topics and stories in their documentaries consistent with the mission of the NMAAHC. The ten-minute films also reflect the 2020 NHD theme, Breaking Barriers in History.
The documentary showcase was initially planned to be screened in the Oprah Winfrey Theater of the NMAAHC, but will now take place online because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is an incredible honor for these students and their Breaking Barriers in History films to have been selected by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, a barrier-breaking institution in its own right,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Months and years from now, they will think back fondly on this week when their documentaries were viewed and experienced by people around the world visiting the Smithsonian Learning Lab and the documentary showcase.”
The 35 student films will be available to stream online for one week via the Smithsonian Learning Lab by clicking here, starting today, June 17th through Wednesday, June 24th.