Though school has ended, Grayson LaHatte has spent the beginning of summer vacation reviewing his historical research paper and conducting mock interviews.
Grayson, 14, is competing in the National History Day competition at the University of Maryland this week. He was to present his historical research paper, Poilu Rebellion: French Army Mutinies of WWII .
"It was a hard topic to research because a lot of the information was either in French'' or was sketchy, he said. "We had to use a lot of sources to get all the information I needed."
Twenty-five sources were used for the 2,500-word paper, he said.
The paper was originally done as a project for one of his classes at Episcopal Day School.
His paper, along with those of several classmates, was entered in the regional contest. He placed second there and advanced to the state level, where he also placed second.
To prepare for nationals, Grayson had a mock interview last week with one of his teachers at the Episcopal Day School and with Paul Harris, a political science professor at Augusta State University.
Dr. Harris was impressed with the amount of knowledge Grayson had on the topic.
"It was easy to tell he had spent a great deal of time, diligence and care in doing his research," Dr. Harris said. "It's a topic that is not researched by many people, even on a collegiate level. I was impressed that he was able to grasp that information at his age.
''It clearly shows that young students in our community do understand and take history seriously."
He said that he will be rooting for Grayson.
"I'm hope he wins in his category. He knows the topic well," he said. "But no matter the outcome of the competition, he's already a winner in my book."
The winners will be announced today during the competition's award ceremony. The competition is sponsored by the National History Day organization and on the History channel.
Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The awards ceremony will be webcast live today at 8:30 a.m. on the History Web site.
To view the webcast, go to history.com/classroom/nhd.