Marcus Whitman student heading to National History Day nationals

Anya Fogel bet out kids all over the state to win second place at National History Day and earn a trip to Washington D.C.

Anya Fogel, a ninth-grader at Marcus Whitman Junior High, is going to the National History Day nationals in Washington D.C. with her project: “The birth control pill — Scientific exploration and exchange of ideals.”

National History Day (NHD) is a non-profit education organization established in 1974. Through the organization, NHD offers year-long academic programs for middle-and high-school students annually.

Every year, the organization chooses a theme for students to conduct and present a research project they think best suits that year’s theme.

Contests are held in every state around the country. Two finalists from each state are selected to compete at nationals.

This year’s theme is “Encounter, Exploration, Exchange.”

Fogel, who has competed the past three years, finished second in the state in the senior division.

The contest is broken into separate categories for seniors and juniors.

In seventh and eighth grade, Fogel was in the junior division, but this year, as a ninth-grader, she was in the senior category and up against kids four years older than her.

“We are very proud,” Michelle McPherson, Fogel’s mom, said.

“We’re proud mostly for her dedication to pursuing this type of achievement. Many kids aren’t driven by academic achievement, but she really wanted to take this on. It takes so much time and energy.”

As if working on this project for nearly 400 hours wasn’t enough, Fogel also plays water polo for the high school, soccer for a club team and plays the clarinet and saxophone.

“It’s hard to get all the research done on time, but it’s really rewarding,” Fogel said.

This year, she created a documentary because she felt it “displayed her topic the best.”

“It’s interesting learning about how something so small has such a large effect on society,” she said.

Fogel raised money and earned sponsorships to help pay for her first-ever trip to the East Coast. She’s also excited to see the capitol’s museums.

“I’m really excited and relieved that all my hard work wasn’t for nothing,” she said.