Mayo Clinic is steeped in history. We see it all around us. We hear it in the names of our buildings. We even pose with it and post it on Instagram. It's fun to see patients and visitors grab hold of it, too. But what about the children?
Well, if "History Day" competitions are any indication, our past is not history. High school students from around the nation got their history on earlier this month when they competed in the National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland. And three Mayo Clinic-themed projects made it to this year's national competition. The Mayo-based projects went national after taking top honors in Minnesota's History Day Competition held in May.
Lake Nokomis Community School (Minneapolis) students Kathleen Grube, Emma Crosby and Megan Sumera created a group exhibit they called, “Leading in Medical Education: the Legacy of the Mayo Model.” Mayo High School (Rochester) student Emily Nichols named her exhibit, “Soaring to Success: Innovations from Mayo Clinic Aero Medical Unit.” And brother-and-sister team Arie and Strom Norcross from Lakes International Language Academy in Forest Lake, Minnesota, put together a group performance titled, “Redefining Medicine: the Legacy of the Mayo Brothers.” Nichols took seventh place and the Norcrosses placed eighth in the national competition.
The Norcross duo's project included a paper on the legacy of Drs. Will and Charlie Mayo, a topic they chose, in part, because of personal connections. “I was interested in the Mayo brothers, Charlie and Will, because I’m friends with their great-great grandniece, and I knew they’d made a lasting contribution to medicine," Arie says in a press release on their school's website. "We also liked that these two important doctors were from Minnesota, our own state," Strom added. "It kept us interested. We were able to go to the Mayo Clinic archives for research and see the clinic in Rochester. That was cool.”
The coolness included a meet-and-greet with Matt Dacy, Mayo Clinic Heritage Hall, who tells us he "helped answer questions, discussed themes, and provided them with copies of our Heritage Film DVDs." For Dacy, it was just another day at the office. "Working with students is one of my favorite parts of my job as museum director," he says. "It reminds me of what Dr. Will said about how much he enjoyed young people: 'They give me of their dreams, and I give them of my experience, and I get the better of the exchange.'"
For a complete list of this year's History Day winners, click here. Then, let us know what you think by sharing your comments below. You'll find social media tools atop this page to share this story with others.