History Day winner walks away with his prize--and an ambitious agenda





The 17-year-old Lumberton resident beat out more than 260 applicants to be one of 17 rising high school seniors participating in "Now Debate This," a national challenge in discovering history and sharing it not only with their communities, but world-wide through extensive online blogging and multimedia presentations.

The gold at the end of this rainbow, however, is a $150,000 scholarship for the winner of the final debate that rounds out the student's history-filled summers.

The project, funded by The Pinnacle Performance Group, started as a desire to raise awareness about America's founding fathers. And making the most of opportunities the digital age has to offer, what better way is there then to just "put a bunch of kids on the Internet," Stoneking said.

Contestants for the competiton made video answers to questions relating to ideas of national heritage. It took a video production class at Rancocas Valley Regional High School, four time-consuming tries, and a green screen to make Stoneking's virtual essay on what patriotism means to him.

On National History Day in Washington, D.C., Stoneking and 16 other students were given a new MacBook, a video camera and $3,500, and were set loose on the Internet. Their aim is to spread the word and discuss the topic of their "great debate."

The big question?

Who was the ultimate president, founding father George Washington or Civil War crusader Abraham Lincoln?...



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