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September 20, 2018

Hannibal Student Connects With 2008 Presidential Candidate For Research Project


HANNIBAL – An interest-based research project at Hannibal’s Dennis M. Kenney Middle School evolved into a life-changing experience for eighth grader Avery Michaud.

Hannibal eighth grader Avery Michaud displays a current map of conflicts between the U.S. and other countries. Her research project connected her with 2008 presidential candidate and the Senator who released the Pentagon Papers, Mike Gravel.

Hannibal eighth grader Avery Michaud displays a current map of conflicts between the U.S. and other countries. Her research project connected her with 2008 presidential candidate and the Senator who released the Pentagon Papers, Mike Gravel.

When English teacher Jen Peters gave the assignment to her class, Michaud dove right in and began studying global conflicts.

Her research took her from books to online sources and, eventually, to a phone call with 2008 presidential candidate and former senator Mike Gravel.

“I’ve always had an interest in what’s going on in the world, so the topic of global conflicts made sense,” Michaud said. “I started to dig deeper and deeper into current events and historical conflicts, and I came across Mike Gravel’s name.”

Gravel was responsible for putting the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971, at great risk to himself, Michaud explained.

“We talked about his political risks in 1971 and he said the public deserves to know what is happening during global conflicts,” Michaud said. “He said it was worth the risks and I think that his actions were so courageous.”

With inspiration and a primary resource to cite, Michaud wrote a research paper, created Google slides and developed a map about global conflicts.

“This provided students with an opportunity to learn about something that was interesting them,” Peters said of the assignment. “Avery went above and beyond, and she has a great story to share because of it.”

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