Applied History: a history lover’s dream

Students take an alternative approach to the classroom

Applied+History+students+take+a+group+picture+at+Gettysburg+during+their+first+semester+field+trip.+This+field+trip+is+one+of+many+real-world+experiences+which+Applied+History+offers+to+the+ambitious+students+who+take+the+class.
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Applied History: a history lover’s dream

Applied History students take a group picture at Gettysburg during their first semester field trip. This field trip is one of many real-world experiences which Applied History offers to the ambitious students who take the class.

Applied History students take a group picture at Gettysburg during their first semester field trip. This field trip is one of many real-world experiences which Applied History offers to the ambitious students who take the class.

Courtesy of Harry Bolvin

Applied History students take a group picture at Gettysburg during their first semester field trip. This field trip is one of many real-world experiences which Applied History offers to the ambitious students who take the class.

Courtesy of Harry Bolvin

Courtesy of Harry Bolvin

Applied History students take a group picture at Gettysburg during their first semester field trip. This field trip is one of many real-world experiences which Applied History offers to the ambitious students who take the class.

Michael Perlak, News Editor

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Of all the classes at our school, few offer students such amazing opportunities as Applied History.

Applied History is a history lover’s dream, and it is only available right here at WS. Students in this class get to engage in thoughtful discussions and debates, make field trips to historical sites, and work in a local history-related internship at one of about a dozen different locations.

These internships are an exceptional opportunity for high school students and offer them a chance to enrich their understanding of history and develop skills for their future careers.

WS history teacher Brian Heintz is the organizer behind this program, and he personally reaches out to local historical sites to find internship opportunities each school year. The class offers internships at locations from George Washington’s Mount Vernon to Gadsby’s Tavern Museum in Old Town Alexandria, as well as with organizations like the National Park Service.

Applied History is a seventh-period class, and during the second semester students are permitted to leave school early to travel to their internship location.

Applied History student Josh Mettling, a senior, interns at the National Mall in Washington, DC, and enjoys connecting with people through his internship.

“At the mall I’ve worked mostly at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial where I’ve met a handful of interesting people already, including veterans with some inspiring stories to tell. And what I enjoy most about my internship is that it connects me with people who come from all over the the world,” said Mettling.

Applied History students have a goal of working a total of 80 hours at their internship by the end of the school year, and in that time it is hoped that they will come across people from all walks of life who show a similar interest in history.

Senior Parker Brown interns a little closer to home with the FCPS Office of Computer and Communications Systems. Brown and his fellow interns are tasked with researching the history of schools in the area to find information which can be used to update the websites of FCPS schools. They do this research remotely from WS and make occasional visits to the OCCS office in Gatehouse Administration Center in Falls Church.

“I love the flexibility it offers,” said Brown. “Both within its time and with the scope of what we research. People have a great opportunity to make their own hours.”

A common misconception is that Applied History is only available to seniors, but this class is also available to juniors. Though the class is competitive to get into due to the fact it is only offered during seventh period, any Spartans who are fascinated by history should consider applying to Applied History.

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