Elite Blog Logo

Well, folks. Our students have done it again! They’ve worked hard, accomplished something big, and we are so happy to see them getting recognition for it.

These homeschool 6th grade students managed to build an entire website and won a national award!

The incredible things our students do never ceases to amaze us.

Learn more about Maddy and Melody, and the website they built below.

Congrats to Maddy and Melody, Winners of the Junior Group Website National History Day Award

Maddy and Melody are homeschool students who have been friends since the first grade. Maddy is a quiet, shy, intelligent girl while Melody is social, outgoing and, of course, just as smart.

Although their personalities are quite contrasting, they do share one thing in common: their teacher of record, Mr. Eric Shirley, who encouraged them in their work.

And talk about productive, these two got together and decided for fun that they wanted to dive into a history project. They knew they wanted to do something big, but weren’t even sure what the topic would be.

Here’s how they came to the idea of a website around the FSA Great Depression photos:

“So what we did is so we we wrote (our ideas) all on the board, and we were going to choose which one. And I remembered that in second grade my art teacher showed a picture of the migrant mother photo from the Great Depression and then she started talking about how the FSA came to help and communicate that these farmers need help. I just remembered that because I was so interested in the topic that that topic, so that was the one we did,” said Melody.

That’s when they got to work creating the website that ultimately won them an award.

Click on the image below to see the student’s website:

“I think I learned a lot with the context of what we were writing in websites, but I think we also learned about web design, which I don’t think we have done that, before, so it would just really big for,” Maddy Carpiuc, Elite homeschool student

While creating the website, it was important to Melody to focus on how the FSA came to help and communicate about farmers and the thing that the episode tried to do was they didn’t want to miss communicate the topic.

“After the stock market went down, a lot of people started to lose their homes and their jobs, mostly the farmers, so they had a move, and they had to do a lot of labor. And then the FSA noticed the other day was created because they were noticing how hard and the lives of the farmers worse, so they told the photographers to go and take pictures of the farmers and spread the word and communicate with others,” said Melody. “And the reason why we chose through the lens of the camera is because all of this photography was taken through the lens is kind of what captured the photograph so we just thought that would be a good name, and something we could make a website on.”


Their website project was chosen as a finalist winner in the San Diego region, and they were awarded a special California history award as well. The project is now entered into the California state competition. It’s such a huge accomplishment for both of these students that we had to know how they felt when they found out.

“We hadn’t really expected it at all,” said Maddy. “We weren’t really doing it for the competition, so I think we were really surprised when we found out that we would move on to the state level.”

“It was actually a funny story for me,” said Melody. “So I was sleeping and it was really early in the morning and my mom came and she said melody wake up and I said, ‘no.’ And she said, ‘Guess what you guys won some awards!” And I was so I was so happy because I didn’t know we were going to get through.”

“Mr. Shirley called us after and said he was really proud of us. He said he had a personal experience reading our website, so I was also proud that what we accomplished made other people have feelings about objects,” said Maddy.

“Yeah, I mean, Mr. Shirley has like a lot of students and I didn’t know that he would actually be proud of us, and he actually read the website and he was proud of us. I mean, another human beings actually saw our website and was proud of us!

Maddy and Melody were in a school together in first grade, but lost contact after moving. So, it was exciting for them to find each other once again at Elite.

“I came to Elite mainly because of the pandemic,” said Maddy. Once I saw what school online would be like, I decided that I didn’t really want that, so I decided to try homeschooling since will be better to work on my own pace.”

” Just like Maddy said it was mainly about the pandemic and near the end of the year I was feeling that the school was a little too easy for me… I mean, in the summers, my mom to would give me a really big, fat book and I would have to study a lot. So, I went to fifth grade and felt bored because it felt like we were just doing really, really easy stuff. So, I like homeschool because I can work at my own pace. It’s quiet, it’s relaxing, I can work in my room and dive into the things I love.

One interesting thing to note is that history is not necessarily Maddy’s favorite subject. It’s actually her least favorite subject. Or was, before this project.

“I think before I project, that history might have been one of my least favorite subjects, but we decided to just try something new, so and I found out that I actually really enjoyed it. We might even do some more history day projects in the future.” said Maddy.

Maddy also learned a lot about web design in this process, something she’s come to really enjoy.

After graduating high school, Maddy and Melody aren’t sure what they want to do. They both are writers. Maddy is a strong writer with a passion for it and Melody is working on some novels, which she may want to continue in the future. Maddy said she may even want to pursue her passion in music instead, but neither really knows just yet.

But one thing is for sure: These two are going to be doing some great things.

Congratulations to Maddy and Melody on winning a National History Day award!