Sometimes one small spark can ignite a larger flame. This happened when Matthew Gilbert, a tenth grader at Greely High School in Cumberland Maine, recieved a holiday gift of Stephen Kress' book Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock. This book inspired him to attend camp at Hog Island's Coastal Maine Bird Studies last summer, where he had the opportunity to land on the famed Eastern Egg Rock, the birthplace of puffin restoration. When presented with the National History Day theme: Breaking Barriers in History, Matthew knew he wanted to make a documentary on Project Puffin and Steve's groundbreaking work. In doing his research, Matthew was surprised by the global implications of Project Puffin on other seabird conservation projects. Matthew's National History Day documentary was a convergence of his interests in ornithology, conservation and history. We are proud to announce that Matthew's documentary has been awarded 2nd place for the state of Maine and he also recieved the Maine Bicentennial Award. Congratulations Matthew for these well deserved awards! We all wish you the very best of luck in the upcoming national competition. Matthew is already a winner in our books and we trust he will go on to do great things in the future.
Check out the first cut of Matthew's documentary: