Friday, May 28th, 2010 by

Students at St. Joseph High School in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania recently won first place in the Pittsburgh Regional National History Day Competition thanks in part to an interview with Julie Williams, author of Wings of Opportunity: The Wright Brothers in Montgomery, Alabama. For their winning project, Randy Mielecki, Gina Robinson, and Mark Ignaczak produced a film called “The ‘Wright’ Idea: An American Innovation,” about the invention of flight.

Randy Mielecki compiled all of the paperwork (process paper and bibliography), as well as arranged for phone and in-person interviews. Mark Ignaczak conducted most of the research and drafted a script based on what he learned. Gina Robinson was the videographer and visual editor, designing and producing the film itself.

Dr. Williams, a journalism professor at Samford University, was one of several professors interviewed. She provided insight on the nation’s first flight school, established by the Wrights in Montgomery, Alabama in 1910. In thanking her, the students said that she “really put a different spin on things and helped us to look at the Wright Brothers from a new perspective.”

Congratulations to these students on their award-winning project.

Wings of Opportunity: The Wright Brothers in Montgomery, Alabama is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite retail or online bookseller.