Nathan Maris, this year’s Legacy Winner from National History Day, was born and raised in the Seattle area. Currently a junior at International Community School (ICS) in Kirkland, Washington Nathan has participated in National History Day since he was in eighth grade and has advanced to the national contest for the last three years. During his first year, Nathan researched the 1941 Battle of Wake Island and received the Marine Corps History Award for his efforts, which included an invitation to attend the Marines’ annual Birthday Celebration in Washington, D.C. The following year, he was recognized by the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture and received thirteenth place for his documentary on geologist J Harlen Bretz, father of neo-catastrophism. Last year in 2010, Nathan was awarded second place in the nation for his documentary on the use of blood plasma during World War Two, and was honored by the Puget Sound Blood Center for his documentary’s contribution to public education.
Nathan’s interests range far beyond history. During the summer of 2010 he worked as an intern at a University of Washington lab studying stroke and cerebral blood flow, and plans on returning this summer. The experience that he had while employed at the university has inspired him to follow in the footsteps of his father by considering neuroscience as a career option.
Volunteering plays a major role in Nathan’s life, as he participates in several programs throughout his community. Since he was in seventh grade, Nathan has maintained a freshwater aquarium at a local assisted living facility. He also enjoys packing boxes with a local volunteer organization to send to servicemen during the holiday season. Nathan is active within his church, as well, and donates some of his time to tutoring Spanish-speaking ESL students after school.
Nathan is very involved in several organizations at his school. He acts as one of four students overseeing the Mentor Program, which provides counseling and studying advice to seventh, eighth, and ninth graders attending Nathan’s school. He also serves as chief video editor in his school’s tech crew, as well as being a dedicated member of National Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, Key Club, and Drama Club.
In his free time, Nathan enjoys running cross-country and track, photography, fish keeping, piano, skiing, and fly-fishing. In the future, he hopes to study neuroscience and attend medical school.