When he’s not watching the History Channel, or playing history quiz games on his mom’s iPad, Hugh Gramelspacher absorbs facts about the past the old-fashioned way.
“We have history books scattered around the house, and I read them in my spare time,” he said.
The Rochester Middle School sixth-grader is headed to compete in the National History Bee in Chicago June 9-12.
He entered the individual buzzer competition, which included an online qualifying round in January, on his own — “just to see how he would do,” according to his mom Liz Smith.
On March 22, Gramelspacher won the Washington State History Bee elementary-level championship, for students in grade six and younger, in Seattle.
“That was awesome,” he said.
While in Chicago, Gramelspacher will compete for the national title and a $2,000 in scholarship. He’ll also participate in other activities, including a family quiz night with his mom.
The two often play a history quiz game at breakfast — but he always wins, she said.
“He answers it before I can even read it,” Smith said, with a chuckle.
Gramelspacher’s favorite subject in school is language arts. In addition to having a penchant for the past, he is part of his school’s robotics team and chess club. He also plays football, basketball and baseball.
Gramelspacher said his favorite historical figure is Albert Einstein because he wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt about Germany producing an atomic bomb.
“If he didn’t do that, World War II might have dragged on for quite a few more years, and cost many (more) lives,” Gramelspacher said.
And his favorite era to study is modern history, or anything after World War I.
“It’s really interesting because there are a lot of things that if it didn’t happen, or it did happen, really shaped our world today, like the Cold War, and lots of inventions like the television and computers,” he said.