Kitty Lam thinks it's more likely the explosion that sank the battleship Maine in Cuba's Havana harbor in 1898 was an accident rather than an act of sabotage by Spain.
While the cause is still a historical mystery, Lam says that documents she has read, including contemporary "Remember the Maine" news reports that looked to use the deadly blast to promote war against Spain, prompted her to look deeper into the incident.
Lam, however, isn't a historian. She's a high school junior.
But the 16-year-old is learning U.S. history like a historian at San Francisco's Lincoln High School, with a curriculum designed at Stanford University to increase critical thinking, literacy skills and a love of reading.
The Reading Like a Historian curriculum is one of 20 to 30 projects linking the school district and Stanford - bringing some of the country's top academic minds into urban classrooms while offering researchers at the elite Peninsula university insight and access into K-12 living laboratories.