History Day brings past to life
by EVELYN WONG
Providing students with an opportunity to conduct research on historical topics and receive credits, History Day meets each Wednesday in Room C-206 from 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Advised by Stephen Anderson and Michael Kim, students involved in the program spend the year working on research projects that connect to a central theme, which varies annually. This year’s theme is “Exploration, Encounter and Exchange in History.”
According to nhd.org, the National History Day theme provides a focused way to increase students’ historical understanding by teaching them to develop a critical approach to reading history, place information in the correct context and see connections over time.
“History Day definitely makes us research our topics thoroughly and helps us learn in a fun way, because it’s about a topic we select ourselves,” said Iris Nuñez, senior.
Each year, History Day participants select a famous historical event, group, or individual and conduct research by analyzing primary and secondary documents and other sources. The objective of the project is to create a paper, performance, documentary or website through which students present their analysis and interpretation of their sources.
“It’s a good opportunity to learn how to research historical people and events and gives students freedom in the topic they choose,” said Kim. “It requires individuals to be disciplined and stay on track with their research.”
Students may work individually or in groups of no more than five students. Members participate in competitions where they present their research projects.
The competition is held at three levels: county, state and national. Through these competitions, students present research projects to educators and historians. Entries are evaluated on the quality of research and presentation, relation to the theme and compliance with contest rules.
The county competition will be held March 12, 2016. Qualifiers who advance to state will compete May 6-7, 2016.
“We had such a strong team of participants that are returning as seniors this year,” said Kim, “and the extra experience will definitely show.”
Students receive five high school credits for taking and completing the History Day course. The last day to sign up for History Day is Nov. 4, since participants may fall behind.
“I feel that I’ve accomplished something very important through my History Day project last year, though I didn’t actually win,” said senior Gabriel Brossy de Dios. “It was more the process than the end result that gave me a sense of success.”