By: Ethan Mitchell
Competing with dozens of other schools in Orange County, Samueli Academy has challenged itself in this year’s 2017 National History Day. National History Day (NHD) is an event where students are able to explore and learn about the past in an exciting, hands-on way; and then, present or act out their projects in a way of their choice. Every year, NHD has a new theme; this year’s topic is “Taking a Stand.”
For more information about NHD, visit here.
First of all, what is NHD, and what is the purpose of it? National History Day is an academic program where students focus on researching a specific topic, and why it is important to our history. The theme determines what kinds of events in history that groups need to search for. Students can share their knowledge through filmmaking, web designing, and playwriting. This project also allows students to develop skills in collaboration, critical thinking, leadership, and much more.
World History teacher at Samueli Academy, Mr. Beliveau, claims, “Students are much more motivated to work hard when they have ownership over the project.” He explains that students are more engaged and willing to learn because they are able to choose a topic of their choice. Mr. Beliveau exposes the differences between primary and secondary sources, and why they are important to the project.
This year, Samueli Academy’s very own students were able to move up to the state-finals for the second year in a row. State finalists will be participating in their next competition, May 5th, 2017. “We were jumping up and down for joy,” expresses Leilani Doran, one of this year’s state-finalists. She explains that her favorite part of the project was being able to learn a lot more about her topic, Joan of Arc, in an in-depth way, and being able to connect it to today.
Throughout the project, some groups faced many challenges. “Memorizing the script was definitely the hardest,” explained Ashley Leon, also one of the state-finalists. However, even though her group faced obstacles, Ashley enjoyed the project because of the collaboration with her group.
National History Day is the project to look forward to if you love history, filmmaking, or playwriting. What do you remember from your experience at NHD, or what are you looking forward to? Will you make it to the state finals or national finals next year?
Editor Board, 2017-2018
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