Over 700 local students in fourth grade through high school, supported by over 50 teachers from 40 schools, competed in Humboldt County History Day on Saturday, March 9, at Humboldt State University. This was the largest event in Humboldt County History Day History, with 500 total projects. The Humboldt County Office of Education sponsors History Day, with support from Humboldt State University.
Through the rigorous process of researching and preparing creative and original History Day projects, students analyze information about issues, ideas, people and events in history and apply that knowledge to their projects. The projects this year reflected the 2019 National History Day theme, “Triumph & Tragedy in History,” and students could participate individually or in groups.
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Chris Hartley reflected, “Having the pleasure of serving as a History Day judge, reminded me first hand at the importance of students participating in project-based learning where they build capacity to be creative, be an independent learner, and find relevancy in their experiences. Enormous thanks to the teachers, volunteers, and planning team for making this incredible event possible.”
Fourth and fifth graders created posters to interpret the theme. Middle and high school students could choose from one of five categories including documentaries, exhibits, historical papers, performances and web sites.
An awards ceremony in the East Gym followed judging to announce County Champions in each category and Special Award recipients. Champions now advance to the State History Day competition held in Rocklin in May.
“This year’s Humboldt County History Day was a smashing success,” stated Tiffany Bullman, lead History Day coordinator. “Students from all over the county demonstrated why history is important and can be exciting. Judges across the event reported that project quality had increased to levels they had not seen, categories were very competitive, and students were well spoken, enthusiastic and were experts on their topics. We hope to continue our success at the County level when our students compete at the State level in May.”
The Humboldt State University History Department is a long-time partner with the Humboldt County Office of Education, providing faculty and students who serve as judges and help coordinate the event. Over 140 local educators and community members also volunteered time to assist with the event and judge the projects.
Winners from the State competition may advance to compete in National History Day held at University of Maryland in June.