Over 500 local students in fourth grade through high school, supported by over 50 teachers from 40 schools, competed in Humboldt County History Day on Saturday, February 29, at Humboldt State University. The Humboldt County Office of Education sponsors History Day each year, 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 2020 National History Day theme, “Breaking Barriers in History,” and students could participate individually or in groups.
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 websites.
“Once again our History Day event saw an incredible amount of participation from our young historians across the county,” stated History Day Lead and McKinleyville High School History teacher, Drew Riddle. “The dedication the students displayed for their projects was inspiring, and points to encouraging signs for the future of the discipline. It is always great to see young people excited about history!”
An awards ceremony in the Van Duzer theatre 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.
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. I have so much gratitude to all the volunteers, coordinators, businesses, and Humboldt State University for working collaboratively to make this event such a success.”
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 110 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.