On Saturday, March 2, more than 200 junior high and high school students from 11 public and private schools participated in Honolulu District History Day at Chaminade University.
The Honolulu district is one of nine districts to participate in the statewide Hawaii History Day, which is supported by the Hawaii Council for the Humanities. History Day is the result of a year-long program that encourages elementary to high-school students to study history through a research-based approach. Throughout the program, students create a presentation based on their research and submit it for evaluation by a panel of judges. Projects can take the form of an exhibit, documentary, performance, paper or website.
“History Day turns students in grades 6–12 into real historians,” says Michio Yamasaki, Chaminade professor and chair of the Hawaii Council for the Humanities Board of Directors. “They do original research on a topic, studying primary sources, such as letters, diaries and photographs.”
According to this year’s History Day theme, Triumph & Tragedy in History, students from the Honolulu district submitted more than 100 projects on a range of topics like the Stonewall Riots, the Hanapepe Massacre, the Spanish Flu and more.
Based on evaluations conducted by 43 judges at Honolulu District History Day, three Junior Division (grades 6–8) projects and three Senior Division (grades 9–12) projects from each category advanced to compete at the statewide competition.
Those who passed the Honolulu district competition will join students from across the state to participate in Hawaii History Day on April 13 at Windward Community College. Projects to advance from Hawaii History Day will be presented in June at National History Day, held at the University of Maryland, College Park.