More than 230 students representing many West Michigan area schools will head to the Michigan History Day western regional contest at Grand Valley State University.
Performances, presentations, interviews and questions from judges are ahead for the young students on Saturday, March 17, from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Kirkhof Center on Grand Valley’s Allendale Campus.
Michigan History Day offers a fascinating opportunity to move social studies beyond rote learning. Middle and high school students perform self-directed research on an individually chosen topic then present their work through the allied disciplines of art, literature, music, drama, and visual communications, in addition to writing.
Entries for this year’s contest follow the theme, “Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History.” The competition includes two divisions: Junior (grades 6-8) and Senior (grades 9-12). There is also a noncompetitive youth division for fourth and fifth grade students who may come to the competition for judging.
Entrants present in one of five categories: individual paper, and individual or group exhibits, documentaries, websites and performances. Judges are faculty and graduates from Grand Valley’s history department, local teachers and community historians. They will select the top three entries in each division and category, which will advance to the state contest, held at Central Michigan University on April 28.
“It is the goal of the program to empower students with research skills, critical thinking skills and outlets for creative expression,” said Sean O’Neill, Grand Valley professor of history. “These skills will enhance their academic abilities in all areas of study.”
Sponsors for the local event include Grand Valley State University, the College of Letters Arts and Sciences and the Department of History, The Historical Society of Michigan, The Michigan Council for History Education, Meijer, Amway, and The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation.
For more information contact Sean O’Neill at (616) 331-3325.