Students Make a Strong Presence at California State History Day Competition
Several students from throughout the district made an impressive showing at the California State History Day Competition in Riverside, CA from April 27th to the 28th. Wendy Wang, a student at Folsom Middle School came within the top nine entries (out of thirty) for her historical paper titled “The Cultural Revolution in China: Annihilating Culture through Political and Class Struggle”. She was also a runner-up for the final round and came remarkably close to making it into the top three.
While no students from district schools were able to make it into the top three during the competition, the State History Day Director, Deborah Granger, noted while announcing the finalists that the odds of someone “getting into Stanford” were better than advancing to the nationals from this competition.
The full list of competitors included students from Cordova High School, Folsom High School, Vista del Lago High School, Sutter Middle School, Mitchell Middle School Folsom Middle School, and Russell Ranch Elementary. Presentations outlined a variety of historical events that ranged from the fashion revolution of the 1920s to the Silicon Valley. Competitors were given the freedom to use a variety of mediums for their project from a poster board display to multimedia presentations such as videos.
The California State History Day Competition is a part of an even larger national competition and is incredibly competitive. More than half a million students from across the country compete each year. Although the competition is called National History “Day”, it is a year-long process for most competitors. Students begin their projects months in advance and pour a tremendous amount of effort just for the hope of making it to the state qualifying round.
These students who attended the California State History Day Competition were there because they made it through a competitive Sacramento County History Day Competition months before, which was an impressive accomplishment in itself. The journey to the state finals has been a long and rewarding experience for these students.
“I have been working on the project since September. This experience has taught me better communication skills, perseverance, and dedication,” said Megan Phelps of Vista del Lago High School. Her project, which she completed with fellow Vista student Kitara Crain, was titled “The Traitorous 8: The Spark that Lit the Silicon Valley” and outlined the history of the Fairchild 8.
History Day is a wonderful opportunity for students to push themselves and to treat history in a more dynamic way. This competition transforms history from a dull memorizing of dates and facts to the deep analysis of the past that it is meant to be.
Full list of FCUSD competitors and projects:
Wendy Wang (Folsom Middle School): “The Cultural Revolution of China: Annihilating Culture through Political and Class Struggle”