A Blast From the History Day Past?


Senior Brendan Roberts poses for a picture with his award.

Gabriel Coronado, Reporter

To many people, History Day may just seem like tedious research work on some event that had no importance. Though that’s how it may seem, that’s not what it truly is. History Day is a national competition in which thousands of students participate in. The two participants from Selma High, Brendan Roberts and Anna Armstrong, both placed first in the district competition in their own categories. 

Students research a topic based on the theme of that year. This year, the theme is “Breaking Barriers” and so the students must find something that relates and create a project based off of it. The projects aren’t restricted to only one thing.

“They can do a paper, they can do an exhibit, they can do a website, a performance, all kinds of things”, stated History Day advisor Ms. Gudgal. “It’s a really in-depth project and it’s meant to prepare students for college.” 

Each student that participates has to put it upon themselves to dedicate their time, to after school hours, in order to complete their project. They have to thoroughly research their topic along with keeping track of their bibliography. There are varying difficulties that the students have to overcome.

“Getting primary sources is huge for them. I’d also say a limitation is time. It takes a lot of time,” commented Ms. Gudgal. 

Both of the current participants have been in the History Day program for a total of nine years. Despite the amount of effort that it takes, both of them have kept participating because they enjoy the satisfaction of their efforts. They have never been disappointed with their efforts since they always put forth their best. Even with much experience, there are still some hurdles that they have to clear.

“One of the hardest things that I have accomplished would be getting fourth place in the state competition,” commented Roberts.

Both of them have managed to overcome the task before them.

“For years, I’ve done performances, but for senior year I decided to branch out and write a paper,” commented Armstrong. Learning the formatting and rules of a new category has been challenging and rewarding. I am happy to report I have successfully navigated the paper category.”

Each of them encourage others to participate as they have felt compensated for time and effort.

“History Day is an extremely special program. You learn a lot and are equipped with skills you’ll need in college and beyond,” said Armstrong.”I can always find people that resonate with my projects. There is always at least one person touched by something they learn from my project.”

It’s always great to try new things and History Day is a program that is capable of providing both skills and interest in history.

“One of the rewarding things is being able to meet and interview both historians and politicians,” commented Roberts.”I would encourage others to participate.It may seem like a lot of work but it’s definitely worth it.”