Highlighting History

History Club gives students a learning opportunity outside of the classroom

At BV West, students have a variety of clubs they can choose to join. Sponsored by social studies teacher, Paul Stuewe, history club provides unique experiences to its members not often provided during history class.

History club hosts guest speakers, goes on field trips, runs Constitution day trivia and provides another way of learning about world history outside of the typical classroom experience.

“[History Club] is a nice way of keeping things in perspective,” club president and senior Yasmin Jarik said. “When you’re in class you’re reading from one textbook, learning from one teacher and it’s a set curriculum. With history club, we try and tailor to what the members like.”

In addition to all of the other events that take place in history club, members have the chance to participate in history day. While members are not required to create a project for history day, it is one of the main focuses of the club. History day is a nationwide event promoting the study and appreciation of history among students.

Preparation for history day begins early in the school year when participants decide what type of project they want to create and whether they want to be part of a group or work individually.

Participants have the option to create a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website. In the months leading up to regional history day, students work hard researching their topics, creating their projects and preparing for questions judges may have on the day of the competition.

Groups and individuals who are finalists at the district contest move on to the state contest, and, if they become finalists at state,  will have the chance to attend the national contest in Washington, D.C.

Participants are encouraged to work on their projects throughout the months leading up to history day and not wait until the last minute to complete them.

“The more time you put into your project, the better it is,” Jarik said. “The kids who spend a lot of time on it are the ones who usually move on to state.”

History day can be a demanding event, as the process of creating a quality project involves many steps. Depending on the project type, students may have to create scripts, edit videos, make or find props or conduct extensive research to write a paper. While the time commitment depends on the amount of effort participants put into their projects and the category they have selected, they oftentimes find the final outcome rewarding and impactful.

“There’s a lot of work being put into our project… but it’s a really eye-opening experience,” sophomore Carly Liggett said. “You can take social issues and use history to bring awareness to [what is] happening.”