FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Many students will tell you they think history is a boring subject, described by some as ‘memorizing a bunch of facts about dead people.’
There are moments in history that many of us remember because we lived through them, but what about those who are too young to remember the past?
“We need students to research and look into the past because they are the future,” said Melissa Aaron, Nation History Day coordinator.
National History Day is a program that encourages students to explore history through this annual event put on by the Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools. This year’s theme is debate and diplomacy in history.
“Students had to choose a memorable event in history possibly a conflict and they presented that information coming up with a thesis or a historical argument about it,” explained Aaron.
On the campus of Fresno Pacific University this weekend, students were seen dressing for the part and presenting moments in history.
Surabhi Khanna, a student at Clovis North, chose historical figure, Lucile Atcheson, the first woman accepted into the U.S. Foreign Service.
“She was fluent in five different languages, she had traveled abroad she had worked for, like other organizations and she was so qualified but she couldn’t do too much because of that bias that women were not smart, women could not do all this, women couldn’t be in the foreign service,” said Atcheson.
Students could make their presentations by doing performances, posters, exhibits, and even podcasts.
Some spent months researching and putting their projects together.
Ryan Salazar an 8th grader at Kastner produced a documentary on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
“I choose the non-proliferation treaty because of its significance around the world and it saved many lives in the process by preventing the production of nuclear weapons,” said Kastner Intermediate School student, Ryan Salazar.
Each student presented before a panel of judges. It’s been a while since they participated in a competition like this in person and this was the first county schools event where masks were optional.
“I can tell you a lot of time and consideration has gone into that into the safety and well-being of students.”
Students learn so much from this one event and just as in past generations they will some come to learn that they are living through a huge part of our history.