History Day continues cycle of education

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April 16, 2014

“Welcome to the campus,” said Pamela Johnston in a voice nearly drowned out by the blare of noise on History Day at Fresno Pacific University. 

The Special Events Center was swarming with activity as judges and observers moved from table to table filled with projects, and students stood ready to give speeches or answer questions.  About 400 students grades four-12 competed at the event on March 15, 2014. An equal number of parents and teachers were also present. Each year since 2008 FPU has hosted History Day on its main campus with Pamela Johnston, Ph.D., assistant professor of history, and Marshall Johnston, Ph.D., associate professor of history/Latin, serving as event coordinators 

“It is a lot of work by lot of people,Pamela Johnston said, and much of this work is done by the more than 100 FPU student volunteers who set up, register and judge. These volunteers were coordinated by David Snyder.

This year’s theme was “Rights and Responsibility,” and participants presented in the categories of 2D display, 3D display, documentaries, performances, historical papers or websites. First-prize winners moved on to state and national History Day events.

History Day is a tool for teaching critical thinking and promoting a love of history. It also brings elementary students to campus and gets them involved with FPU students and teachers. For Pamela Johnston, the best part of History Day is not only seeing elementary students return year after year, but welcoming some back as judges when they become college students. A few even go on to be teachers and bring their own classes back to compete as they once did.

 

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