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Kaua‘i students in history competition

Kaua‘i students will be competing in the National History Day competition.

Since 1980, the National History Day contest has motivated students to study history from a position of genuine curiosity, thus building an understanding of history that helps students prepare for future challenges, rather than memorizing names and dates, according to a press release.

Hawai‘i History Day students compete with 3,000 students from across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and international schools in China, Korea, and South Asia.

Hope Newton and Mar Heinrich Ruiz of Waimea High School, and their website project, “Mauna Kea: The Mountainous Catalyst For A Monumental Debate,” is in the competition. Their teacher is Keyk Capati. In past national competitions, Hawai‘i students have taken top awards and honors.

“Their projects consistently capture the human experience, showcasing the complex historical contexts that have had profound impacts on the lives we live today, such as the rights of gay parents, disability rights, inoculation controversies in 1721, and the Hawai‘i small pox epidemic in 1881,” the release said.

Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner, climate envoy for the Marshall Islands, poet, and past Hawai‘i History Day participant, said participating in Hawai‘i History Day taught her that studying history is critical, and it can also be a practice of healing and revealing.

“It was one of my earlier forms of engagement with the history of nuclear trauma inflicted on our (Marshall) islands, and it gave me an opportunity to confront and shed light on that trauma,” she said.

Thirty-two students, grade school to high school, from 16 schools on three islands, will be representing Hawai‘i in the virtual National History Day competition through Thursday.

These 32 students competed with 269 students, winning the 2022 Hawai‘i History Day State Fair virtually presented April 23 by the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities, which has run the Hawai‘i History Day program for more than 30 years.

“Hawai‘i History Day is about community, connection and the exchange of knowledge through storytelling, connecting our histories to our everyday lives and sparking inspiration for the future,” said Shannon Cristobal, director of Hawai‘i History Day.

“This has been particularly crucial for our students as they endured constant schedule changes and profound isolation during online learning through the COVID pandemic, which has really hit our educational community hard.”
Source: The Garden Island

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