Michigan History Day brought hundreds to Grand Valley

Michigan History Day Regional Coordinator Sean O'Neill, Grand Valley professor of history, congratulates a group of young winners.
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Michigan History Day Regional Coordinator Sean O'Neill, Grand Valley professor of history, congratulates a group of young winners.
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More than 230 students representing many West Michigan area schools attended the Michigan History Day western regional contest at Grand Valley State University Saturday, March 17.

Entries for this year’s contest followed the theme, “Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History.” Middle and high school students performed self-directed research on an individually chosen topic then presented their work through the allied disciplines of art, literature, music, drama, and visual communications, in addition to writing. 

After performances, presentations, interviews and questions from judges, 70 students qualified for the state contest to be held at Central Michigan University on April 28. Judges were faculty and graduates from Grand Valley’s history department, local teachers and community historians.

“It is the goal of the program to empower students with research skills, critical thinking skills and outlets for creative expression,” said History Day Regional Coordinator Sean O’Neill, Grand Valley professor of history. “These skills will enhance their academic abilities in all areas of study.”

Sponsors for the local event included Grand Valley State University, the College of Letters Arts and Sciences and the Department of History, The Historical Society of Michigan, The Michigan Council for History Education, Meijer, Amway, and The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation.