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South Bay Middle dominates at History Day Competition

EUREKA - Building websites, producing documentaries, and giving performances on the theme “leadership and legacy” were all categories dominated by South Bay Middle School at the annual History Day Competition.

Out of 15 middle schools from Humboldt County that competed in the History Day competition at HSU, South Bay Middle School won seven of the 16 projects that will continue to the state competition.

"What I really love about this project, is it really changes the dynamic of school. So the kids aren't just passive learners, you know. They're not just being fed information from teachers, but they actually become the teachers,” said Clover Schinke, South Bay History Teacher and History Teacher of the Year. 

"I think it feels real to them, this is not just something you're going to turn in and not think about again. You're going to be responsible for explaining it to people and showing it to the outside world and I think that's a big motivator and really empowering,” said Katie King, South Bay English Teacher.

The school won individual and group awards with three documentaries, three websites and a performance for a total of 12 winning students. 

"They were able to share their work with people besides just their teachers and fellow students and I think that's a really important part of this process,” said King.

"History is an important part of life and the world; and technology can just make that better and more interesting and something fun to do," said Eighth Grade Individual Website Winner, Alexandra Pena

Over the next six weeks, they're going to be preparing for the state competition in Sacramento and in three weeks the students will be competing for 10 scholarships given by the Rising Stars Foundation to assist in financial necessities for the trip.

“I could foresee us having two or three groups in the finals, maybe even someone going to the national competition this year. I think our students are that strong, their work ethic is that strong and their passion is off the charts," said, Schinke.

If students win at the state level in May, they'll head to the national competition in Baltimore over the summer.