APU Hosts History Day L.A

by Brittany Robinson

Azusa Pacific University joined together with Los Angeles County schools to host the 26th annual History Day L.A. The event took place on Saturday, March 15 at APU. History Day L.A. is part of a national program that encourages students to engage in learning about and getting involved with historical events.

This year’s theme, Conflict and Compromise in History, focused on courageous individuals throughout history who stood against world injustice. Students prepared posters, exhibits, papers, websites, performances, and documentary presentations to depict the theme.

Previously hosted by universities such as California State University, Northridge and the University of Southern California, Azusa Pacific welcomed more than 2,000 people for this history-based experience and scholastic competition including 700 students, ranging from 4th-12th grade.

“History Day L.A supports APU's mission by allowing students to be active in their learning through hands-on activities and research. It is a different form of assessment for the students,” said Dave Landers, assistant professor in the School of Education. “The best part is watching the students support each other and be excited about academics.”

Throughout the day, students and parents developed a deeper appreciation for history. Samantha, a fourth grade student in Baldwin Park, expressed her enthusiasm, saying, “My favorite part of the day was seeing all the projects and reading about them. I also got to do arts and crafts and my favorite was the doll-making.” Samantha did a project on Caesar Chavez and had the opportunity to hear first-hand stories from her grandparents.

This year's special art project, designed by art professor Jim Thompson, Ed.D, exemplified the Conflict and Compromise theme in a creative and abstract way. Thompson's Fundamental Art Experience class teamed up with 250 middle school students from three local schools in an after-school program to make this project a possibility. Each student designed and created tubes which were all strung together to create a mosaic curtain. The curtain represents the walls that people build between each other and the tubes convey that each of us as unique beings.