History day highlights student research


SALT LAKE CITY  — Utah high school students, state historians and exhibits filled the large rotunda in Utah’s Capitol recently to showcase everything from historic photos of the Salt Lake LDS Temple and Utah’s Capitol Hill, Utah’s first state flag, a Butch Cassidy letter, to a Scofield Mine disaster pocket watch.

Mersedez Clifford, Katie Snow and Zoey Kourianos explain their project sat the Utah History Day on Capitol Hill.

The Jan. 28 event featured the Utah History Day Delegation, where many high school students came to the hill to show their hard work from papers to exhibits and even performances on Utah’s history.

Katie Snow,  a sophomore at Carbon High School in Price, said the event helps students learn more about their state.

“I feel honored to be and to meet all these people and when the governor came he gave a very inspiring talk about history and how important it is to society. I think it is great to have these projects and to be able to really explore into history more than what you learn in history class to help with education and learning about our country,” Snow said.

Snow and two of her fellow classmates, Mersedez Clifford and Zoey Kourianos performed a play about Bishmark and the Unification of Germany.

Mersedez Clifford stated what she felt while performing a play as her project for Utah History Day.

“It felt great to perform instead of doing a normal project, mainly because instead of being there and just doing a project, you actually had to research  into it and you have to know the emotions of what the person is feeling, and it is a better way to present it, in my opinion,” said Clifford.

Many students had their projected presented at the Capitol Hill; however, Luke Hansen, a sophomore of Carbon High had a personal connection with his project.

Hansen did his project on Joseph E. Greaves, a microbiologist who happens to be his late great grandfather. His project made him a finalist at the National History Day Competition in College Park in Maryland last year.

“He finished 13th place, knowing that the top 14 are finalists, and that is out of thousands of projects, he is a little humble about it, but it is a pretty big deal for him and the school, we are most definitely proud of him,” said Chris Sweeney, the students’ social studies teacher at Carbon High School.

The National History Day is currently a program and is a part of the Division of the State History.

Doug Misner, a research and collections manager at Utah Division of State History, said the event helps students.

“When you better understand where you live, you understand the history, you create closer links to that place you live in, if you know its history and background. Because, learning about the past prepares you for the future,” he said.


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