Team triumphs in history contest

Members of a new DBHS club participated in a regional history competition on March 9.

One of Diamond Bar High School’s newest clubs, National History Day, earned a spot at the state-level competition after scoring well at the Los Angeles County regionals of the  National History Day.

“[The project] is not [about] history, it’s about people and issues, it can really be about anything, you can construe the theme to make it whatever you want,” NHD president Zayn Siddique, a sophomore, said.

During summer, the NHD organization announced the theme for the next year’s competition, which all of the projects will be related to.

Groups or individuals then decide their topic and which of the five categories they will compete in: an exhibit, a documentary, a website, a performance or an individual written paper.

This year’s theme was triumph and tragedy.

“We chose to do a website which takes a bit longer because we have to design everything on the website and write as well,” NHD vice president Junjae Shin, a sophomore, said.

According to Siddique, NHD is mentally challenging and requires higher level thinking. It can be a grueling process but it pays off in the end.

As one of the newest clubs on campus, it only had enough people to send two groups to regional competitions.

One group consists of Siddique and Shin while sophomores Arielle Chang, Camille McCurry and Samantha Mitchell form the second group.

During a 10-20 minute interview with the judges, they provided an analysis of their project and topic and explained its connection to the theme.

After interviews ended, an awards ceremony was held to announce which teams would advance to state.

This year, Siddique and Shin were the only group from DBHS to make it to state.

Their winning topic was about American politics and the two-party system; they focused on the pros and cons of having opinionated people eager to participate in the government.

Their project concentrated on two time periods: the 1980s and the present.

They will be competing again on May 10-12 at William Jessup University near Sacramento.

“We wrote about how even though it’s a positive thing that we have people that are wanting to participate in government and make decisions for everyone else, it’s really detrimental,” Siddique said. “Most of the people are malinformed and they take a vehement stance even though they don’t really know what’s going on.”

The other group, which did not advance, chose the topic of Al-Nakba, the creation of Israel, and also created a website.

“It is a huge effort because we must find accurate information in more than 70 sources,” Chang said. “We also have to compile these sources into a bibliography and write about different aspects of the event.”