Social studies dept. adds new program

The We the People team at the 2011 National Finals in Washington DC. The team traveled to Washington DC after being named the state of Iowa champions.

By John Alatalo
Students interested in social studies will have yet another option this August. Beginning next year, the new Historical Collective group will be a part of the National History Day program. Students in the Historian Collective will research a historical figure or event and have the option of presenting their research in a paper, an exhibit, performances, a documentary, or a website.

Students interested in joining this group or We the People should attend an informational meeting in room 225 on May 23 at 3:30.

“The Historian Collective will give students the opportunity to attend training workshops, do thorough research and become historians,” said social studies teacher Gary Neuzil.

The Historian Collective will utilize the Old Capitol Museum, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum as well as the University of Iowa libraries for research. University of Iowa professors Bruce Fehn and Elise Fillpot will also assist the group.

In March, the National History Day program will host a district competition at the Old Capitol in Iowa City. After districts, a state competition will be held in Des Moines. A select group of students from the state level will be selected to travel to the University of Maryland at College Park in June for the National contest. Two students from each state will be chosen to have their work displayed in the American History Museum in Washington DC.

In addition, West High will again be offering the We The People program next school year. According to Neuzil, We The People focuses more on political science and government whereas the Historian Collective will offer students a chance to examine a variety of historical perspectives.

Due to federal budget cuts We The People will not be offered at the national level next year, but district and regional competitions will take place. Both the Historical Collective and We The People are open to students in grades 9-12.

Find additional information on Gary Neuzil’s website,