Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Middle school students in Eau Claire participated in National History Day on Tuesday, showcasing different conflicts and compromises through history.
Each middle school in the Eau Claire Area School District participates in National History Day. Eighth grade students have been working on their projects for the past several months. Charlie Rohlik, a social studies teacher at Northstar Middle School, said the students get a lot of choice in the topic they research.
"It gives students the opportunity to connect to something they're interested in, and do a comprehensive research project on that, and dig deeper into the research and try to prove a point," said Rohlik.
Each year, there's a different theme for National History Day. This year's theme was "Conflict and Compromise in History." Eighth graders Cailey Stolt and Anna Welke told News 18 why their research on the Salem witch trials fits that theme.
"There was conflict when all these people were being falsely accused of being witches," Stolt said. "There were many compromises after, when they did a few different acts and things that changed our courts now, so that people aren't falsely accused without solid evidence."
They also said researching their topic was interesting and fun.
"Just creating the whole layout was a lot of fun," said Welke. "Researching was also really interesting, to learn new things about it because it's like new information because it's not something that really out there now. Not very many people are talking about it."
Many students even added a personal aspect to why they chose their research topic, like Laci Kitelinger.
"I chose Black Sunday because both of my parents went to Iraq after Black Sunday happened," Kitelinger said.
Rohlik said history and social studies classes are important for learning, but they also help students become citizens of the world.
"Just the general idea of being globally educated and understanding things that have happened," Rohlik said. "Not only, you know, in your own given life, but in the lives of others. It influences the way the people act, and it influences the future."