By creating projects, students and teachers become collaborative as they ground their work in academic research and cultivate problem-solving skills. Over the years I have had dozens of NHD projects focus on World War II topics on everything from the atomic bomb to the Zeilsheim Displaced Persons Camp in Germany. One of my students in my class had a grandfather, John Matsudaira, who fought in World War II with the famous 442nd Japanese-American Regimental Combat Team and earned a Purple Heart in Italy. The students created an unbelievable exhibit on a topic that is fairly common at the national NHD competition level.
The educational philosophy of problem-based learning coupled with topics from World War II is a gold mine for learning. Due to the complexity of the time period, the limitless variety of individuals, and extraordinary events, World War II will continue to provide interesting topics to research. By working with the ABMC program, I will be better prepared to share with my students and others the importance of the sacrifices Americans and others made in World War II.