Clovis teacher and 'Star Wars' fan is hoping 'The Force' awakens some of his students

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Today is Friday, September 4th and for many "Star Wars" fans, that means today is "Force Day."

For one Clovis Unified teacher and self-proclaimed "Star Wars" junkie -- the "Star Wars" celebration was another reason to get kids involved in the classroom.

History and politics lessons at Clovis North are being taken to a cinematic level, on a galaxy far, far away.

A poster of R2-D2, a life-size Chewbacca, plenty of light sabers and all sorts of other "Stars Wars" memorabilia -- cover the walls and counters of Cliff Nitschke's classroom at Clovis North High School. The AP government and politics teacher says he goes with a theme every year and this year it's "Star Wars."

Nitschke said, "I thought it would be perfect, plus I thought it'd be a perfect chance to get all my 'Star Wars' stuff out of storage and geek out in the classroom and get kids exposed to it."

Nitschke says incorporating politics into his lessons can be seamless, as the Hollywood films can mirror some historical events and governments around the world.

Nitschke added, "Ronald Reagan was infamous for referencing 'Star Wars' and the evil empire that was Soviet Union at the time, and in fact you see now that Vladimir Putin has sort of put back that evil empire again, trying to rebuild the Soviet Union one country at a time."

He says students not only get the references, but they love the comparisons.

Maya Moiseyev-Foster, student, explained, "It's pretty interesting because I'm a history buff myself so I like tying a bunch of things together. For instance with the first trilogy connecting it with the Nazi empire, it can also connect with the Roman Empire."

Hayk Kosaian said, "It was kinda cool how Mr. Nitschke drew conclusions and analogies."

And on a day like Friday, September 4th -- known to many "Star Wars" fans now as "Force Day" where collectors can get their hands on newly-released toys and gadgets relating to this December's brand new "Star Wars" movie "The Force Awakens" -- the day is one to get festive. Mr. Nitschke even encourages his students to dress up as favorite characters. Some, who are also big fans, say the "Star Wars" connection in the classroom only makes them more excited to come to school.

Michele sanders said, "I walked into this classroom on the first day of school and immediately is as so ready to be in this classroom I was so excited because 'Star Wars' is my thing."

Bringing the force of learning to students every day.

Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.