About the State Historical Society > News > 2009

State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release April 24, 2009

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

Iowa students to participate in National History Day state competition

Grades 9-12 compete Monday; grades 6-8 set for May 4 at Historical Building

(DES MOINES) – About 700 Iowa students will converge at the State Historical Building Monday and May 4, 2009, to participate in the National History Day in Iowa competition and earn a trip to the national competition at the University of Maryland.

National History Day is an academic-enrichment program that helps students learn about historical issues, ideas, people and events. The year-long academic adventure fosters students’ enthusiasm for learning and encourages them to use primary, secondary, community and statewide resources on a subject of their choice related to an annual theme. The theme for 2009 is “The Individual in History: Actions and Legacies.”

“This year, we had nearly 4,000 students competing in district competitions, with about 700 of them moving on to Des Moines for the state senior and junior division contests,” said Cyndi Pederson, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “From that pool, 50 to 55 will be selected to attend the national event in June at the University of Maryland.”

Working individually or collaboratively in groups of two to five, students compete in a variety of categories, including papers, Web sites, and individual and group exhibits, documentaries and performances. Students in grades 6-8 compete in the junior division while students in grades 9-12 compete in the senior division. Students in grades 4-5 may participate in the noncompetitive Iowa Youth Division.

The senior division state finals are scheduled for Monday and the junior division state finals will be May 4, both at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. State winners earn the right to compete in the national finals June 14-18, 2009, at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.

Last year, three Iowa students won their respective categories and 25 others earned honors at the national competition.

The NHD in Iowa program has been coordinated by the State Historical Society of Iowa since 1994 and is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Iowa, State Historical Society, Inc., Oberman-Beck Foundation and the Polk County Historical Society. More information about NHD in Iowa is available at www.iowahistory.org or by contacting Millie Frese at 515-281-6860 or millie.frese@iowa.gov.

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The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa's historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa's past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa's historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.

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