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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release April 27, 2010

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

24 Iowa students advance to National History Day national finals

(DES MOINES) – Twenty-four Iowa students who competed in the National History Day in Iowa contest Monday advanced to the NHD National Contest in June at the University of Maryland.

The 24 students competed against about 250 other Iowa students in grades 9-12 in the NHD in Iowa senior division contest Monday at the State Historical Building in Des Moines. About 375 students in grades 6-8 will compete in the NHD in Iowa junior division contest Monday, May 3, 2010, also at the State Historical Building.

Winners from Monday’s senior division contest and next week’s junior division contest will compete against about 2,500 students from the United States, Guam, America Samoa, Department of Defense Schools in Europe, and Shanghai, China, June 13-17, 2010, at the 2010 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest 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 2010 is “Innovation in History: Impact and Change.”

“Nearly every year, we have thousands of students competing in school and district competitions, with hundreds of them moving on to Des Moines for the state senior and junior division contests,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Cyndi Pederson said. “From that pool, 50 to 55 are selected to represent Iowa at the national contest.”

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.

In addition to discovering the world of the past, NHD helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success:

  • critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • research and reading skills
  • oral and written communication and presentation skills
  • self esteem and confidence
  • a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process

The NHD program in Iowa 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., and the Polk County Historical Society. More information about NHD in Iowa is available at www.iowahistory.org.

Following are the NHD in Iowa senior division winners announced today:

(Title of Project)
(City, State)

Historical Paper
Palani Permeswaran
Chemurgy: Using Science Innovatively to Save American Agriculture from Overproduction
LeMars Community High School
LeMars, Iowa
Jeanne Rust

Rebekah Frese
Orphan Trains: Charles Loring Brace and the Origins of Foster Care in America
Carlisle High School
Carlisle, Iowa
Barb Cupp

Individual Performance
Katherine Schulz
We The People: Innovation that Impacted the World
Storm Lake High School – Independent
Storm Lake, Iowa
Roberta Moore

Jordan Thomas
The American Voice: Our Greatest Innovation
Northern University High School
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Aaron Spurr

Group Performance
Emily Mallinger and Jordan Neumann
Chautauqua: Innovation in Entertainment
Manson Northwest Webster High School
Webster City, Iowa
Jenny Larson

Joann Weeks and Meghana Pagadala
Picking Cotton and Picking Fights: Eli Whitney’s Patent Problems
Rivermont Collegiate
Bettendorf, Iowa
Leigh Ann Schroeder

Web Site
Kelsey Meier
Innovative Social Work: Jane Addams’ Hull House and Its Impact on Society
North Scott High School
Eldridge, Iowa
Chris Green

Kaitlyn Aldrich and Sam Sparland
Norman Borlaugh: A Life of Innovation
Johnston High School
Johnston, Iowa
Sue Cline

Individual Documentary
Mikayla Sullivan
Barren to Fields of Plenty
Ames High School
Ames, Iowa
Dianne Hugdahl

Lindsey Peterson
Birth Control: A Hard Pill to Swallow
Alta Community High School
Alta, Iowa
Kirsten Doebel

Group Documentary
Christine Mbakwe and Christopher Mbakwe
Innovation of the Assembly Line: Man or Machine?
Rivermont Collegiate
Bettendorf, Iowa
Leigh Ann Schroeder

Taylor Mithelman, Brandi Jansen and Helen Lagerblade
Henry A. Wallace: Innovating Farming and Impacting the World through Hybrid Corn
Johnston High School
Johnston, Iowa
Sue Cline

Individual Exhibit
Taylor Beitzel
Dr. Enrst Leitz II: Innovating a Way to Freedom for German Jews
North Scott High School
Eldridge, Iowa
Chris Green

Sarah Riedel
To Create or Destroy: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Paradox of Scientific Innovation
North Scott High School
Eldridge, Iowa
Chris Green

Group Exhibit
Julia Evans and Maria Bohling
Pink, Loud and Wiggly: The Neonatal Health Assessment that Impacts Lives in the Delivery Room
Carroll High School
Carroll, Iowa
Kelly Borchers

Emily Bainter and Cydnie Carmody
Frank Lloyd Wright: Innovations in Architecture “Bringing the Outside In”
North Scott High School
Eldridge, Iowa
Chris Green

North Scott High School of Eldridge received recognition as school of the year. Rivermont Collegiate of Bettendorf and Johnston High School tied for second place. Roberta Moore of Storm Lake High School – Independent was named National History Day in Iowa senior division Teacher of the Year.


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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