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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release June 22, 2010

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

22 Iowa students earn honors at national history contest

(DES MOINES) – Twenty-two Iowa students earned national honors last week at the National History Day contest at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.

NHD is an academic-enrichment program that helps students learn about historical issues, people and events. Fifty-six students represented Iowa in the NHD national contest, competing for scholarships and prizes against nearly 2,500 other students from the United States, Guam, America Samoa, Department of Defense Schools in Europe, and Shanghai, China.

“I am very proud of the way these students represented Iowa at the national contest,” NHD in Iowa Coordinator Millie Frese said. “They performed with remarkable poise and were competitive in all categories.”

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 was “Innovation in History: Impact and Change.”

Working individually or collaboratively in groups of two to five, students competed in a variety of categories, including papers, Web sites, and individual and group exhibits, documentaries, and performances. Students in grades 6-8 competed in the junior division while students in grades 9-12 competed in the senior division.

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

Following is the list of Iowa students who earned national honors at the NHD contest in Maryland:

Junior Division

Community: Akron, Iowa
Student(s): Lexi Hageman, Kortney Hedlund, Hannah Koele, Desi Oltmanns and Cali Westergard, 3rd Place – Bronze Medal
Category: Junior Group Performance
Project Title: “The Golden Age of Radio: Changing America with the Turn of the Dial”
School: Akron-Westfield Community School
Teacher(s): Val Philips and Colleen Westergard

Community: Akron, Iowa
Student(s): Corbin Bundy, Bethany Eastman and Eliza Kjar, 6th Place
Category: Junior Group Documentary
Project Title: “Devil’s Rope: The Wire that Fenced the West”
School: Akron-Westfield Community School
Teacher(s): Val Philips and Colleen Westergard

Community: Akron, Iowa
Student(s): Emily Meerdink, 7th Place
Category: Junior Individual Performance
Project Title: “The Innovative Beginning of Conservation in America: The Lacey Acts”
School: Akron-Westfield Community School
Teacher(s): Val Philips and Colleen Westergard

Community: Marshalltown, Iowa
Student(s): Lindsey Hassman and Carly Kielman, 3rd Place – Bronze Medal
Category: Junior Group Exhibit
Project Title: “The Sewing Machine: Impacting History One Stitch at a Time”\
School: Home school
Teacher(s): Karen Hassman

Community: New Hartford, Iowa
Student(s): Ben Cuvelier, 14th Place
Category: Junior Web Site
Project Title: “The Global Impact of Fast Food”
School: Dike-New Hartford Junior High School
Teacher(s): Kathy Sundstedt

Community: Pleasant Hill, Iowa
Student(s): Brad Fane, 3rd Place – Bronze Medal
Category: Junior Individual Exhibit
Project Title: “Herbert Hoover: A Logistical Genius Changing a Hungry World”
School: Southeast Polk Junior High School
Teacher(s): Kathy Wikert

Senior Division

Community: Alta, Iowa
Student(s): Lindsey Peterson, 14th Place
Category: Senior Individual Documentary
Project Title: “Birth Control: A Hard Pill to Swallow”
School: Alta Community High School
Teacher(s): Kirsten Doebel

Community: Bettendorf, Iowa
Student(s): Joann Weeks and Meghana Pagadala, 14th Place
Category: Senior Group Performance
Project Title: “Picking Cotton and Picking Fights: Eli Whitney’s Patent Problems”
School: Rivermont Collegiate
Teacher(s): Leigh Ann Schroeder

Community: Carlisle, Iowa
Student(s): Rebekah Frese, 8th Place
Category: Senior Historical Paper
Project Title: “Orphan Trains: Charles Loring Brace and the Origins of Foster Care in America”
School: Carlisle High School
Teacher(s): Barb Cupp

Community: Carroll, Iowa
Student(s): Julia Evans and Maria Bohling, 5th Place
Category: Senior Group Exhibit
Project Title: “Pink, Loud and Wiggly: The Neonatal Health Assessment that Impacts Lives in the Delivery Room”
School: Carroll High School
Teacher(s): Kelly Borchers

Community: Eldridge, Iowa
Student(s): Sarah Riedel, 5th Place
Category: Senior Individual Exhibit
Project Title: “To Create or Destroy: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Paradox of Scientific Innovation”
School: North Scott High School
Teacher(s): Chris Green

Community: LeMars, Iowa
Student(s): Palani Permeswaran, 1st Place – Gold Medal
Category: Senior Historical Paper
Project Title: “Chemurgy: Using Science Innovatively to Save American Agriculture from Overproduction”
School: LeMars Community High School
Teacher(s): Jeanne Rust

Community: Storm Lake, Iowa
Student(s): Katherine Schulz, 12th Place
Category: Senior Individual Performance
Project Title: “We the People: Innovation that Impacted the World”
School: Storm Lake High School – Independent
Teacher(s): Roberta Moore


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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