About the State Historical Society > News > 2011

State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release April 21, 2011

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

Iowa students to participate in National History Day state contest

Grades 9-12 compete Monday; grades 6-8 set for May 2 at State Historical Building

(DES MOINES) – More than 650 Iowa students will converge at the State Historical Building Monday and May 2, 2011, to compete in the National History Day in Iowa contest, with a trip to the national contest at the University of Maryland on the line.

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 2011 is “Debate & Diplomacy: Successes, Failures, Consequences.

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

The senior division state finals are Monday and the junior division state finals will be May 2, 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 12-16, 2011, at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.

Last year, 56 Iowa students competed in the National Finals against nearly 2,500 students from the United States, Guam, America Samoa, Department of Defense Schools in Europe, and Shanghai, China, for scholarships and prizes. Twenty-two Iowa students earned national honors.

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 History Channel. 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.


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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