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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release May 8, 2012

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

30 Iowa students win National History Day in Iowa contest

Students advance to national contest at University of Maryland next month

DES MOINES – Thirty Iowa students took top honors in a statewide history contest Monday and will join 33 other Iowa students at the National History Day (NHD) competition next month at the University of Maryland.

The 30 students competed against nearly 400 other students in the junior division (grades 6-8) of the National History Day in Iowa contest at the State Historical Museum in Des Moines. The other 33 students competed last week in the NHD in Iowa senior division (grades 9-12) contest.

The group of 63 students advances to compete against nearly 2,500 students from the United States, Guam, America Samoa, Department of Defense Schools in Europe, and Shanghai, China, June 10-14, 2012, at the 2012 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 2012 is “Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History.”

Working individually or collaboratively in groups of two to five, students compete in the following categories: historical papers, individual and group exhibits, documentaries, performances and websites. Nearly 10,000 Iowa students competed in the program this year, with winners at school and district competitions advancing to the state contests in Des Moines.

In addition to helping students discover the world of the past, the NHD program helps them 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 National History Day in Iowa Coordinator Millie Frese at 515-281-6860 or millie.frese@iowa.gov.

Following is the list of this year’s NHD in Iowa junior division winners:

(Title of Project)

Junior Historical Paper
Council Bluffs
Abigail Brickley
Iowa Cow Wars: Farmers’ Revolt Against Being Forced to Test
Lewis Central Middle School
Lorraine Duitsman

Le Mars
Chloe Evans
The Farmers’ Holiday Movement: A Reaction and Revolution in Farm History
Le Mars Middle School
Jeanne Rust

Junior Individual Exhibit
Matt Griebe
Revolutionary Genius: Leonardo da Vinci
North Scott Junior High School
Chris Green

Ansel Bare
The Armia Krajowa: A Revolution Under Hitler’s Nose
North Scott Junior High School
Chris Green

Junior Group Exhibit
Afshan Chandani, Luke Safris
The Challenger Tragedy: A Nation Reacts, NASA Reforms
Summit Middle School
Colleen Ites

Christian Wolthuizen, Max Anderson, Ty Carl
Jackie Robinson: Revolutionary Leader in Baseball, Reforming the World of Sports
Akron−Westfield Community School
Valorie Philips, Colleen Westergard

Junior Individual Documentary
Lizzy Herrick
Black Armbands: From Student Protest to Educational Reform
Estherville Lincoln Central Middle School
Jean Hoffman

Autumn Delong
Robert Ray: A Voice for Refugees
Decorah Middle School
Janelle Keune, Wes Knaack

Junior Group Documentary
Sarah Henry, Meredith Campidilli
Ralph Nader and the Consumer Revolution: Crusader and Catalyst
Johnston Middle School
Kathy Paul

Kalle Solberg, Katelyn Yee, Katie Perez, Loden Henning
Elijah Parish Lovejoy: America’s Reaction to a Revolutionary Idea
Decorah Middle School
Janelle Keune, Wes Knaack

Junior Individual Performance
Kaitlyn Rooney
Tinker Vs. Des Moines: A Revolution in Student’s Rights
St. Benedict School
Patty Lien

Mickey Sloat
Ms. Gloria Steinem, not Mrs. or Miss
Williams Intermediate
Elizabeth Miller

Junior Group Performance
Cedar Rapids
Sweta Sudhir, Nina Yu
The National Industry Recovery Act of 1933: A Controversial Reformation for America
Harding Middle School
Shannon Haas

Allie Stutting, Ali Watkins
Nellie Bly: Revolutionizing Journalism, Awakening Reaction, Necessary Social Reform
North Scott Junior High School
Chris Green

Junior Individual Web Sites
Tony Nguyen
Reforms of the Great Depression
Williams Intermediate
Elizabeth Miller

Skyla Pehl
The Fire that Changed America[1911]
Madrid Elementary School
Karlee McKibban

Junior Group Web Sites
Council Bluffs
Hayley Hartman, Ashlyn Turk, Claire Jones
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fuels Reform
Kirn Middle School
Deb Masker

Council Bluffs
Jacob Kaufman, Gage Weber
America Sees Red: Reaction and Reform to McCarthyism in the Cold War
Kirn Middle School
Deb Masker


The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at www.culturalaffairs.org.


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