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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release May 08, 2013

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

32 Iowa students win Junior Division National History Day in Iowa contest

Students advance to national contest at University of Maryland next month

(DES MOINES) – Thirty-two Iowa students took top honors in a statewide history contest this week and will represent Iowa at the National History Day competition next month at the University of Maryland.

The 32 students competed against 375 other students in the junior division (grades 6-8) of the National History Day in Iowa contest this week at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines. The students join 38 other Iowa students who competed last week in the NHD in Iowa senior division (grades 9-12) in advancing to the 2013 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest held June 9-14, 2013, at the University of Maryland.

The group of 70 Iowa students will compete for scholarships and cash prizes against nearly 2,500 students from the United States, Guam, America Samoa, Department of Defense Schools in Europe, and Shanghai, China

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 2013 is “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.

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 in Iowa program 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.

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

(Title of Project)

Junior Historical Paper
Brooke Thacker
Common Sense: Turning Colonists into Freedom Fighters
Johnston Middle School
Kathy Paul

Storm Lake
Wendy Leyva
Insulin: An Elixir Of Life
Storm Lake Middle School
Priscilla Robinson

Junior Individual Exhibit
Matt Griebe
D−Day: Turning the Tide of WWII, Operation Overlord
North Scott Junior High School
Chris Green

Allie Tubbs
Jackie Robinson Turns the Tide in Baseball History
Summit Middle School
Colleen Ites

Junior Group Exhibit
Brady Frank, Adelyn Carmody, Benjamin Stutting
Kristallnacht “Night of Broken Glass”: A Turning Point in Jewish History
North Scott Junior High School
Chris Green

Emmy Knuth, Danika Smith, Rose Witt
Chernobyl: Fatal Disaster, Turning Point in Nuclear Energy
Akron−Westfield Community School
Colleen Westergard, Val Philips

Junior Individual Documentary
Lizzy Herrick
Sesame Street: T is for Turning Point
Lincoln Central Middle School
Jean Hoffman

Michael Mohr
Henry Wallace: Hybridization of Corn, Turning Agriculture on its Ear
North Scott Junior High School
Chris Green

Junior Group Documentary
Council Bluffs
Sam Hulett, Ben Price
Star Wars
Kirn Middle School
Deb Masker

Nick Schnell, Eric Cottrell, Michael Ford
Sputnik 1: A Small Object that Created a Huge Impact
Akron−Westfield Community School
Colleen Westergard, Val Philips

Junior Individual Performance
Makayla Swancutt
Antietam: A Crossroad to Freedom
Akron−Westfield Community School
Colleen Westergard, Val Philips

Mickey Sloat
Game, Set, and (Pay) Match: Playing for Equity in Women's Sports
Williams Intermediate
Beth Miller

Junior Group Performance
Cameron Wahlberg, Daniel Martinsen, Skyler Briggs, Charlie Anderson
Teddy Roosevelt: Turning Tables on Corporations
Akron−Westfield Community School
Colleen Westergard, Val Philips

Anuja Pharasi, Dayna Price, Savannah Kelley
Nellie Bly: Benefiting Humanity One Word at a Time
Fairfield Middle School
Tena Nelson

Junior Individual Web Sites
Kyle Marek
Civilian Conservation Corps
LeMars Middle School
Jeanne Rust

Nikki Hobson
Nellie Bly: Paving the Way for a Society with Women in the Workforce
Johnston Middle School
Kathy Paul

Junior Group Web Sites
Rebeka Bell, Madison Huynh
The Seneca Falls Convention: Crossroads in Women’s Rights
Nevada Middle School
Randy Davis

Storm Lake
Cody Baker, Kayla Joyner
The Eisenhower Interstate System: Our Road to a Stronger Nation
Storm Lake Middle School
Priscilla Robinson


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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