Iowa students to present history project at Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum

For immediate release June 12, 2006



Contact: Jeff Morgan,, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES) – Four Iowa students will join National History Day students from six other states to present their work for NHD’s national competition at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Wednesday.

The four – Derek Appley, Marissa Harvey, Anthony Miller and Caine Westergard – are students at Akron-Westfield Community School in Akron, Iowa. They will perform their work, “Amelia Earhart: Taking a Stand by Taking to the Skies,” which they created under the supervision of teacher Colleen Westergard.

“I’m excited these students have the opportunity to present their work on the national stage,” said Anita Walker, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, which oversees SHSI and the NHD program in Iowa. “Their performance at the museum is a fitting tribute to the hard work they did to reach the national competition.”

The Iowa students, among 14 selected to present their projects at the museum, are part of a larger group of more than 2,000 finalists – including 48 Iowa students – participating in the NHD national contest this week at the University of Maryland. The young historians bring with them the products of months of research and creative presentations in the form of research papers, dramatic performances, documentaries and exhibits. Iowa had four national winners last year.

More than a student competition, NHD is a campaign to change the teaching and learning of history in U.S. classrooms. The program is having a profound impact on education and received the Charles Frankel Prize for Public Programming from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Through publications and education programs, NHD trains teachers to move students beyond textbooks and expand their classrooms to include libraries, museums and archives. More information is available at

NHD in Iowa has been coordinated by the State Historical Society of Iowa since 1994. Major funding comes from the State Historical Society of Iowa, Inc. of Iowa City, a federal earmark, the American Legion of Iowa Foundation and Cargill. More information about NHD in Iowa is available at or by contacting Naomi Peuse at 515-281-6860 or

The State Historical Society of Iowa 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.


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