National History Day district competition underway
For immediate release March 12, 2007


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

(DES MOINES) – Iowa students in grades 6-12 are squaring off in National History Day (NHD) district competitions with a trip to the state and national finals on the line.

National History Day is an exciting 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 2007 is “Triumph & Tragedy in History.”

“Nearly every year, we have more than 3,500 students competing in district competitions, with about 500 to 600 of them moving on to Des Moines for the state contest,” said Naomi Peuse, the state coordinator for National History Day in Iowa. “From that pool, 50 to 60 will be selected to attend the national event in June at the University of Maryland.”

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

The junior division state finals are scheduled for April 30 and the senior division state finals will be May 7 at the State Historical Building in Des Moines. State winners earn the right to compete at the national finals June 10-14 at the University of Maryland, with cash prizes up to $1,000 at stake. Last year, Stephen Frese of Marshalltown received the grand prize at the National History Day awards ceremony – a four-year, full tuition scholarship to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio valued at more than $100,000. Eight more Iowa students earned additional honors.

In addition, NHD events in Iowa will include a gala 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 18 at the State Historical Building. Teachers, administrators and friends of history are invited. Reservations are $15 per person and can be made by contacting Naomi Peuse at 515-281-6860 or

The National History Day in Iowa program 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, and the American Legion of Iowa Foundation.

The schedule for upcoming National History Day in Iowa district competitions is:

March 16
AEA 10
Old Capitol Museum
24 Old Capitol, University of Iowa, Iowa City
10 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

March 17
Keystone AEA
Oelwein Middle School
300 12th Avenue SE, Oelwein
9 a.m.-2 p.m

March 19
St. Ambrose University
518 W. Locust Street, Davenport
3:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

March 20
AEA 14
Graceland University
1 University Place, Lamoni
9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

March 22
AEA 267
AEA 267
3712 Cedar Heights Drive, Cedar Falls
1 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

March 23
AEA 267
AEA 267
3712 Cedar Heights Drive, Cedar Falls
9:15 a.m.-1:45 p.m.

March 24
Pocahantas High School
205 2nd Avenue NW, Pocahontas
8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

March 27
AEA 267,
Marshalltown Community College
3700 S. Center Street, Marshalltown
10 a.m.-4 p.m.

March 28
AEA 11
Central College
812 University, Pella
9 a.m.-2 p.m.

March 29
AEA 11
State Historical Building
600 E. Locust, Des Moines

March 30
AEA 15 & 16
Southern Prairie AEA
2814 N. Court Street, Ottumwa
9 a.m.-2 p.m.

More information about National History Day 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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