National History Day district competition begins Saturday

For immediate release February 29, 2008


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

(DES MOINES) – Iowa students in grades 6-12 begin National History Day (NHD) district competitions Saturday 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 2008 is “Conflict and Compromise 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 Cyndi Pederson, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “From that pool, about 40 to 50 will be selected to attend the national finals 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 28, 2008 and the senior division state finals will be May 5, 2008 at the State Historical Building in Des Moines. State winners earn the right to compete at the national finals June 15-19, 2008 at the University of Maryland, with cash prizes up to $1,000 at stake.

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:

Region: AEA 267N (Clear Lake)
Sponsor: NIACC and SHSI
North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City
March 1, 2008
9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Region: Prairie Lakes AEA, Junior Division
Sponsor: Prairie Lakes AEA
Iowa Lakes Community College, Emmetsburg
March 8, 2008
10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Region: AEA 9
Sponsor: St. Ambrose University
St. Ambrose University, Davenport
March 10, 2008
3-8 p.m.

Region: AEA 14
Sponsor: Graceland University
Graceland University, Lamoni
March 12, 2008
9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Region: Prairie Lakes AEA, Senior Division
Sponsor: Buena Vista University
Buena Vista University, Storm Lake
March 13, 2008
8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Region: Northwest AEA
Sponsor: Northwest AEA
Northwest Area Education Agency, Sioux City
March 14, 2008
8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Region: AEA 1
Sponsor: Keystone AEA 1
Oelwein Middle School, Oelwein
March 15, 2008
8:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m.

Region: Loess Hills AEA
Sponsor: Loess Hills AEA
Abraham Lincoln High School, Council Bluffs
March 15, 2008
8 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Region: Great Prairie AEA
Sponsor: Great Prairie AEA
Fairfield Convention Center, Fairfield
March 18, 2008
8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Region: Heartland AEA-West
Sponsor: Central College
Central College, Pella
March 26, 2008
9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Region: AEA 267 (Cedar Falls)
Sponsor: Grout Museum
Five Sullivan Center, Waterloo
March 27
12:30-3 p.m.
March 28
8:15 a.m.-3 p.m.

Region: AEA 10
Sponsor: Old Capitol Museum
Old Capitol Museum, Iowa City
March 29, 2008
9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Region: AEA 267 (Marshalltown)
Sponsor: Marshalltown High School
Marshalltown Community College
March 31, 2008
9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Region: Heartland AEA: East-Central
Sponsor: Heartland AEA
State Historical Building, Des Moines
April 1, 2008
8 a.m.-3 p.m.

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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 or call 515-281-5111 for more information.

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