Students research wars, space race, AIDS for contest

Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:00 am

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Akron-Westfield Grades 6-8 students began their National History Day Contest trek on Sunday with a local presentation of their projects.

There are 14 projects, including exhibits, documentaries, performances, and websites. Some are individual projects and others are group projects.

This year’s National History theme is “Conflict & Compromise. This unique program is an educational program devoted to improving the teaching and learning of history in American schools. National History Day is a meaningful way for students to study historical issues, ideas, people, and events by engaging in historical research.

Coach is Val Philips with Joni Noble, assistant coach; Colleen Westergard, organizational advisor; Dawn Martinsen, performance advisor; and several high school student mentors.

At the local presentation, volunteer judges critique the projects, giving students a taste of what the contest journey will be. Judges were Joni Noble, Allison Kjar, Dee Meerdink, Jordan Bursell, Pam Anderson and Sophie Knuth. At the end of the presentations, each student received a Certificate of Participation.

These are the projects that will be competing March 13 at District History Day Contest, which will be held at Northwestern College in Orange City. The winners will advance to the Iowa State History Day Contest on April 30 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines with hopes of earning a chance to compete at the National History Day Contest, which is June 10 at College Park – University of Maryland.


• Audrey Libetrau: “Tiananmen Square”

• Jacob Weiss: “Fence Cutting Wars”

• Tyler Ford, Ellie Martinsen, Alyssa Nemesio, Lauryn Saathoff and Michael Swancutt: “Legacy of the White Rose”

• Cael Moffatt, Matthew Nielsen, Sydney Parks, Sam Philips and Landon Schuknecht: “Iowa Cow Wars”


• Emma Milbrodt, Annie Newton and Allison Nixa: “Triangle Factory Fire”

• Caylee Petersen and Josie Smith: “Barbara Fassbinder Story”

• Leila Croy, Keira Hillrichs and Sadie Toben: “Dorothea Dix”


• Ciara Barron, Sophia Martinac and Sarah Toben: “Irena Sendler”

• Alyssa Frye, Kirsten Stabe and Mara Zorr: “Bloody Sunday”


• Lane Kenny and Lukas Langley: “Iwo Jima”

• Tom Lane: “Battle of Midway”

• Elijah Hoffer: “Chicago 7”

• Kaden Joy and Luke Meinen: “Apollo XIII”

• Ben Philips and Jack Schoenfelder: “Algona, Iowa, World War II Prison Camp

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