Minnesota Students Take Top Honors at National History Day Competition in Washington D.C.

For immediate release

Release dated: 
June 19, 2014
Media contacts: 

Laura Weber • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3039 • laura.weber@mnhs.org

Megan Lawson • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3141 • megan.lawson@mnhs.org

Tim Hoogland • Minnesota History Day • 651-503-9326 • tim.hoogland@mnhs.org

Minnesota Students Take Top Honors at National History Day Competition in Washington D.C.

Students from the Twin Cities, Mankato and New Prague earn awards

Team MN 2014

Five Minnesota entries took home medals, including one first-place, at the 2014 National History Day awards ceremony, held today at the University of Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

Sixty Minnesota students joined almost 2,900 other students from across the nation in the week-long competition. In addition to the medal-winning entries, 10 other Minnesota entries earned honors as national finalist projects.

The students, representing grades six through 12, from schools around the state, presented exhibits, papers, documentaries, performances and websites that showed off months of research into topics based on the 2014 National History Day theme,"Rights and Responsibilities in History."

Research about the safety of children during the bombing of London during World War II, the history of Japanese internment camps, and the environmental legacy of the Love Canal dispute are examples of the topics studied by Minnesota entries selected as national medal winners.

“Minnesota History Day students continue to earn national recognition as they build advanced research and presentation skills with the support of educators from the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota,” explained History Day state coordinator Tim Hoogland.“Students throughout the state meet required social studies standards through History Day, and our very best entries get to compete on a national stage each June.”

The top three national finishers in each category earn monetary awards. First place receives $1,000, second place receives $500 and third place receives $250. National History Day also recognizes one outstanding state entry in each division, junior and senior, with a medal.

Top-three award winners:

  • Tasha Holtman, South High School, Minneapolis, First Place
    Senior Paper, “A Covert from the Tempest: Responsibility, Love and Politics in Britain's Kindertransport.”
  • Samara Kroeger, Highland Park Sr. High School, St. Paul, Second Place
    Senior Individual Website, “Toxic Time Bomb: Love Canal, Superfund, and the Establishment of Environmental Rights and Responsibilities.”
  • Mary Jo Dalsin, St. Wenceslaus School, New Prague, Third Place
    Junior Individual Documentary, “Japanese Internment Camps: Rights, Responsibilities and Reparations.”
  • Terra Sikorski, Sunrise Park Middle School, White Bear Lake, Third Place
    Junior Individual Exhibit, “Ryan White: A Boy Without Rights Changes a Nation.”
  • Ariana Lopez, Nhi Tran, Megan Holub, Mankato West High School, Third Place
    Senior Group Website, “Eugenics and Sterilization Laws in the US.”

Other top 10 finishers from Minnesota:

  • Allison Ackerknecht, Kari Breuer, Margaret Philippi, Sunrise Park Middle School, White Bear Lake, Fourth Place
    Junior Group Exhibit, “The Americans With Disabilities Act.”
    *This presentation also received the outstanding state entry award from Minnesota for the junior division.
  • Cedar Thomas, Allison Cramer, St. Louis Park High School, Fourth Place
    Senior Group Website, “Lewis Hine and the NCLC: Viewing Child Rights Through a Different Lens.”
  • Bjorn Holm, Sam Dale-Gau, Eli Sage-Martinson, Open World Learning Community, St. Paul, Fifth Place
    Junior Group Documentary, “The Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the Spanish Civil War.”
  • Nick Reed, Jackson County Central High School, Fifth Place
    Senior Individual Performance, “The Day God Got Kicked out of School: Abington School District vs. Schempp and the Redefinition of Rights and Responsibilities in American Classrooms.”
    *This presentation also received the outstanding state entry award from Minnesota for the senior division.
  • Sabrina Brown, Anna Lee, Sunrise Park Middle School, White Bear Lake, Sixth Place
    Junior Group Web Site, “Korematsu v. United States.”
  • Jocie Coffler, Lake Harriet Community School, Minneapolis, Seventh Place
    Junior Individual Performance, “The Right to Life: Ann Bilansky's Influence on Minnesota's Death Penalty Laws.”
  • Madhav Singh, Ben Anderson, Luke Peichel, Barton Open School, Minneapolism Eighth Place
    Junior Group Website, “Building India's Independence on Pillars of Salt.”
  • Yaneira Calderon Rodas, Carolina Gomez Diaz, Chaska Middle School West, Ninth Place
    Junior Group Performance, “Lewis Hine: Letting Children Be Children.”
  • Jordan McGinty, Sydney Mischke, Buffalo Middle School, Tenth Place
    Junior Group Documentary, “Tragedy in the Factory: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.”
  • Kashia Yang, Washington Secondary Complex, St. Paul, Tenth Place
    Senior Individual Website, “Japanese-American Internment: The United States, Responsible for Loss of Citizen’s Rights.”

About National History Day in Minnesota

In Minnesota, 25,000 students from over 250 schools participate in the program each year.

For more information see the National History Day in Minnesota page on the Minnesota Historical Society’s website at http://education.mnhs.org/historyday.

The National History Day in Minnesota is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota.

Program support is also provided by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008. The Legacy Amendment supports efforts to preserve Minnesota land, water and legacy, including Minnesota history and cultural heritage.

Legacy logo

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.