Minnesota Students Named National Champions at History Day Competition in Washington D.C.

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Release dated: 
June 7, 2010
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Jessica Kohen
Marketing and Communications

Tim Hoogland
Minnesota History Day

Minnesota Students Named National Champions at History Day Competition in Washington D.C.

Washington, D.C. – Top honors were awarded to six Minnesota entries on Thursday, June 17 in the 2010 National History Day competition at the University of Maryland. Of those six, sophomores Andrew and William Eerdmans from Fergus Falls High School earned the coveted title of national champions.

The weeklong event featured student research topics about the federal interstate system, changing attitudes about people with mental disabilities, child welfare, revolutionary polio treatments, the practice of nonviolent protest and coronary balloon angioplasty. Forty-eight Minnesota students joined almost 2,500 other students from across the nation in the weeklong competition.

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 2010 National History Day theme: "Innovation in History: Impact and Change."

The top three national finishers in each category reserve 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.

(l-r, William Eerdmans, Marjorie Eerdmans, Andrew Eerdmans)

Sophomores Andrew and William Eerdmans, Fergus Falls High School, were named national champions in the senior group performance category for their presentation "Divided Highways: The Impact and Change of the Interstate."

Other medal winners from Minnesota:

  • Jennifer Mailee Lor and Norma Romero-Rodriguez, St. Paul Open School, St. Paul. 2nd place, senior group documentary. The students explored the philosophy and practice of Satyagraha, non-violent protest. Their documentary also earned a $5,000 History Channel Award for the Outstanding Entry on an International Theme.
  • Tasha Holtman, Sanford Middle School, Minneapolis. 2nd place, junior paper, "There’s No Place Like Home: The Evolution of Child Welfare."
  • Chloe Boehm, Parkview Center School, Roseville. 2nd place, junior website category, "The Kenny Method: Polio Rehabilitation, Treating the Untreatable."
  • Adam Kneepkens and Billy Menor, Holy Rosary School, Duluth. 2nd place, junior group exhibit, "Bypassing Bypass Surgery: Coronary Balloon Angioplasty."
  • Joe Gifford, Jenni Klejeski and Bekah Nelson, John Paul II Homeschool, Ham Lake. 2nd place, senior group performance for their presentation on the treatment of people with mental disabilities.

Longtime History Day teacher Martin Marrin, of DeLaSalle High School, also received a top honor at the National History Day competition when he was named one of eight finalists for a PBS Teacher of Merit Award.

Other top finishers from Minnesota:

  • Monica Nelson and Sarah Becker, John Paul II Homeschool, Ham Lake. Fifth place, junior group performance. This presentation also received the outstanding state entry award for the junior division.
  • Katie Kostohris, Kateri Schmidt, Maggie Schmidt and Anna Jacobs, Kingdom Come Co-Op, West St. Paul. Sixth place, junior group performance.
  • Austin Gromatzky, Blake School, Minneapolis. Sixth place, senior paper.
  • Kelly Lee, Abigail Remiarz and Kayla Schneider, Sunrise Park Middle School, White Bear Lake. Seventh place, junior group documentary.
  • Bailey Hilgren, Chosen Valley Junior/Senior High, Chatfield. Tenth place, senior individual documentary. This presentation also received the outstanding state entry award for the senior division.
  • Elizabeth Nussbaum, Cretin-Derham Hall High School, St. Paul. Twelfth place, senior individual exhibit.
  • Maureen Boyce and Lisa Otto, DeLaSalle High School, Minneapolis. Twelfth place, senior group exhibit.

For more information see the National History Day in Minnesota page on the Minnesota Historical Society’s web site at www.mnhs.org/school/historyday.

National History Day in Minnesota is a co-curricular historical research program, co-sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota, Department of History.

The National History Day program has been recognized as a leader in facilitating academic achievement. By co-sponsoring the program, the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota become key partners in classroom achievement. Thousands of students make use of the Society’s archives, the University’s libraries, and other online resources, museums, and historic sites each year.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849 to preserve and share Minnesota history. The Society tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, extensive libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing.