UNK hosts district History Day contest, with 125 middle and high school students competing

KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney hosted the Nebraska National History Day Kearney District Contest on Wednesday, with 125 middle and high school students competing.

Students from Ainsworth, Arapahoe, Loup City, Loup County and McCook were part of the event – one of seven district contests across the state.

Based on this year’s theme – “Frontiers in History” – students presented individual or group projects in categories such as performance, website design, research paper, documentary film and poster exhibit. They were judged by UNK faculty and other experts.

The top two or three entries in each category at the district event advance to the state competition scheduled for April 1 at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. The first- and second-place entries in each category at the state competition are then invited to participate in the National History Day contest June 11-15 at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Established in 1985, Nebraska National History Day is a nonprofit educational program that encourages middle and high school students to conduct original research on historical topics. It’s affiliated with the National History Day contest, which started in 1974.

Kearney District Contest winners are:
Junior Division (middle schoolers)

Individual Performance
First place – Addilyn Doke of Ainsworth, “Arbor Day: Greener Frontier in Nebraska’s Environment”

Individual Exhibit
First place – Audrey Wilson of McCook, “One Giant Leap”
Second place – Kristofer Hitchcock of Ainsworth, “Life on the Oregon Trail”
Third place – Ava Graff of Ainsworth, “Amelia Earhart”

Group Exhibit
First place – Conrad Kaminski and Gavin Schriner of Loup City, “Louisiana Purchase”
Second place – Alizah Reynolds and Abigail Thompson of McCook, “Classical Composers”
Third place – Kreighton Barger, Redford Crocker and Lauren Rouselle of McCook, “King Tutankhamun”

Individual Documentary
First place – Payton Sears of Ainsworth, “Ruby Bridges”

Group Documentary
First place – Jenna Heil, Emily Peters and Morgan Rademacher of Loup City, “Jackie Robinson”

Group Website
First place – Grace Augustyn and Kaily Kurtzhalsa of Loup City, “Indian Boarding School”
Second place – Eli Jaixen and Taylor Obermiller of Loup City, “Riding the Underground Railroad”
Third place – TJ Puckett, Bo Schlegel and Ian Spearman of McCook, “The Pioneers of the First Nebraska National Championships”

Senior Division (high schoolers)

Group Performance
First place – Chloe Gooden, Jordan Holstein, Emma Strand, Ryleigh Tidyman and Annaka Wasenius of Arapahoe, “Nicodemus: The Frontier of New Beginnings”

Individual Exhibit
First place – Juliana Hanzlick of Arapahoe, “The Silk Road”
Second place – Alexandra Vega of Loup County, “Margaret Sanger”
Third place – Jacob Jones of Loup City, “Sputnik”

Group Exhibit
First place – Danica Heil, Jessica Steib and Mallory Tuma of Loup City, “Clara Barton: Crossing Frontiers”
Second place – Reagan Larrabee, Emilio Pano and Breanna Whelan of Loup City, “Martin Couney”
Third place – Hector Estrada, Garrett Keith, Elissa Kipp and Michael Starr of Loup County, “The Pony Express”

Individual Documentary
First place – Allison Lone Elk of Loup City, “How Pathbreaking Native Doctor Susan La Flesche Picotte Crossed Frontiers”

Group Documentary
First place – Samantha Augustyn, Tatum Kapustka and Landri Loos of Loup City, “The Dark Lady of DNA”
Second place – Korbyn Oseka and Elijah Solis of Loup City, “Wounded Knee Massacre”
Third place – Nicole Chilewski and Aleia Friesen of Loup City, “Evelyn Sharp”

Individual Website
First place – Jaymeson Gappa of Loup City, “World War II POW Camps”
Second place – Paige Stanczyk of Loup City, “All America Girls Professional Baseball League”

Group Website
First place – Eva Jaixen and Olivia Fitzgerald of Loup City, “Striking a Change: Match Girls Strike of 1888”
Second place – Riley Obermiller, Christian Sherman and Natalie Wardyn of Loup City, “Wernher von Braun”

Research Paper
First place – Claira Morgan of Loup County, “The Goodnight Loving Trail”
Second place – Everett Funk of Loup County, “History and Importance of Bullet Cartridges”
Third place – Arden Waters of Loup County, “Louis Armstrong”