UNK hosts district History Day contest, with more than 160 students participating

KEARNEY – More than 160 middle and high school students participated in the Nebraska National History Day district contest hosted Wednesday at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Students from Ainsworth, Cambridge, Lexington, Loup County, Loup City, McCook and Rock County were part of the event – one of seven district competitions across the state.

Guided by this year’s theme – “Turning Points in History” – participants presented individual and group projects in categories such as performance, documentary film, interpretive website, research paper and poster exhibit. Entries were judged by UNK faculty and community volunteers.

The top two or three entries in each category at the Kearney District Contest advance to the state competition scheduled for April 20 at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. First- and second-place winners at the state event are then invited to participate in the National History Day contest June 9-13 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)

Research Paper
First place – Klaire McCorkle of McCook, “Prohibition and the 21st Amendment”

Individual Performance
First place – Isabelle Arens of Ainsworth, “Rural Electrification”

Individual Exhibit (state qualifiers)
Ansley Rowan of Rock County, “Grace Abbott: Turning Child Labor Around”
Heidi Mead of Loup City, “Training Camp Turned to Death Camp: Dachau”
Dutch Miller of Loup City, “The Declaration of Independence: Turning Point of Independent Rule” 

Group Exhibit (state qualifiers)
Buch Ruhter and Leighton Konkoleski of Ainsworth, “The Dust Bowl”
Jesus Diaz, Billy Lopez, Misael Gonzalez-Del Rio and Jose Andres-Miguel of Lexington, “Abraham Lincoln”
Beau Ortner and Callen Pierce of Ainsworth, “The Battle of Midway”

Individual Documentary
First place – Raegan Skibinski of Loup City, “Henry Ford’s Assembly Line”
Second place – Miranda Lambrecht of Ainsworth, “Woodrow Wilson’s Turning Point: America’s Entry Into WWI”

Group Documentary
First place – Apollo Harris and Skylar Kurtzhals of Loup City, “D-Day June 6, 1944”

Individual Website
First place – Cooper Spotanski of Loup City, “Lights, Camera, History! Turning Hollywood into the Entertainment Capital”
Second place – Alyza Ammon of Rock County, “Pearl Harbor: Turning Farming into Food Assistance”
Third place – Finn Bogardus of McCook, “Star Wars” 

Group Website
First place – Chiann Santos and Anastasia Titman of Loup City, “The Path to Injustice: How the Trail of Tears Was a Turning Point for Native Americans”
Second place – Madison Pazdernik and Taralee Baker of Loup City, “Language Suppressed Becomes Wartime Success; Navajo Code Talkers”
Third place – Michloe Cintron and Nicodemuz Castro of Loup City, “Turning Defeat into Victory: Apollo 11 Race to the Moon”

Senior Division (high schoolers)

Research Paper
First place – Angel Estrada of Loup County, “The Great Chicago Fire of 1871”

Group Performance
First place – Paul Denny, Maxwell Hasenohr and Keith Munnu of Ainsworth, “How the Bombing of Pearl Harbor Changed the World”

Individual Exhibit (state qualifiers)
Kaitlyn Leibert of Loup County, “Prohibition”
Alyissa Moody of Loup County, “Electricity Through the Ages”
Alexis Starr of Loup County, “Anesthesia”

Group Exhibit (state qualifiers)
Kole Goc and Kolton Friesen of Loup City, “Cyrus McCormick and the Mechanical Reaper”
Madison Glidden, Gracey Rodocker and Emmett Sortum of Loup County, “The Cowboy Era”
Hector Estrada, Garrett Keith, Elissa Kipp, Michael Starr and David Switzer of Loup County, “The Pig War of 1859”

Group Documentary
First place – Tayler Obermiller and Morgan Rademacher of Loup City, “From Poverty to Philanthropy: Dolly Parton”

Individual Website
First place – Paige Stanczyk of Loup City, “Hollywood Beauty vs. Scientific Brains: The Turning Point for Hedy Lamarr”
Second place – Jaymeson Gappa of Loup City, “From American Citizen to War Enemy: Turning Point for Japanese Americans during WWII”

Group Website
First place – Grace Augustyn and Kaily Kurtzhals of Loup City, “The Ride to Adoption: How the Orphan Train Movement Laid the Tracks to the Foster Care System”