This is National History Day in Iowa, part of what’s billed as an academic enrichment program that promotes the study of history in schools. State coordinator Naomi Peuse says the program is modeled after science fairs and encourages kids in grades six through 12 to take a creative approach to the study of history.This year’s theme honors the Lewis and Clark bicentennial under the theme “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.” Students develop research papers, exhibit display projects, documentaries or performances based on the topic. Between events today and one week from today at the Iowa Historical Building in Des Moines, Peuse says about 500 Iowa students will show what they’ve learned.These are the students who’ve already been through one level of events in their school districts and are now competing at the state level. About 50 winners from Iowa will be chosen to participate in the national event in College Park, Maryland, this summer. Peuse says the presentations will be widely varied.She says in the process, students learn research, writing and communication skills and gain an understanding of the importance of historical perspective. Learn more at “www.iowahistory.com”.
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