Middle schoolers from across Iowa are wrapping up their daylong competition in Des Moines as part of National History Day. Jeff Morgan is spokesman for the State Historical Society of Iowa and says the students have been at his building all day to demonstrate what they’ve learned.Several hundred students are showing their work of the past several months. The winners will travel to College Park, Maryland, to take part in the national competition in mid-June. Between events today and next Monday, some 500 students from across Iowa will be taking part in the state level of the competition, which began last fall with school and district-level contests. Morgan says the senior division competition is next week for students in grades nine-through-12. He says the students do -not- have to answer a series of questions in a “Jeopardy”-style of quiz. In this contest, they immerse themselves in a topic, which this year, is “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.” They do research, analyze and present information on historical topics and learn how to defend their ideas during the judging process. Students may write papers, construct exhibits, conduct performances or produce documentaries on any subject relating to this year’s theme. Historians, educators and others interested in history and education serve as judges.
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