Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 24, 2014

FMS students advance to National History Day contest

May 10, 2013
Courtesy of: FAIRFIELD MIDDLE SCHOOL Fairfield Middle School students Anuja Pharasi, Dayna Price and Savannah Kelley give a group performance during the History Day competition March 19 at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. Now, the students have taken top honors in the statewide history contest and will represent Iowa at the National History Day competition.

DES MOINES – Thirty-two Iowa students, including three from Fairfield Middle School, took top honors in a statewide history contest this week and will represent Iowa at the National History Day competition next month at the University of Maryland.

Fairfield Middle School’s national qualifiers in the Junior Group Performance catetory are Anuja Pharasi, Dayna Price and Savannah Kelley with “Nellie Bly: Benefiting Humanity One Word at a Time.” Their GOAL teacher is Tena Nelson.

The 32 students competed against 375 other students in the junior division for grades 6-8 of the National History Day in Iowa contest this week at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines. The students join 38 other Iowa students who competed last week in the NHD in Iowa senior division for grades 9-12 in advancing to the 2013 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest held June 9-14 at the University of Maryland.

The group of 70 Iowa students will compete for scholarships and cash prizes against nearly 2,500 students from the United States, Guam, America Samoa, Department of Defense Schools in Europe and Shanghai, China.

National History Day is an academic-enrichment program that helps students learn about historical issues, ideas, people and events. The year-long academic adventure fosters students’ enthusiasm for learning and encourages them to use primary, secondary, community and statewide resources on a subject of their choice related to an annual theme. The theme for 2013 is “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.”

Working individually or collaboratively in groups of two to five, students compete in the following categories: historical papers, individual and group exhibits, documentaries, performances and websites. Nearly 10,000 Iowa students competed in the program this year, with winners at school and district competitions advancing to the state contests in Des Moines.

Four of the 11 projects presented by FMS students at the History Day competition March 19 at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center advanced to state competition: Kristen Daugherty, with an individual website: “Girl Scouts: A Turning Point in a Woman’s Life”; James Lyman and Gannon Courtright, with a group exhibit: “The Atomic Bomb: The Beginning of the End”; Phoenix Haessler, with an individual documentary: “Through a Child’s Eyes: The Story of Ruby Bridges vs. Segregation in School”; and the “Nellie Bly: Benefiting Humanity One Word at a Time” group performance by Pharasi, Price and Kelley.

In addition to helping students discover the world of the past, the NHD program helps them develop the following attributes that are critical for future success: critical thinking and problem-solving skills;

research and reading skills; oral and written communication and presentation skills; self-esteem and confidence; and a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process.

The NHD in Iowa program has been coordinated by the State Historical Society of Iowa since 1994 and is sponsored by the State Historical Society Inc. and the History Channel. More information about NHD in Iowa is available at www.iowahistory.org or by contacting Millie Frese at 515-281-6860 or millie.frese@iowa.gov.

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