Mickelson Middle School students place in history contest


BROOKINGS –  Nearly 200 students from the state of South Dakota had the experience of virtually competing in the 2020 National History Day in South Dakota state contest. 

While this contest is typically held on the campus of South Dakota State University, this year it was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 189 participants submitted their projects electronically so judging could take place online April 3-9.

To participate in a National History Day contest, students create a historical research project using in and out of school time. 

National History Day projects are truly student led: they pick their topic, if they want to work as an individual or in a group, and what kind of project they want to make (documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website). This year’s contest theme was “Breaking Barriers in History.”

The top two projects from each category advance to the national contest in June. Typically, this contest is held at the University of Maryland in College Park, but this contest will also be virtual in 2020.

Local students competing in this year’s state contest include sixth-grade students Joseph Michna and Alex Kidangathazhe from Mickelson Middle School. 

They received third place in the Junior Group Website category.

In addition to project and special awards, Nathan Bloom from Summit High School is the 2020 Loren Lutz Teacher of the Year recipient. This award is given each year to a teacher who dedicates their teaching career to utilizing and working with the NHD program.

“Not only has Mr. Bloom excelled at NHD within his own school, but he continually looks to spread the program of National History Day to surrounding schools.  

Bloom created a conference event, hosting area schools in northeast South Dakota, to not only promote the program but to provide more opportunities for his students and [the students from] surrounding schools,” wrote one nominator. 

Full results for the contest can be found at https://www.sdstate.edu/south-dakota-agricultural-heritage-museum/national-history-day-south-dakota/2020-state-nhd-awards.

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