EducationNews

Nashua-Plainfield Student Takes First Place at 2021 National History Day Contest

Caleb Sinnwell of Nashua-Plainfield Middle School took first place in his category last week at the 2021 National History Day National Contest, which was held virtually again this year.

Sinnwell took top honors for “Ghost Army: Deceptive Communication and the Power of Illusion” in the junior individual website category. His research and winning project focused on a U.S. Army unit that created deceptions, including fake radio transmissions and inflatable tanks, to confuse enemy forces during World War II.

Fifteen other Iowa students were named finalists in other categories.

In addition, Cal Levi, Kadence Huck, Paige Ranzen and Cameron Cleveland of Nashua-Plainfield were selected to participate in the student documentary showcase co-presented by National History Day and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“Iowa’s National History Day program continues to be strong because of the time and effort our students and educators have devoted to it over the past year,” said Susan Kloewer, administrator of the State Historical Society of Iowa. “We congratulate all of our students who represented Iowa at the national level and we are proud of their achievements.”

National History Day is a year-long academic enrichment program that challenges students to research, develop and present papers, exhibits, documentaries, websites and performances about historical topics related to an annual theme. This year’s theme was “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.”

Every year, students compete in a junior division (grades 6-8), senior division (grades 9-12), and a non-competitive youth division (grades 4-5). They learn important literacy skills and how to conduct research using primary, secondary, community and statewide resources. Working individually or in small groups, participants learn how to think critically and communicate through various formats while building self-confidence and a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process.

More than half a million middle and high school students around the world participate in the program each year. This year, thousands of Iowa students participated in local and district contests. Of those, 63 students from 21 schools advanced to the national finals where they competed for top honors against nearly 3,000 other students from around the world.

Here is the list of Iowa’s national medalist and finalists:

Medalist 

Community: Nashua
School: Nashua-Plainfield Middle School
Student: Caleb Sinnwell
Teacher: Suzy Turner
Division & Category: Junior Individual Website
Title: “Ghost Army: Deceptive Communication and the Power of Illusion”
Place: First in the nation

Finalists 

Community: Cedar Rapids
School: Franklin Middle School
Student: Annabelle Oval
Teacher: Deborah Siebenga
Division & Category: Junior Individual Performance
Title: “The Miss American Pageant Protest of 1968: The Key to Women’s Equality”
Place: Third in the nation

Community: Cedar Rapids
School: George Washington High School
Student: Jessica Cline
Teacher: Amy Jones
Division & Category: Senior Individual Performance
Title: “Knowledge is Power: The Key to Understanding”
Place: Third in the nation

Community: Council Bluffs
School: Abraham Lincoln High School
Student: Dean Pope
Teacher: Deb Masker
Division & Category: Senior Individual Performance
Title: “Setting a Precedent for Presidents: Radio’s Role in Uplifting a Nation”
Place: Sixth in the nation

Community: Davenport
School: Bettendorf High School
Students: Alivia Isaacson and Kaelee Wolf
Teacher: Mary Heeringa
Division & Category: Senior Group Documentary
Title: “Rachel Carson: Communicating Environmental Concern in the Face of Sexism, Greed, and an Uninformed Public”
Place: Seventh in the nation

Community: Davenport
School: Bettendorf Middle School
Student: Ishika Motwani
Teacher: Susan Owen
Division & Category: Junior Individual Website
Title: “War Drums: Echoes from the American Civil War”
Place: 10th in the nation

Community: Johnston
School: Johnston High School
Student: Anita Dinakar
Teacher: Sue Cline
Division & Category: Senior Individual Website
Title: “Starring Hazel Scott: Taking a Swing at Segregation”
Place: Third in the nation

Community: Nashua
School: Nashua-Plainfield Middle School
Students: Callahan Levi, Cameron Cleveland, Kadence Huck and Paige Franzen
Teacher: Suzy Turner
Division & Category: Junior Group Documentary
Title: “From Rural RN to Healthcare Hero: Barbara Fassbinder’s Passionate Plea for PPE”
Place: 10th in the nation
*This project was also selected to participate in the 2021 Virtual Documentary Showcase co-presented by National History Day and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Community: Orange City
School: Unity Christian High School
Students: Amy De Groot, Caleb TeKrony, Casey Oolman and Jane Taylor
Teacher: Jon Holwerda
Division & Category: Senior Group Performance
Title: “A Study in Speech: Nature vs. Nurture and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Evaluative Labeling“
Place: 10th in the nation

The National History Day in Iowa program has been coordinated by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, since 1994 and is sponsored by the State Historical Society, Inc., Principal Financial Group and Bravo Greater Des Moines.

More information is available at iowaculture.gov.

Show More
ADVERTISEMENT
Back to top button