Peru State College
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News Release

Peru State to host 28th Annual History Day Contest on Leap Day, Wednesday, Feb. 29

$500 PSC scholarships to be awarded to all first-place winners in the senior division


(Peru, Neb.) Peru State College (PSC) will host more than 300 students from nine area school districts at the 28th Annual District History Day Contest on Leap Day, Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012. This year’s theme is Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History.


The contest begins at 9 a.m. in the College Theatre (located at the south end of Hoyt Science Hall) and will continue throughout the day with judging of entries taking place at numerous venues across the PSC campus. The day’s events will conclude with an awards ceremony at 2:30 p.m. in the College Theatre. The public is invited to attend any or all portions of the contest. There is no admission fee.


History Day contestants will present their work in five different modes, including paper, performance, documentary, exhibit or Web site. Individuals and groups of two to five students will compete. The top three winners in each entry category will be eligible for the statewide contest held at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln on April 21. The 2012 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest will be held June 10–14 at the University of Maryland.

First-place winners in each of the senior division categories will receive $500 “Tested for Excellence” tuition scholarships to PSC. Special awards will also be presented by the Peru Historical Foundation, Arbor Lodge, Nebraska City Museum Association, Mayhew Cabin and the Nemaha County Historical Society.


Participating schools include Auburn Middle School, Conestoga Junior/Senior High School, Saint John the Baptist School (Plattsmouth), Plattsmouth Middle School, Plattsmouth High School, Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Middle and High Schools, Johnson-Brock Public Schools, Johnson County Central High School, Lourdes Central Catholic Middle School (Nebraska City) and Nebraska City Middle School.


Because of this year’s record-tying number of participants and entries (171), a judging pool of 65 volunteer history enthusiasts will serve as judges.

Dr. Sara Crook, PSC District History Day Contest director and history professor, said many of the judges return year after year to volunteer their services for this event.


“We are so fortunate to have community professionals who volunteer their time to make this a true learning experience for the participants,” she said. “The judges, working in panels of three, listen to student presentations and then hold interviews to conclude each entry. Their decisions in ranking the top three entries in each category, who then are eligible to compete at the state contest, are often quite difficult. The judges also are diligent in making sure each entry gets written feedback from the panel.”


Crook also had high praise for the PSC alumni support. “Peru State is very fortunate in that many of our judges are our own graduates, many of whom earned social science degrees. It’s truly a ‘homecoming,’ since nearly all of our judging alumni previously served as judges’ assistants while students.”


In addition to community professionals and alumni, Peru State professional staff members, faculty and emeritus faculty are involved in judging. According to Crook, the contest has grown to such large numbers that the entire campus is involved in making it a success. 


“Students, staff and faculty are very accommodating to the needs of this outreach opportunity,” she said. “Despite the crowded parking lots and rearranged class schedules, we love to show our beautiful campus to our visitors, while also affording our Department of Social Sciences to promote historical research in local school districts.”


For more information, visit or contact Crook at or 402-872-2279.