Peru State College
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News Release

Peru State’s 30th Annual District History Day Contest set for Wednesday, Feb. 26


(Peru, Neb.) Peru State College (PSC) will host 295 students from eight area school districts at its 30th Annual District History Day Contest Wednesday, Feb. 26. This year’s theme is Rights and Responsibilities.

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 campus. The day’s events will conclude with an award 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.
Participating schools include:

  • Auburn Middle School
  • Johnson Brock Middle School
  • Johnson Brock High School
  • Nebraska City Lourdes Central Catholic Schools
  • Nebraska City Middle School
  • Pawnee City Public Schools
  • Plattsmouth Middle School       
  • St. John the Baptist School (Plattsmouth)
  • Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Middle School
  • Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca High School

History Day contestants will present their work in five medias, including paper, performance, documentary, exhibit or website. Students choose topics that interest them that relate back to the event theme. Students interested in music, art, sports, math, etc. can create a historical project in a field that intrigues them.

Participants are separated into two divisions: junior (grades 6-8) and senior (grades 9-12). Students can choose to participate in the contest individually or as part of a group of up to five students in every category except for papers which are individual entry only. The total number of entries this year is 192, a record.

District History Day Contest Director and Peru State History Professor Dr. Sara Crook said, “We are thrilled to have more entries than ever before to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of this contest. Teachers and students are recognizing that this type of competition is great for the development of skills in research, writing, public speaking and critical analysis.  Additionally, through their entry development, students gain a broader appreciation for how the study of history helps society forge an even better future for all of us.” 

First-place winners in each of the senior division categories will receive $500 “Tested for Excellence” tuition scholarships to Peru State. Arbor Lodge, the Kregel Windmill Museum, Nebraska City Museum Association, Nemaha Valley Museum, Mayhew Cabin and Peru Historical Foundation will also present special awards in a variety of categories.
The top three winners in each entry category will be eligible for the statewide contest held at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln on Saturday, April 12. The 2014 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest will be held June 15–19 at the University of Maryland.
This year’s judging pool is comprised of 60 volunteer history enthusiasts, including community members, alumni, Peru State staff and faculty. They will be assisted by 16 Peru State students majoring in history and/or social science. A three-person panel will judge each entry first through a review and then a question/answer session with the students about their research and presentation.

Additionally, in celebration of the contest’s 30th year, an “individual from the past” who represents a time of great debate over the issue of Rights and Responsibilities in America will greet competitors, interact with them throughout the contest and present the medals at the Awards Ceremony.

For more information, visit or contact Crook at or 402-872-2279. More information about National History Day is available at