February 22, 2016, 3:00 p.m. CDT
Contact Jason Hogue, Peru State College Marketing and Communications, 402.872.2429

Peru, Nebraska- Peru State College will be hosting the 32nd Annual District History Day on Friday, February 26, 2016.  The event will use the National History Day theme “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.”

The National History Day website writes, “This theme is broad enough in scope to encourage investigations of topics ranging from local to world history and across any geographic area or time period.  Consider this theme an invitation to look across time, space and geography to find examples in history of when people took a risk and made a change.”

More than 300 students will converge on the Peru State campus to present almost 200 different research topics.  Their research will be divided into a junior division for ages six to eight and a senior division for grades nine to twelvee. Over 60 judges from PSC and across the state will review entries in their category sitting in panels of three.  PSC students will be serving as Judges’ Assistants.

Dr. Sara Crook, District History Day Director and professor at Peru State College writes, “The students conduct extensive research based on the annual theme and present their findings in one of five medias: exhibits, documentaries, performances, papers or as a website.”

“Students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills while creating their entries by utilizing their talents and abilities.”

The top four winners in each category from the District Contest are eligible for the State Contest in Lincoln in April.  Winner at the State Contest will be eligible to compete in the National Contest held in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the top four winners, the Peru State Competition features eight special awards.  The awards are sponsored by campus and community partners interested in preserving local, regional and national history.

An award entitled “We Proceeded On” will be awarded to an individual entry in the junior division whose entry is focused on an individual or group who displayed extraordinary leadership in promoting a cause or an idea. The award includes a one year pass (to awardee and immediate family) to the Missouri River Basin Lewis & Clark Center in Nebraska City, NE;  a copy of the book “Undaunted Journey” by Stephen Ambrose; and a certificate.

Phi Alpha Theta (PAT), PSC’s history honorary society, sponsors the special “Michelle A Broady Award for Extraordinary Determination.” All sponsoring teachers will be encouraged to nominate one of their History Day competitors for this award.  The members of PSC’s PAT will review the nominations and make the award presentation.  Starting new this year, this award will have a $100 stipend.

The Kregel Windmill Museum in Nebraska City is sponsoring a special award for the best entry on a subject dealing with machinery used in agriculture, past or present.

The Peru Historical Foundation is sponsoring a trophy for the best entry, individual or group focusing on a historical event/innovation of Southeast Nebraska.

The Nebraska City Museum Association is sponsoring an award with individual trophies for the best use of oral history interviews in an individual or group entry.

The Mayhew Cabin is sponsoring an award for the best entry, individual or group using 19th Century African-American History. The award includes an individual pass to the Mayhew Cabin and a book.

Arbor Lodge is sponsoring an award for the best individual entry with a topic on the environment and/or Nebraska.  The book “It Happened in Nebraska” and a one year individual “ Explore it All“ pass from Arbor Day Farm for Arbor Lodge and the Tree Adventure will be awarded to the winner.

The Nemaha Valley Museum is sponsoring $50 cash awards for one junior division and one senior division student "for entries with a connection to Nemaha County or southeast Nebraska" The projects will be judged with the following criteria: a Nemaha County or a Southeast Nebraska topic (weighted in favor of Nemaha County); the use of primary source material; the use of oral history; and the use of Nemaha Valley Museum resources as referenced in the annotated bibliography.


For more information, visit or call 1-800-742-4412.

About Peru State College: Peru State’s “Campus of a Thousand Oaks,” an arboretum, is nestled in historic southeast Nebraska. The state’s first college, Peru State offers a unique mix of innovative online and traditional classroom undergraduate and graduate programs, including online graduate degrees in education and organizational management. It is a college of choice fostering excellence and student achievement through engagement in a culture that promotes inquiry, discovery and innovation.