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More Than 400 Students Break Barriers in History at National History Day in Indiana State Contest

May 1, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) proudly announces 469 students from schools across the state took part in the 2020 National History Day in Indiana (NHDI) State Contest virtually from April 17-27. NHDI is a yearlong program dedicated to enhancing history education in Indiana’s schools.

Through the 2020 theme of “Breaking Barriers in History,” students explored the impact of historic events, such as the women’s rights movement and the Apollo 11 mission, and shed light on local and national figures, such as Avriel Shull, Indiana’s notable architectural designer, and Cole Porter, one of America’s most prolific composers and songwriters.

All first- and second-place state finishers in each junior and senior category are now eligible to compete in the National Contest for National History Day, virtually from June 14-20. At least 3,000 students are expected to compete from across the country and from international schools around the world.

The National Contest is the final stage in a series of contests at state and regional levels. Students in grades four through 12 began this year’s National History Day journey by exploring a historical subject and using their research to create a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website.

Students qualified to state by taking part in regional contests where volunteer judges worked in teams to evaluate projects and rank winners. All regional finalists advanced to the state contest, where students also had the chance to win special prizes for Indiana history topics.

For a list of NHDI State Contest winners, including student names, school names, project categories and project names, please visit: For a list of special award winners, please visit:

Included with the special award winners are two educator award nominations at the national level for which each of the 58 National History Day affiliates may nominate one middle school teacher and one high school teacher.

Ms. Linda Mihm, a teacher at Sycamore School in Indianapolis, Indiana, was nominated for the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award. This junior division award is sponsored by Patricia Behring, widow of the late Kenneth E. Behring, who previously sponsored the National History Day National Contest for many years.

Mrs. Kristin Rentschler, a teacher at Columbia City High School in Columbia City, Indiana, was nominated for the senior division’s Hannah E. (Liz) MacGregor Teacher of the Year award. The MacGregor Teacher of the Year award is sponsored by the former National History Day Board of Trustees president, Dr. James F. Harris, in honor of his late sister.

NHDI is presented by the Rooker Family Foundation with support from the Vigran Family Foundation and TCU Foundation. State Contest support is provided by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.

For more information, visit or call (317) 232-1882.

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Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202(317) 232-1882
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