Zionsville Middle School students head to state history contest


By Heather Lusk

Seventeen Zionsville Middle School eighth-graders representing seven different projects have been named finalists of the National History Day in Indiana contest. They will all advance to the April 13 NHDI state contest at the University of Indianapolis.

Students could choose any topic with a history component, but many found that the focus of their project changed when they began their research.

Sophia Winters wanted to research horses and recalled something she had heard about valuable Lipizzaner horses kidnapped during World War II.

“Two enemies of war were able to work together to save something priceless to the world,” she said.
Winters’ social studies teacher, Matt McMichael, wasn’t aware of the Lipizzaner history.  

“It’s the most unique one I’ve heard so far,” he said.

“A lot of us are passionate about our topics and we really do believe in what we say and what we do,” student Megan Densmore said.

Densmore teamed with Sahar Atmar, Ella Hammond and Grace Barnes on a project about women in higher education.

“All of us had a passion for learning that stuff, and being on that path ourselves, (we wanted) to pursue careers in science and math fields,” Densmore said.

Most students created documentaries. One group created an exhibit. They will all receive feedback from judges and alter their submissions prior to the state competition.

Other winners include:

Junior Group Documentary:

Amreet Kaur and Hannah Preston – “The Triumphs and Tragedies of LGBTQ+ Rights in History”Mary Bush, Hannah Jensen, Julia Maas – “Eva Kor and her story of Forgiveness”
Kendyl Rudolf, Sydny Poeck, Lanae Davis, Katie Buroker – “From Tragedy to Triumph: How Dogs Helped Scientists Discover the Cure for Diabetes”

Junior Individual Documentary:

Lily Nault – “Yesterday, Today… Tomorrow? The KKK in America”

Junior Group Exhibit:

Janelle Macler, Kaitlyn Nielson – “Kurdistan: The Non-Existent Nation”


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