Alli Hanson gets ready to set up her History Day project at the National History Day competition in Washington, D.C. The contest was held at the University of Maryland in College Park from June 14 to 20.
Alli Hanson gets ready to set up her History Day project at the National History Day competition in Washington, D.C. The contest was held at the University of Maryland in College Park from June 14 to 20.
Chatfield's Alli Hanson recently returned from the nation's capital where she presented her History Day project and represented the state of Minnesota in the national contest.

After finding success, a first place finish, in the Minnesota History Day competition in May, Hanson qualified to go onto the national contest with her project.

"It's about the food supply, and since I am interested in food and food regulations, the Pure Food and Drug Act interested me because it's about safer food, and it brought nutrition labels and ingredient labels to foods," Hanson said.

Her project focuses on the passage of the Meat Inspection and Pure Food and Drug Acts of 1906. She recently returned from Washington, D.C., after competing at the National History Day contest June 14 through June 20.

Her senior high individual exhibit was selected from approximately 70 projects as the winner at the Minnesota History Day competition, meaning she represented Chatfield and Minnesota at the National History Day Competition in College Park, Md., at the University of Maryland on Tuesday, June 17.

While there, she shared the importance of knowing that the labels on food containers are accurate, thanks to the Pure Food and Drug Act.

Chatfield High School history instructor and History Day coach Tom Hilgren explained what History Day is and that this is the 20th year Chatfield has participated.

"History Day is a regional, state and national competition which requires students to conduct historical research on a theme in history," he said. "Students compete in junior (6-8) and senior (9-12) divisions, as well as in categories of exhibits, media/documentaries, papers, websites and performance."

Hanson overhauled her project between the state History Day competition and the national History Day contest, and she felt confident about her project, feeling that it had the potential to earn her at least some recognition in the first round.

"I redid my entire board, and added the connection between business, state and government," she explained. "I really liked presenting my project. It takes a lot of work to get to the national level, but it was a great experience."

Hilgren pointed out there are two rounds of competition at National History Day - in the first round, Hanson competed against 13 other students, and while she wasn't one of the two chosen to proceed to the final round, she finished fourth of the students competing in the hall.

Hanson enjoyed being a part of the Minnesota delegation of National History Day competitors. She said, "It was a fun experience to be with people from all over Minnesota. We got to tour Washington, D.C., compete and walk around campus. I really liked visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. National History Day is a great program to be involved in."

Hilgren expressed his appreciation to the Chatfield community for its ongoing dedication to the education of its students.

"The success of the History Day program in Chatfield is largely a result of the support provided it by a number of individuals and organizations," he said. "This past year, a number of local organizations, individuals and businesses contributed financially or through grants allowing the program to meet equipment, material and travel needs."

He added that parental support was, as always, an encouragement to students and advisor alike.

Finally, he complimented the students for their tremendous efforts and the endless hours they put in.

"Alli had an excellent project and received many compliments from those attending the competition," Hilgren concluded. "Her travel, room and board were made possible by the booster club, the VFW, the American Legion, the American Legion Ladies' Auxiliary, Root River State Bank and the Women of the Valley."