Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)




Norman Jones


Utah's students, grades 4-12, create projects for the Utah History Fair, Utah's National History Day affiliate program, annually. As far as the rigors of youth academic prowess are concerned, National History Day and the Utah History Fair are amongst the top in the nation. Within the myriad of projects created by Utah's participating students is important information about what aspects of the past captures students' attention and why they choose to research their selected topics. Through a careful examination of student topics from 1981-1984 and 2009-2012, this project taps into what students comprehend about the past. Further inspection into why students choose their topics, in their own words, explains students' motives for selecting different historical events for research. On a more immediate level, the information gathered and disseminated in this thesis can be used to create stronger Utah History Fair and National History Day projects. The evidence also provides additional assistance to those seeking future utilization of the past in the grade school classroom in regards to what students are interested in studying.

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