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Urdahl urges students to enter Capitol essay contest

Monday, March 6, 2017

ST. PAUL – State Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, urges local students to enter an essay contest which could land them recognition at the state Capitol and $1,000 for college.

Minnesota students in grades K-12 are encouraged to submit essays explaining how the State Capitol has shaped our collective past and will impact future generations. Contest winners in elementary school, middle school, and high school categories will be invited to share their works during an Aug. 12 program as part of festivities marking the completion of an extensive $310 million refurbishment of the 112-year old Capitol. Winners in each category also will receive a $1,000 college savings plan.

“As a former teacher, I am pleased to see a contest which draws on the talents of students as we celebrate this extensive refurbishment of the Capitol,” said Urdahl, a foremost advocate for the restoration project and author of legislation that provided a portion of the construction funding. “This is a good opportunity for younger people to reflect on the building’s history and develop an even greater sense of appreciation for the legacy of our iconic Capitol.”

Essay participants are asked to consider the following prompts and craft an essay about one of them:

  • My Minnesota Capitol. Your Minnesota Capitol. Everybody’s Capitol. Everyone who works or visits the Capitol uses and views it in different ways. What does the Capitol building mean to you? What do you think it represents for Minnesotans from different backgrounds, and why is it important to remember that the Capitol building is designed for every Minnesotan?

  • A Place to Remember History and for History in the Making. Many historical and symbolic moments have occurred at the State Capitol, and it will be the site of more history-making events in years to come. What is one of the most important events that occurred at the State Capitol? How do you think our state Capitol will continue to serve Minnesota as our state keeps changing, and what do you think might occur at the Capitol that will impact the future of Minnesota?

Essays will be reviewed by a panel of state officials. Each submission must contain the student’s name, school, home address, phone number and current grade on the front page or cover sheet. Middle and high school entries must be typed in a 12-point font, double-spaced on white 8.5-by-11-inch piece of paper. Elementary school entries may be handwritten. Essays should be 250 words or fewer, and will be judged on creativity, clarity, content and adherence to the theme.

All essays must be received via email or postmarked by April 28. Entries should be mailed to the Minnesota Department of Administration, c/o Kathy Morgan. 50 Sherburne Ave, Suite 200, St. Paul, MN 55117. Entries also may be emailed to:

More information on the contest also is provided at: