OREM — Olivia Baird, an eighth-grade student from Orem, has been named one of The National WWII Museum’s “Salute to Freedom” award winners and will be one of 51 students nationwide to travel to New Orleans to participate in the grand opening of the Museum’s new US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, in January 2013.

The contest, made possible by the museum’s unique partnership with the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest, called on qualifying students to submit an application and respond to two essay questions. Winners were chosen based on their knowledge of the past and its connection to the future as well as their knowledge of their state’s role in World War II.

Olivia said she credits National History Day with helping her become a better researcher. Olivia says that “the ability to do bibliographies, research, and deeper thinking is priceless.” Olivia applied these skills to an essay on Utah’s contributions to World War II, which won her the trip to New Orleans.