Skip to main content

Newsroom

Twenty-Eight Middle and High School Students Named National Endowment for the Humanities Scholars at 2014 National History Day

June 19, 2014

California students took home six top prizes sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) at National History Day, a nationwide contest for middle and high school students that concluded yesterday at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Other first-place winners represented Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Texas and Washington. And two students from Ohio and Pennsylvania received special awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities for their impressive use of historic newspapers in National History Day projects.

The annual awards ceremony is the culmination of a year-long academic program in which students in grades 6-12 conduct original historical research for papers, exhibits, websites, documentaries, and public performances. This year more than 600,000 students submitted National History Day entries on the theme of “Rights and Responsibilities” in local, regional and state competitions for a chance to win a spot at the national finals.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has been a supporter of National History Day since the program began in 1965. NEH grants were instrumental in helping National History Day grow from a pilot start-up project in Ohio into a national program that now operates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories and in international schools in China, Korea, and South Asia.

“National History Day itself has a history, " said Carole Watson, Acting Chairman of NEH.  It began 40 years ago in Ohio, and "started in just that one state with a grant from NEH.. . .  fewer than 150 students were involved. Now it’s a national program, still intellectually strong, with over a half a million participants.

"NEH was right to have faith in History Day – both back then and today,” said Dr. Watson, who presented sixteen National History Day awards sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities for first place submissions across a range of categories.  She also presented a special NEH Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers Prize to Anika Rede and Maryum Ali from Birchwood School in Cleveland, Ohio for their group website “Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Generating a Rising Tide of Responsibility to End the Institution of Slavery” in the junior division, and to Anna Biddle from Carlisle High School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania for her paper on “Dr. Harvey W. Wiley and the Crusade for Safe Food” in the senior division.

The NEH Chronicling America prize, first awarded last year, recognizes students who incorporate into the National History Day projects research using Chronicling America, the free online database of 5 million pages of historic US newspapers dating from 1836 to 1922, digitized through a partnership between NEH and the Library of Congress. To accompany this prize category, EDSITEment, NEH’s educational website, also created a set of online resources around Chronicling America to assist educators in using newspapers in historical research.

This year, for the first time, the National Endowment for the Humanities created a series of Google+ Hangout webinars for National History Students to introduce them to humanities experts such as museum curators, archivists, and filmmakers who could advise them on the process of putting together exhibitions, websites, and documentaries. NEH was also pleased to host National History Day students on June 18 for a “Breakfast on the Hill” in which National History Day finalists presented their NHD projects to members of Congress and their staffs.

Watch a short film about NEH and National History Day.

The following students were named National Endowment for the Humanities Scholars at the 2014 National History Day ceremony. (Students in grades 6-8 compete in the “junior” division; those in grades 9-12 in the “senior” division.)

Junior Individual Exhibit:
Mary Kate Baughman from Immanuel Lutheran School in Palatine, Illinois
Project: “The Living Dead: The Radium Dial Painters of Ottawa, Illinois and Their Impact on Workplace Safety”

Senior Individual Exhibit:
Noah Binette of Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine
Project: “Malaga Island The Community That Maine Erased”

Junior Group Exhibit:
Grace Son and Bella An from Lakeside Middle School in Irving, California
Project: “Lewis Hine’s Responsibility Toward Children’s Rights”

Senior Group Exhibit:
Brooke Richter, Makay Moss, Caitlyn Richter, and Kaitlyn Moss of Liberty High School in Bakersfield, California
Project: “Right to Education – Responsibility to Educate: The Story of America’s Okie Immigrants and the Arvin Federal Emergency School”

Junior Individual Documentary:
Molly Mancina from All Saints Day School in Carmel, California
Project: “The Rights and Responsibilities of Photojournalists: And the Ethics of Photo-Manipulation”

Junior Group Documentary:
Jethro Abatayo and Jeffery Logan Gibert from Pleasant Valley Middle School in Vancouver, Washington
Project: “Vietnam Prisoners of War: Taking Responsibility When Deprived of All Rights”

Junior Individual Performance:
Allie Tubbs from Summit Middle School in Johnston, Iowa
Project: “Lou Hoover’s ‘Tempest in a Teapot’: Changing African American’s Rights and First Lady’s Responsibilities”

Senior Individual Performance:
Matthew Broussard from Impact Early College High School in Baytown, Texas
Project: “Writs, Rights, and Responsibilities: Franklin On the Origins of the Fourth”

Junior Group Performance:
Alexis Hill, Kaitlyn Hillis, Logan Eldridge, Maxwell Barrera and Candace Maurer of Thorner Elementary School in Bakersfield, California
Project: “Prisoners Without Trial”

Senior Group Performance:
David Kayekjian and Brandon Valdez from Acaciawood in Anaheim, California
Project: “The Struggle to Find a Balance Between Individual Rights and Responsibility to Preserve the Union: Lincoln and the Suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus”

Junior Paper:
Jessica Stump from Fruitvale Junior High School in Bakersfield, California
Project: “Henrietta Lacks and The HeLa Cell: Rights of Patients and Responsibilities of Medical Researchers”

Senior Paper:
Tasha Holtman from South High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Project: “A Covert from the Tempest: Responsibility, Love and Politics in Britain’s Kindertransport”

Junior Group Exhibit:
Andrew Kolondra and Kishan Patel from American Heritage School Plantation in Plantation, Florida
Project: “Freedom Beach: A History of the Fort Lauderdale Beach Wade-Ins”

Senior Group Website:
Aditi Dinakar and Andrew Boge of Johnston High School in Johnston, Iowa
Project: “The Conscience of Our Country: Herblock’s Influential Ink Bottle”

Junior Individual Website:
Kristen Rigsby of Taft Academic Center in Chicago, Illinois
Project: “Robert McCormick: Defining the Rights and Responsibilities of a Free Press”

Senior Individual Website:
Mary Joens of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School in South Hamilton, Massachusetts
Project: "The Nuremberg Trials: An International Responsibility to Uphold Justice”

The following students were awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers Prize at the 2014 National History Day ceremony:

  • Anika Rede and Maryum Ali from Birchwood School in Cleveland, Ohio in the Junior Group Website category for their project “Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Generating a Rising Tide of Responsibility to End the Institution of Slavery”
  • Anna Biddle from Carlisle High School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in the Senior Paper category for her paper on “Dr. Harvey W. Wiley and the Crusade for Safe Food”

The HISTORY Channel sponsored prizes for Senior Group Documentary and Senior Individual Documentary. Winners in other categories received prizes from a host of other sponsors. A list of all 2014 National History Day finalists and winners is available at: http://www.nhd.org/