Minnesota Students Take Top Honors at National History Day Virtual Competition
Week-long competition ends this weekend with dramatic awards ceremony featuring students from Columbia Heights, Duluth, Minneapolis and more
June 22, 2020
As the National History Day competition wrapped up Saturday, Minnesota’s 59 competitors took home an array of awards, including three gold medals, three silver medals, one bronze medal, and several top finishers.
Minnesota’s delegation included students from around the state, who competed against students from across the nation. While the competition is usually held in Washington, D.C., the 2020 National History Day contest moved online, due to COVID-19, with the award ceremony shared live today via a live stream from the National History Day website.
The students, representing grades six through 12, presented exhibits, papers, documentaries, performances and websites that showed off months of research based on this year’s theme, “Breaking Barriers in History.”
The top three national finishers in each category earn monetary awards. First place receives $1,000, second place receives $500 and third place receives $250. National History Day also recognizes one outstanding state entry in each division, junior and senior, with a medal.
Medal winners are:
• Thanhtruc Mai, Columbia Academy, Columbia Heights. 1st Place, Junior Individual Website, “Oyama v. California: Confronting Alien Land Laws”
• Jack Randolph, Jackson Nguyen, Sanford Middle School, Minneapolis. 1st Place, Junior Group Website, “The Four Pests Campaign: The Consequences of Breaking Ecological Barriers”
• Natalie Miller, East High School, Duluth. 1st Place, Senior Paper, “Too Strong for a Woman: How Bernice Sandler Created Title IX to Break Barriers for Female Faculty in Higher Education”
• Julianna Velgersdyk, Avail Academy, Edina. 2nd Place, Junior Paper, “Weeks v. Southern Bell: Breaking Discriminatory Employment Barriers for Women in the Workforce”
• Lilly Smith, Sarah Ragoonanan, Folwell Performing Arts Magnet School, Minneapolis. 2nd Place, Junior Group Website, “The “Unbought and Unbossed” Shirley Chisholm: Breaking Barriers for Minorities and Women”
• Annika Hellmark, Sunrise Park Middle School, White Bear Lake. 2nd Place, Junior Individual Exhibit, “Clarence Walton Lillehei: Breaking the Barriers Surrounding Open-Heart Surgery”
• Aiko Mattie, Emma McCarthy, Open World Learning Community, St. Paul. 3rd Place, Senior Group Website, “Gloria Richardson: Breaking Racial Barriers in Cambridge, Maryland”
Other top finishers from Minnesota:
• Iris Carroll, Open World Learning Community, St. Paul. 4th Place, Senior Individual Documentary, “Penumbra Theatre: Presenting African American Narratives through Performance”
• Blaze Geiger, Isaac Sheard, Fairmont Jr./Sr. High School, Fairmont. 4th Place, Junior Individual Exhibit, “Breaking Barriers of Space: Apollo 11”
• Sasha Allen, Central Middle School, Eden Prairie. 4th Place, Junior Individual Documentary, “Infant Incubators: The Carnival Sideshow That Saved Lives”
• Akshay Nambudiripad, Kalid Ali, Mani Chadaga, Simon Mulrooney, Central High School, St. Paul. 5th Place, Senior Group Website, “Horace Mann and the Common School Movement”
• Erin Coleman, East High School, Duluth. 6th Place, Senior Paper, “Breaking Barriers in Public Health: John Snow and London’s 1854 Cholera Epidemic”
• Elena Laskowski, DeLaSalle High School, Minneapolis. 6th Place, Senior Individual Website, “The Rise of Katharine Graham”
• Noura Rezk, Sunrise Park Middle School, White Bear Lake. 6th Place, Junior Individual Performance, “JoAnn Morgan: Breaking NASA’s Gender Barriers during the Launches of the Apollo Program”
• Lillian Hennessee, Open World Learning Community, St. Paul. 7th Place, Senior Individual Website, “Lewis Hine: Breaking the Barrier between Reality and Perception of Child Labor”
• Audrey Faricy, Sebastian Helgeson, Roseville Area Senior High School, Roseville. 8th Place, Senior Group Documentary, “The Doll Test: Identifying and Breaking Down Barriers to Racial Integration”
Other award winners from Minnesota:
• Iris Carroll, Open World Learning Community, St. Paul. Outstanding Affiliate Entry in the Senior Division, Senior Individual Documentary, “Penumbra Theatre: Presenting African American Narratives through Performance”
• Sasha Allen, Central Middle School, Eden Prairie. Outstanding Affiliate Entry in the Junior Division, Junior Individual Documentary, “Infant Incubators: The Carnival Sideshow That Saved Lives”
• Natalie Miller, East High School, Duluth. Scholarship to the National History Academy in summer 2021.
Honorable Mention Awards are presented to entries that ranked in the second place in the first-round of judging. While these entries were not eligible for the final-round of competition, their outstanding scholarship is recognized as Honorable Mention:
• Amarah McGuire, Daniel Johnston, Kennedi Rohlf, Rylie Butler, Virginia Schutz, Christ’s Household of Faith School, St. Paul. Honorable Mention, Junior Group Performance, “Almost Home: The Deportation, Liberation, and Naturalization of Displaced Jews after WWII”
• Isabella Graziani, Open World Learning Community, St. Paul. Honorable Mention, Senior Individual Documentary, “The Vietnam War as Seen on TV”
• Daniel Jungwirth, Kumail Akram, Buffalo Community Middle School, Buffalo. Honorable Mention, Junior Group Performance, “The Xinhai Revolution: Breaking the Barrier of China’s Dynastic Tradition”
• Karina Hydrie, Capitol Hill/Rondo Magnet School, St. Paul. Honorable Mention, Junior Paper, “Valentina Tereshkova: Breaking the Gender Barrier in Space”
About National History Day in Minnesota
National History Day in Minnesota is a co-curricular historical research program that builds college readiness and communication skills for middle and high school students. 27,000 students from over 250 schools participate in Minnesota each year. The program in Minnesota is a partnership of the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts.
Program support is also provided by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008. For more information, visit education.mnhs.org/historyday.
The Minnesota Historical Society is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history. Visit us at mnhs.org.