Fifteen OC students invited to compete at the National History Day competition in Maryland

California will send 36 of its best National History Day projects to Maryland next month for a final showdown on the national stage, and eight of those entries will travel from schools right here in Orange County.

Also expected to make the trip: The 15 local students who created them.

NHD2 51515That much was settled at the state-level National History Day contest, which was held May 8 and May 9 at William Jessup University in Rocklin, Calif. In all, more than 1,161 students from 25 counties competed, including 87 young historians from Orange County who brought 50 separate projects.

Each year, more than 500,000 elementary, middle and high school students from the U.S. and beyond participate in National History Day competitions at the local, state and national levels. They start by selecting a historical topic based on the year’s theme — it’s currently “Leadership and Legacy in History” — and conducting extensive research.

Some visit libraries and museums or seek out interviews to draw conclusions about their topics before presenting their findings in the form of a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a website or even a documentary. These are displayed and judged at school competitions in the winter, and county and state contests follow.

Now comes the culmination. The Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest will take place June 14 through June 18 at the University of Maryland at College Park. Here’s a list, by category, of the Orange County projects and students who have their tickets punched to compete.


Junior Individual Exhibit

  • Augustus Caesar: His Leadership Through an Empire and Legacy of its Fall
    Lakeside Middle School, Irvine Unified School District
    Alina Guo
  • Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    Lakeside Middle School, Irvine Unified School District
    Morgan Kopecky 

Junior Group Documentary

  • Henry Ford
    Sierra Vista Middle School, Irvine Unified School District
    Michelle Kroll and Frances Kroll

 Junior Individual Website

  • Florence Nightingale: The Lady with the Lamp
    Jeffrey Trail Middle School, Irvine Unified School District
    Mulan Homo

Junior Group Website

  • Norman Borlaug: A Legacy of a Billion Lives Saved
    Shorecliffs Middle School, Capistrano Unified School District
    Kate McKernan, Kelly McDonald and Sophia Burick

Junior Historical Paper

  • Harry Truman: A Leadership and Legacy in the Truman Doctrine
    Sierra Vista Middle School, Irvine Unified School District
    Miranda Wu


Senior Individual Documentary

  • Leadership in the Diplomatic Acceptance of Differing Ideologies: The Legacy of the 1972 Nixon Visit to China
    Acaciawood School (a private school in Anaheim)
    Paul Hudson 

Senior Group Documentary

  • The Legacy of Ed Sullivan: Bringing the Civil Rights Movement into America’s Living Room
    Woodbridge High School, Irvine Unified School District
    Cullen Darius, Garrett Moore, Josh Morrison, Mitchell Cronin and Scott Armstrong