Three student projects from OC earn medals at National History Day Contest in Maryland

Frances & Michelle Kroll

We’ve got results today from the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest, which was held this week at the University of Maryland in College Park.

We’ll jump right to the good part: Of the seven California entries to earn medals, three were from schools in Orange County.

Sophia Burick, Kelly McDonald, Kate McKernanIn the Junior Group Documentary category — “junior” in this case denotes the middle school division — first place honors went to Frances Kroll and Michelle Kroll of Sierra Vista Middle School in the Irvine Unified School District. (They’re pictured above.) Their documentary is titled “Henry Ford: Driving America Into the Future,” and their teacher was Jonathan Millers.

In the Junior Group Website category, Sophia Burick, Kelly McDonald and Kate McKernan from Shorecliffs Middle School in the Capistrano Unified School District (and pictured to the right) took third place under the direction of teacher Fred Morris. Their site is called “Norman Borlaug: A Legacy of a Billion Lives.”

Finally, in the Junior Individual Exhibit category, Morgan Kopecky of Irvine Unified’s Lakeside Middle School placed third with her submission, “Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Jon Pang was Morgan’s teacher.

For a complete rundown of this year’s winners, click here. 

Morgan KopeckyMore than 500,000 elementary, middle and high school students from the U.S. and beyond take part in National History Day competitions at the local, state and national levels each year, conducting extensive research based on a yearly theme before submitting complex projects in the form of papers, exhibits, performances, websites and documentaries. School competitions are held in the winter, followed by county and state contests.

In May, California’s National History Day event was held at William Jessup University in Rocklin, drawing more than 1,161 students from 25 counties — including 87 young historians from Orange County.

Fifteen of those students ultimately got the chance to bring their projects to the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest, which was held June 14 through June 18. This year’s theme was “Leadership and Legacy in History.”