WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning National History Day® announced the winners for the 42nd annual Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest. More than 600,000 students from around the world competed in five categories: documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites. Less than 1% of those entries were awarded the opportunity to compete in the national finals at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest. Competitors represented the top entries from 57 affiliate members, including every state, Washington, D.C., American Samoa, Guam, South Korea, South Asia, China, and Central America. Nearly 3,000 middle and high school students presented their work related to the 2016 theme, Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.

“The competitors at this contest are some of the brightest students of their generation,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “The work they produce is astounding in its breadth and scope of historical research. Once again, they amazed myself, the NHD staff, and the judges with their hard-work and creative projects. I want to congratulate them all for being in the top 1% of History Day projects created this year and especially congratulate those whose work was deemed the best of the best.”

Founded in 1974 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, the National History Day Contest was created to inspire students to conduct original historical research. Since its creation, the contest has grown to an international competition with more than 600,000 participants that awards thousands of dollars in scholarships and prizes annually. The theme for 2017 is Taking a Stand in History.

The full list of winners is below and is also available online:

Numerous awards are granted to both students and teachers including the following:

  • First-place entries in the junior and senior division’s five categories of documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, and website are given the title, “National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Scholar” and receive a $1,000 award sponsored by the NEH.
  • Second and third place entries in all categories receive $500 and $250 respectively.
  • One middle school and one high school teacher receives the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award and $10,000.
  • Two entries from each NHD affiliate receive an “Outstanding Affiliate Entry” award sponsored by the National Park Service.
  • More than 20 special awards are presented for topics ranging from AfricanAmerican History to World War II. Sponsored by organizations from around the country, they are presented to outstanding entries in any category.
  • Three senior participants receive full or partial scholarships from Case Western Reserve University, Chaminade University, and the University of Maryland, College Park. These awards are chosen by university representatives.

Winners are listed in order of the category in which they competed with the junior division listed first.



First Place
Title: The Apollo-Soyuz Mission: Launching a Unified Exchange
Students: Callie Elms, Mehek Jain, Tara Ampolini, Trinity Yeo,
School: Singapore American School, Singapore, IS-SA
Teacher(s): Matt Elms

Second Place
Title: An Old Enemy Becomes New - World War I's Deadliest Killer
Students: Spandana Amirneni, Abeedah Hassan,
School: Birchwood School, Cleveland, OH
Teacher(s): Connie Miller

Third Place
Title: "...I will kill it": Jackson Encounters the Second Bank of the United States "The Bank War"
Students: Roger Altman, Ryder Sitcawich,
School: Woodbury Middle School, Woodbury, MN
Teacher(s): Allissa Bagley


First Place
Title: When Ballet Came to America
Students: Eleanor McCoy, Genevieve Haskins,
School: Richards Middle School, Columbus, GA
Teacher(s): Stan Shively

Second Place
Title: The Munich Agreement: Exploring Peace, Encountering False Promises, and Exchanging Czechoslovakia for "Peace for our Time"
Students: Siena Perna, Lauren Stoneman,
School: Eagle School, Madison, WI
Teacher(s): Chuck Price

Third Place
Title: "The Americans Are Very Strong"
Students: Molly McLaughlin, Olivia Romig,
School: Seaman Middle School, Topeka, KS
Teacher(s): Kyle Johnson


First Place
Title: The Awakening of the Sleeping Giant: How Sino-American Rapprochement Triggered China's Meteoric Rise and What It Means Today
Students: Bobby Aiyer,
School: Evergreen Middle School, Redmond, WA
Teacher(s): Nicole Kesler

Second Place
Title: Nikola Tesla : Exploring an Electrical Era
Students: Akshaya Kumar,
School: Johnston Middle School, Johnston, IA
Teacher(s): Kathy Paul

Third Place
Title: Boundless Possibilities: America's Journey to the Moon
Students: Joshua Hoffman,
School: American Heritage School Plantation, Plantation, FL
Teacher(s): Leslie Porges


First Place
Title: Florence Wald: Exploring Medical Boundaries, Exchanging Hospitals for Hospice
Students: Mia Porcello,
School: Sedgwick Middle School, West Hartford, CT
Teacher(s): Jennifer Hunt

Second Place
Title: How the US Dollar Rebuilt the World
Students: Rudy Moise,
School: American Heritage School Plantation, Plantation, FL
Teacher(s): Leslie Porges, Darryl Trowbridge

Third Place
Title: Brainstorm! William James - Pioneer of the Mental Frontier
Students: Parker Nickels,
School: Northern Middle School, Owings, MD
Teacher(s): Carli Martus


First Place
Title: American Colonial Committees of Correspondence: Encountering Oppression, Exploring Unity, and Exchanging Visions of the Future
Students: Benjamin Warford-Johnston,
School: Gentry Junior High, Baytown, TX
Teacher(s): Tara Fountain

Second Place
Title: The European Organization for Nuclear Research: Exploration, Encounter and Exchange Through Nuclear Physics
Students: Owen Barr,
School: Kailua Intermediate School, Kailua, HI
Teacher(s): Leslie Ringuette

Third Place
Title: From Hopeless to Heroic: The Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
Students: Flora Ranis,
School: American Heritage School Plantation, Plantation, FL
Teacher(s): Leslie Porges


First Place
Title: Dare to Explore: How the Founding of the National Geographic Society Changed the Scientific Community Forever
Students: Harper Hoover,
School: Atlas Academy, Waco, TX
Teacher(s): Sandra Gibson, E.P. Garth

Second Place
Title: Black, White and Blue: Vivien Thomas and the Cure for Blue Baby Syndrome
Students: Jasmine Hughley,
School: Homeschool _ McDuffie, Thomson, GA
Teacher(s): Michelle Zupan

Third Place
Title: Strength in Numbers: Exploring the Role of Industrial Unions Through the 1894 Encounter Between the American Railway Union and the Great Northern Railway
Students: Strom Norcross,
School: Lakes International Language Academy, Forest Lake, MN
Teacher(s): Kaari Rodriguez


First Place
Title: Route 66: The Road of Possibilities
Students: Jack Anderson, Jader Briggs, Megan Swancutt, Daytona Foley, Logan Smith,
School: Akron-Westfield Community School, Akron, IA
Teacher(s): Val Philips

Second Place
Title: No More Hiroshima: An International Exchange for Peace
Students: Cosette Isakson, Preston Alleman, Samuel Otten, Amari Piepkorn, Tessa Rohlf,
School: Christ's Household Of Faith School, St. Paul, MN
Teacher(s): Dennis Simonson, Pam Alsbury

Third Place
Title: Radio Caroline and the "Pirate" Deejays: Offshore Broadcasting to Explore Government Dominance Over British Radio
Students: Revati Vinayak, Chiara Ruberto, John Steinke,
School: Ottoson Middle School, Arlington,
MA Teacher(s): Jason Levy


First Place
Title: An Unrepentant Risk Taker: Paul Durand-Ruel Encountering Parisian Culture
Students: Lily Gardner,
School: Winburn Middle School, Lexington, KY
Teacher(s): Michelle Cason, Megan Lilly

Second Place
Title: Alfred Russel Wallace: Eight Extraordinary Years In The Malay Archipelago
Students: Megan Lim,
School: Accokeek Academy, Accokeek, MD
Teacher(s): Arun Puracken

Third Place
Title: Petticoat Pilgrims: World War II Brides Explore Culture and Exchange Hope
Students: Nirvana Khan,
School: Irving Middle School, Norman, OK
Teacher(s): Margaret Wadleigh


First Place
Title: Feminists in Flight: Exploring Gender Equality at 32,000 Feet
Students: Sophia Burick, Kelly McDonald, Katherine McKernan,
School: Shorecliffs Middle School, San Clemente, CA
Teacher(s): Bryan Campbell

Second Place
Title: The March on Polio
Students: John Leeds, Evan Weldon,
School: Austin Area Homeschoolers, Austin, TX
Teacher(s): Jennifer Leeds

Third Place
Title: Unit 731: Perpetrators of the Asian Holocaust
Students: Aman Agarwal, Daksh Gopalani,
School: Basis Peoria, Peoria, AZ
Teacher(s): Andrew Estes


First Place
Title: Fifteen Cents to See the Infants on Display
Students: Gabrielle Hines, Jennifer Gilby,
School: Palm Harbor University High School, Palm Harbor, FL
Teacher(s): Jason Tsardoulias, Shaun Falcon

Second Place Title: WWII Women Airforce Service Pilots: Exchanging Traditional Roles, Exploring Military Aviation and Encountering Discrimination
Students: Priscila Garcia, Danielle Garcia,
School: Ross S. Sterling Highschool, Baytown, TX
Teacher(s): Stephanie Cottle

Third Place
Title: Perry Expedition: Exchange through Encounter of Japan
Students: Eunji Son, Chai Won (Bella) An, Kenny Chung,
School: Woodbridge High School, Irvine, CA
Teacher(s): Spencer Schwerdtfeger


First Place
Title: Introducing Americans to America
Students: Sydney Dye, Caroline Murphy,
School: Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill, NC
Teacher(s): Holly Loranger

Second Place
Title: Reconstructing Korea's Crippled Economy: Korean Miners and Nurses in Germany
Students: James Pierog, Sunny Chung Lee, Miriam Son, Jeanie Lee,
School: Daegu International School, , KO
Teacher(s): Sharon Gillette

Third Place
Title: Exposing the Big Picture: Lewis Hine's Exploration of the Social Documentary Genre as a Tool to Eliminate Child Labor
Students: Mary Nail, Kennedy Reynolds,
School: Conway High School, Conway, AR
Teacher(s): William Richardson


First Place
Title: The Journey of Sugar: Neither Short nor Sweet
Students: Aditya Ailiani,
School: Onalaska High School, Onalaska, WI
Teacher(s): Lisa Reimbler

Second Place
Title: Silence Kills: Temoignage and the Dilemma of Humanitarian Aid
Students: Adam Nussbaum,
School: Francis Parker School, San Diego, CA
Teacher(s): Cherie Redelings

Third Place
Title: Marshall Islands: A Culture Damaged through Scientific Exploration and Encounters with Western Civilization
Students: Rebekah Love,
School: Springdale High School, Springdale, AR
Teacher(s): Winfield Watson


First Place
Title: The Transcontinental Railroad: Exploring the West, Encountering Pitfalls, and Exchanging Culture
Students: Kelli Susemihl,
School: Lemars Community High School, Lemars, IA
Teacher(s): Jeanne Rust

Second Place
Title: A City Under Siege: Delivering Hope One Flight at a Time on the Airbridge to Berlin
Students: Hannah Scott,
School: Odessa High School, Odessa, MO
Teacher(s): Paula Hawk

Third Place
Title: Breaking Biological Boundaries: Rosalind Franklin and the Experimental Foundation of the Double Helix Theory
Students: Michaila Peters,
School: Cambridge Springs High School, Cambridge Springs, PA
Teacher(s): John Werkmeister, Sarah Thompson


First Place
Title: A Pure Invention: Japan, Impressionism, and the West, 1853-1906
Students: Amir Abou-Jaoude,
School: Henry Clay High School, Lexington, KY
Teacher(s): Chris Snow

Second Place
Title: The Black Death, an Unforeseen Exchange: Europe's Encounter with Pandemic Sparked an Age of Exploration
Students: Camryn Franke,
School: Washington Technology Magnet School, St. Paul, MN
Teacher(s): Steve Cox, David Connors, Eric Anderson

Third Place
Title: An Alien Race That Should Be Segregated Socially: Mendez v. Westminister
Students: Tomas de la Rosa,
School: Ross S. Sterling, Baytown, TX
Teacher(s): Donna Britt


First Place
Title: Exploring and Exchanging Rhythms: Master Juba and the Early History of Tap Dance
Students: Elisa Trujillo,
School: Bishop Seabury Academy, Lawrence, KS
Teacher(s): Sonja Czarnecki

Second Place
Title: On Track to Citizenship: The Exploration, Encounter and Symbolic Exchange of the Wanamaker Expedition of Citizenship to the North American Indian
Students: Isabella Bowland,
School: Fairview High School, Boulder, CO
Teacher(s): Leigh Campbell-Hale, Scott Peoples

Third Place
Title: Levittown: Fair Housing For All
Students: Susanna Dorminy,
School: Sola Fide Home School, McDonough, GA
Teacher(s): Ann Dorminy


First Place
Title: Mary Musgrove: Exploration, Encounter and Exchange in the life of an Indian Princess
Students: Mercy Koehler, Devin Snyder,
School: Snyder Homeschool, Woodstock, GA
Teacher(s): Jennifer Snyder

Second Place
Title: American Exodus: The Okies' Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange in the San Joaquin Valley
Students: Allison Hodge, Sydney Fox, Kelsey Ewing, Matthew Clark, Austin Cozzi,
School: Buchanan High School, Clovis, CA
Teacher(s): Debbie Hodge

Third Place
Title: We Were There Too: The Exchanging Roles of Women in WWII
Students: Ari Geerdes, Michaela Greenwood, Belinda Harms, Austyn Otten, Alyssa Schuett,
School: Christ's Household Of Faith School, St. Paul, MN
Teacher(s): Dennis Simonson, Pam Alsbury


First Place
Title: Duel and Duality: New Journalism, New York
Students: Shay Pezzulo,
School: Classical Magnet School, Hartford, CT
Teacher(s): Jeffrey Hoberman

Second Place
Title: Ada Lovelace,* The Enchantress of Computing: Exploring the Beginnings of the Information Evolution
Students: Denisse Cordova,
School: Macarthur High School, Houston, TX
Teacher(s): Julie Thoma

Third Place
Title: Can You Tell Me How We Got To Sesame Street? Exploring a New Realm of Education
Students: Danielle Haddock,
School: Creekside High School, Saint Johns, FL
Teacher(s): Laura Wynn


First Place
Title: The Visionary Exploration of Jacques Cousteau: Changing Perceptions of the Ocean through Undersea Encounters
Students: Sovigne Gardner, Grace Gardner,
School: Open World Learning Community, St. Paul, MN
Teacher(s): Katie Craven

Second Place
Title: China's Surge into Silk: The Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange of the Silk Road
Students: Brian Ely, Tigan Donaldson,
School: West Valley High School, Fairbanks, AK
Teacher(s): Heather Damario

Third Place
Title: The Erie Canal: An Innovation in American Economics and Culture
Students: Vivek Mathew, William Bahssin, Charlie Wilen, Elad Raymond, Joseph Vayalumkal,
School: Clarkstown North Shs, New City, NY
Teacher(s): Jordan Turner, Kenneth Amparo


African-American History:
Alex Spiride & Mark Mathenge & Joshua Mathew & Kimberly Nguyen & Jude Franklin (School: Plano East Sr H S, Plano, TX)

American Labor History:
Hannah Poginy & Annika Socia (School: St. Paul's Catholic School, Barton, VT)

Asian-American History:
Atalie Thatch (School: Lander Middle School, Lander, WY) Solomon Bloomfield & Philip Ding & Jaden Hoechstetter & Arianna Konstantopoulos (School: Fairview High School, Boulder, CO)

Captain Ken Coskey Naval History Prize:
Cassandra Taylor (School: Phillips Preparatory School, Mobile, AL) Allie Tubbs (School: Johnston Middle School, Johnston, IA)

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspaper Prize:
Olivia Deyoung (School: Highland Christian School, Highland, IN)
Claire Galvin (School: Home School (Galvin), , WV)

Civil Rights Prize:
Jane Nilson (School: Birchwood School, Cleveland, OH)
Raelynn Parham & Logan Wood & Will Lalman (School: Morrison High School, Morrison, OK)

Civil War History:
Madelyn Moy & Audrey Pettigrew (School: Payton College Prep High School, Chicago, IL)

Corps of Discovery Prize:
Caleb O'Mara & Jonas O'Mara (School: Keene, Keene, NH)
Kevin Boyd & Adriana Carter (School: Academic Magnet High School, Charleston, SC)

Discovery or Exploration in History:
River Gayton (School: Jackson Hole Middle School, Jackson, WY)
Patrick Ruan & Emily Zhang & Qiuhong (Anna) Wei (School: Concordia International School Shanghai, Shanghai, CH)

Equality in History:
Megan Mwaura (School: St. Margaret Mary School, Harrisburg, PA)
Vanessa Sun & Rachel Kim & Alan Chen (School: Herricks Hs, New Hyde Park, NY)

George Washington Leadership in History:
Libby Pleva (School: Eagle School, Madison, WI)
Matthew Broussard & Kyleigh Fanning (School: Impact Early College High School, Baytown, TX)

Global Peace Prize:
Summer Royal (School: Stevenson Middle School, Honolulu, HI)
Maggie Olshove & Shalyn McFarling & Rachel Knight (School: Augusta Co-Op, Staunton, VA)

History in the Federal Government:
Juliana Rodrigues & Max Bueno & Samantha Gilbert & Emily Strickland & Joe Zarif (School: Memorial Middle School, Middlebury, CT)

History of Agriculture and Rural Life:
Gabrielle Uy (School: The British School Manila, Manila, IS-SA)

Immigration History:
Zara Aamer & Nithya Reddy & Athena Nomula & Anjali Shah (School: Montville Township High School, Montville, NJ)

Irish or Irish-American History:
Aubrey Bando & Elaina Madison (School: Lourdes Central Catholic, Nebraska City, NE)
Mary Brao (School: Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School, South Hamilton, MA)

Latino-American History:
Daniela Castillo (School: Traverse City West Middle School, Traverse City, MI)
Yukie Armenta & Fabiola Melendez (School: Moriarty High School, Moriarty, NM)

Lee Allen History of Baseball Award:
Thomas McKenna (School: McKenna Homeschool, Lovettsville, VA)

Legacy Award:
Matthew Broussard & Kyleigh Fanning (School: Impact Early College High School, Baytown, TX)

Native American History:
Tyler Kaus (School: Chadron Middle School, Chadron, NE)
Hilary Griggs (School: Bishop Seabury Academy, Lawrence, KS)

The National Library of Medicine's History of Medicine Prize:
Taseen Alam & Angela Zhao & Michael Abelar & Tiffany Paul & Varun Sudabathula (School: Homeschool, Freehold, NJ)

U.S. Constitution Award:
Juliana Rodrigues & Max Bueno & Samantha Gilbert & Emily Strickland & Joe Zarif (School: Memorial Middle School, Middlebury, CT) Brian Holt (School: Huntingtown High School, Huntingtown, MD)

United States Marine Corps History:
Ethan Rokke (School: Palmer Ridge High School, Monument, CO)

White House History:
Astrid Umanzor & Brenda Bettero & Eve Lescovitz & Marisol Palencia & Kathy Umanzor (School: Susan B. Anthony M.S., Revere, MA)
Maddy Suna & Eunice Min & Katie Campanelli (School: Shaker Heights High School, Shaker Heights, OH)

Women's History:
Madison Albert (School: Greely Middle School, Cumberland Cntr, ME)

World War II History:
Kennedi Anderson & Emily Garrison (School: Impact Academy, McDonough, GA)
Morgan McCall (School: Moriarty High School, Moriarty, NM)


Chaminade University of Honolulu
Vanessa Taylor, Ainsworth Community Schools, Ainsworth, NE

University of Maryland
John Woodliff-Stanley, George Washington High School, Denver, CO

Case Western Reserve University, David Van Tassel Founder Award
Jordyn Williams, J.H. Rose High School, Greenville, NC

About National History Day: NHD is a non-profit education organization in College Park, MD. Established in 1974, NHD offers year-long academic programs that engage over half a million middle- and high-school students around the world annually in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. These research-based projects are entered into contests at the local and affiliate levels, where the top student projects have the opportunity to advance to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD also seeks to improve the quality of history education by providing professional development opportunities and curriculum materials for educators. NHD is sponsored in part by Kenneth E. Behring, Patricia Behring, HISTORY®, Jostens, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Joe Weider Foundation, and the WEM 2000 Foundation of the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation. For more information, visit

Lynne O'Hara
Director of Programs
Phone: 484-919-2595
Press Release