CT Students Take Home National History Day Awards

CT Humanities is proud to sponsor the year-long Connecticut History Day project through our funded partnership with the Connecticut Democracy Center.

From the Connecticut History Day website:

Forty-six students in grades 6-12 represented Connecticut at the prestigious 2023 National History Day® Contest at the University of Maryland. Having won statewide competitions, they joined nearly 3,000 students from the U. S. and overseas to compete nationally. It is the first in-person national contest to take place since 2019.

Inspired by the theme of Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas, high school, and middle school students wrote papers, created exhibits, produced documentaries, designed websites, and staged performances exploring topics ranging from Katherine Hepburn to American Sign Language to Clifford W. Beers’ impact on attitudes towards mental health.

During the week-long competition (June 11 – 15), Connecticut students presented their work to teams of volunteer judges, who reviewed entries, provided valuable feedback, and selected the top finishers. After meeting the judges, students could view other students’ projects and participate many activities, including trading buttons with fellow competitors, touring the University of Maryland, and visiting nearby museums. Connecticut’s State Coordinator, Rebecca Taber, also organized several activities for Team CT, including a day-long trip into Washington D.C., where students, parents, and teachers met with Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and State Representatives Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro, Jahana Hayes, Jim Himes, and John Larson.

Several Connecticut students received special honors during the week. Abigail Yang, an eleventh-grade homeschool student from Glastonbury, was one of only 11 students invited to attend a writer’s workshop with White House Historical Association staff and have her paper featured in an online showcase. Abigail’s teacher, Susan Richman, enthused that Abigail “has been one of my most remarkable and dedicated and involved AP US History students I’ve ever had over my many years of leading this course online for homeschooling students.”

Mary Lynch, a 10th grader at E.O. Smith High School (Storrs-Mansfield), represented Connecticut with her exhibit, Hold on to the Land: The Treaty of Hartford and its Eradication of Pequot Frontiers, at the National Museum of American History. The Museum hosted a daylong special exhibition that featured student projects from each of National History Day’s affiliate programs.

The National Contest culminated in the Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 15 during which, several Connecticut students received special recognition:

Abigail Yang, homeschool (South Glastonbury) Teacher: Susan Richman
2nd Place – Senior Paper
The Founding Fathers of Military Medicine: How Hammond, Letterman, and the U.S. Sanitary Commission Crossed a Medical Frontier through Policy and Organizational Reforms

Mary Lynch of E.O. Smith High School (Mansfield) Teacher: Jennifer McMunn
6th Place – Senior Individual Exhibit
Native American History Prize sponsored by National Park Service
Hold On To The Land: The Treaty of Hartford and its Eradication of Pequot Frontiers

Claire Flynn of Conard High School (West Hartford) Teacher: Jessica Blitzer
6th Place – Senior Individual Documentary
Captain Ken Coskey Naval History Prize sponsored by United States Naval Institute
Operation Sunshine: How the Nautilus’s Crossing of the Polar Frontier Allowed America to Emerge from Sputnik’s Shadow

Angelina Lux of Greenwich Academy
9th Place – Senior Individual Website

Televised Debates and Its Effect, Nixon v. Kennedy

Outstanding Affiliate Winners – Connecticut

Emmet Smith of Ellington Middle School
Junior Individual Exhibit
Love Canal: Setting a Precedent in Environmental Catastrophes and Advocacy

Angelina Lux of Greenwich Academy
Senior Individual Website

Televised Debates and Its Effect, Nixon v. Kennedy

Honorable Mentions

Deana KhatibTasneem ZogholZainah Khaliq, and Zara Fatima Khan of Madina Academy (Windsor)
Senior Group Performance
Forging a Frontier: The Treaty That Transformed American Humanitarianism

Ghita Elamrani and Salma Mahmoud of Madina Academy (Windsor)
Senior Group Documentary

The Scottsboro Tragedy: The Trials That Transformed Civil Rights and the Judicial System

Magda Lena Griffel and Sophia Zhang of Wilbur Cross High School (New Haven)
Senior Group Website
The Vietnam War Memorial: How Maya Lin Revolutionized Memorial Design’

“I’m so proud of Team CT,” said Rebecca Taber. “The students did amazing research and put their whole heart and soul into the process of creating their projects. It was wonderful that they had the opportunity to share their work in person at the National Contest.”

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