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NC students perform well at National History Day competition

North Carolina students were among top 10 finishers in the National History Day Competition held June 9-13 at the University of Maryland, College Park. From more than 3,000 competitors, four North Carolina student projects were among the top 10 and one was a special prize winner, on the theme, “Triumph and Tragedy in History.” More than 100 students overall took home cash prizes of from $250 to $1,000 after a journey involving local, state and national competitions.

“North Carolina students have embraced the National History Day competitions and have done well,” observed N.C. National History Day Coordinator Karen Ipock. “Their results show a remarkable level of research and critical thinking skills. We are proud they make this their priority while heading into summer.”

The four projects ranked in the top 10 in their respective categories, and the special prize winner, were:

•    Junior Outstanding entry for North Carolina, and fifth place in Junior Group Exhibit category – Catherine Jones and Halle Vazquez, Hendersonville Middle School, for their project “The Medgar Evers Case:  Assassination and Courtroom Injustice Lead to Closure and Triumph.”

•    The George Washington Leadership in History Prize ($1,000 prize), and seventh place in the Junior Paper category – Andi Bradsher, Oak Tree Academy, Roxboro, N.C., for her paper “Stealth and Secrets: The Culpeper Ring’s Triumph over Tragedy and Betrayal.”

•    Junior Group Performance category, ninth place -- Leyla Belk, Any Malt, and John Paul Torres, Classical Scholars, Mills River, N.C., for their project “Dimes over Disease: How the Tragedy of Polio, and the Triumph of Accountability Changed How America Reacts to Infectious Disease.”

•    Senior Outstanding Entry for North Carolina, and ninth place in the Senior Paper category – Pranet Sharma, Green Hope High School, Cary, N.C., for his paper, “From Cryptanalysis and Artificial Intelligence to Prosecution and Death: The Triumph and Tragedy of Alan Turing.”

Two North Carolina projects were also selected to be showcased at Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C. during the contest:

•    The Junior Group Documentary by Katherine Meine and Aurelia Colvin, Cape Fear Academy, Wilmington, N.C., entitled “Backpacks and Barriers: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Little Rock Nine Crisis,” was shown at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Wednesday, June 12.

•    The Senior Individual Exhibit by Meghana Chamarty, Panther Creek High School, Cary, N.C., entitled “Frances Perkins: Piercing Political and Social Parameters,” was displayed at the National Museum of American History on Wednesday, June 12. 

National History Day has recognized and rewarded students for completing in-depth research and creating original projects that further appreciation and understanding of history for more than 45 years.