Hawai‘i Students Take Top Honors at 2020 National History Day Virtual Competition
June 26, 2020–As the National History Day (NHD) competition came to an end, Hawaiʻi’s 52 competitors took home top awards in the nation, including one gold medal, one silver medal, and one bronze medal. This year Hawaiʻi’s delegation consisted of 52 State finalists, from O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i, and Hawai‘i Island, who competed against just under 3,000 students from across the country and around the world.
“To make it to the National Contest in a normal year is a remarkable achievement,” said NHD Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Given the unprecedented challenges that faced students over the last several months, I am even more impressed by what they achieved this year.”
The local NHD affiliate, Hawaiʻi History Day (HHD), is a year-long project-based educational program, where students grades fourth through twelve dive deeply into a historical topic of their choice, creating a research paper, documentary, performance, exhibit display board, or website, and developing critical thinking skills valuable for college and careers. This year they undertook extensive research on the theme: “Breaking Barriers in History,” looking at moments when the path of our society was forever changed. More than half a million middle and high school students, from the US and around the world, compete in the National History Day program at their local level.
This year, 16-year-old ʻIolani high school student Summer Royal captured the National History Day gold medal for her senior-division documentary: The Tereshkova Effect: The Role of Propaganda in Breaking Barriers.