Texas students compete (and win) in the 2020 National History Day contest Texas students placed first in three categories, third in another, and took home a special award during the virtual historical research competition.


June 24th, 2020

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Following a turbulent year of school closures and coronavirus contingency plans, Texas students had something big to celebrate on Saturday, June 20. The 2020 National History Day competition had come to a close, and participating middle and high school students from the Lone Star State took first place in three contest categories, third in another, and claimed one of the event’s special awards.

More than 500,000 middle and high school students from across the country entered the National History Day (NHD) competition in late 2019, and just under 3,000 of them advanced through the local and state/affiliate rounds to earn their place in the NHD National Contest, which migrated to a virtual format and proceeded entirely online. Through documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites, students presented research projects addressing topics related to the 2020 NHD theme, Breaking Barriers in History.

Student participants from Texas advanced from the Texas History Day statewide contest. The annual event is hosted by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), an Austin nonprofit whose mission is to foster the appreciation, understanding, and teaching of Texas history.

“We are proud of all 72 students who represented Texas during the National History Day contest and offer a special congratulations to those who took home a prize,” said Lisa Berg, TSHA’s Director of Education Services. “The commitment these students had to their research, amid tremendous uncertainty given the pandemic, is beyond admirable. History’s future is in good hands.”

This year’s National History Day contest winners from Texas included:

  • Max Grinstein, Belmont Homeschool in Houston, First Place­—Junior Paper, The Fifth Circuit Four: The Unheralded Judges Who Helped to Break Legal Barriers in the Deep South
  • ThaoNhi Tran, Ayumi Vazquez, Izumi Vazquez, and Clarisse Cabagay; Health Careers High School in San Antonio; First Place—Senior Group Exhibit, ‘B’ is for Breaking Barriers: How Sesame Street Revolutionized Children’s Television and Education
  • Aditi Bhat, Belton New Tech High School at Waskow, First Place—Senior Individual Website, ‘Deeds, Not Words’: The Suffragettes, Women Breaking Barriers
  • Monserrat Sandoval-Malherbe, Matthew Montiel, Andrea Urbina, Aiden Anzaldua, Joel Santivanez; Veteran’s Memorial Early College High School in Brownsville; Third Place—Senior Group Performance, Felix Tijerina: Breaking Barriers by Opening Doors for Latin Americans
  • Adam Kinder, IMPACT Early College High School, World War I History Prize—Senior Individual Documentary, To Hell and Back

Students who place in the national contest receive cash prizes ranging from $250 to $1,000, and first place winners are given the title, “National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar.” To learn more about TSHA’s Texas History Day program and the National History Day contest, visit https://texashistoryday.com.

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