On Thursday, June 13, officials from National History Day (NHD) presented the awards for the national finals of the 2019 National History Day Contest, held June 9-13 at the University of Maryland, College Park. Over a half-million students entered the competition late last year, and over 3,000 of them advanced through the regional and state rounds. Competitors represented 57 affiliate members, including every state, Washington, D.C., American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and international schools in South Korea, South Asia, and China. The contest required students to create themed research-based projects in one of five categories as individuals or group members: documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites. Only the top two entries in each category from each state or affiliate then went on to the national contest. The 2019 theme was Triumph and Tragedy.
The Wheatley School was represented at the national level by two students:
- Rahul Ajmera with his exhibit The Real Housewives of the Lower East Side: The 1902 Kosher Meat Boycott
- Emma Melnikov, who presented her entry in the performance category with A Murder to Make the Masses Seen: The Tragic Romanov Fall Paving the Way for Bolshevik Triumph.
This was Rahul’s first time competing at the national level; it was Emma’s second trip to the elite competition.
In order to create projects, students engaged in months of historical research using primary sources found in archives and museums, books, and interviews. Rahul and Emma also spent hours translating documents from Yiddish and Russian in order to accurately understand their topics. Both students were supported in their research by their teachers, Andrew Ardito, Courtney Clarke, Pat Clarke, and Dr. Scott Eckers, and their school library media specialist Jo Beth Roberts
Rahul Ajmera won 4th place in the nation, in addition to winning the “Outstanding New York Affiliate Award” sponsored by the National Park Service, and the Immigration History special award, a monetary award, sponsored by the Lombardo family.
Both Emma and Rahul have much to be proud of. The Wheatley School congratulates them both on their tremendous achievements!
[Thank you to Jo Beth Roberts for the write-up!]