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49 Louisiana Students to Compete at National History Day Contest

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The Louisiana State History Day Contest was held on Saturday, April 21. More than 150 students representing 12 Parishes brought their research projects to The National WWII Museum with the hopes of earning a spot in the National History Day Contest. At the end of the day, 31 projects with 49 student creators advanced and will attend the National Contest at the University of Maryland from June 10-14.

Students’ projects were reviewed by judging panels who interviewed the students about their interest in the topic, their project’s content, and their research process. These interviews prove especially helpful to students for the next round as it allows them to become adept at communicating their knowledge. Evaluation forms were returned to all students to help them get a head start on the next round or next year’s competition.



History Day contests allow students many avenues to display their creativity. They are able to choose their own topics as long as they address the theme of Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History. The projects on display Saturday did just that. Popular topics included Higgins Boats, the Plaquemine Locks, and Civil Rights. Other creative entries focused on the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, Dorothea Dix, and Hollywood’s influence on fashion.

Students were given the option to enter in one of five presentation categories: Research Paper, Documentary, Exhibit, Performance, and Web Site. These categories are further broken down into Middle and High School Divisions, and students can enter as an individual or as part of a group. The top two projects from each category advance to the National Contest.

National qualifiers and their award-winning projects in each category are listed below:

Senior Group Documentary

1st J. Cindy Simporios, Jasmine Paniagua, Anna Hoang, Kathy Nguyen—Helen Cox Senior High School

Surviving the Jim Crow Era

2nd Bryan Lewis, Brennen Marcentel—Math Science and Arts Academy West

Fires of Kuwait


Senior Individual Documentary

1st Zoe Zemmels—Benjamin Franklin Senior High School

The Wheels Start Rolling: Ed Roberts, Judy Heumann, and The Disability Rights Movement

2nd Tre’a Mcquiston—Math Science and Arts Academy West

Victorian Dress Reform


Senior Group Exhibit

1st Chante Randolph, Richard Cotton—New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School

The Big Bang: The History of 20th Century Weapons

2nd Kali Leonard, Brooke Banta—Math Science and Arts Academy West

Dorothea Dix and the Asylum Movement


Junior Group Documentary

1st Hailey Reaux, Peyton Richard—Math Science and Arts Academy West

The Dust Bowl

2nd Morgan Badeaux, Kayla Landry—Math Science and Arts Academy West

Boat or No Boat: The Plaquemine Locks


Junior Individual Exhibit

1st Aroosa Cheema—N.P. Trist Middle School

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

2nd Hadeel Kasji—John Quincy Adams Middle School

Disturbance in the Grand Mosque


Junior Individual Documentary

1st John “Wes” Hestand—Math Science and Arts Academy West

The Mystery of Huey P. Long’s Death

2nd Donovan Granier—Math Science and Arts Academy West



Senior Individual Exhibit

1st Mollye Shacklette—Caddo Parish Magnet High School

Change without Transition: The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia

2nd Rachel Ellis—Math Science and Arts Academy West

The Great Flood of 1927


Senior Group Web Site

1st Austyn Holtrop, Austin Vaughn, Simon Clause—Math Science and Arts Academy West

Technology Through Time

2nd Abbey Hebert, Carlisa Watkins—Math Science and Arts Academy West

Nazi Concentration Camps The World’s Reactions


Junior Group Web Site

1st Josh Hewitt, Evan Harvey, Trent Evans—Belle Chasse Middle School

The Boston Massacre

2nd Kyra Bates, Ashley Barbarin—Math Science and Arts Academy West

The Trail of Tears


Senior Individual Paper

1st Kristen Ellis—Math Science and Arts Academy West

The Plaquemine Locks

2nd Sarah Elliot—Winnfield Senior High School

World War II: The Children of the Holocaust


Junior Individual Web Site

1st Zandra Zemmels—Lusher Charter School

From House Pets to Heros: The Transformation of War Dogs

2nd Brandon Rodriguez—N.P. Trist Middle School

Curt Flood: A Free Agent


Junior Group Exhibit

1st Ava Martin,  Renee Trepagnier, Kate Labatut—Catholic High School of Pointe Coupee

The Plaquemine Locks

2nd Ahmad El Sayed, Moustafa El Sayed—John Quincy Adams Middle School

The Egyptian Revolution


Junior Group Performance

1st Kilrain Popleon, Jalen Chatman—Math Science and Arts Academy West

The Boston Tea Party


Senior Individual Performance

1st Jordan Johnson—Helen Cox Senior High School

Fighting the Struggle


Senior Individual Web Site

1st Gerard Cook-Moulin—Pearl River High School

Pearl Harbor


Junior Individual Paper

1st Kim Tran—N.P. Trist Middle School

China: The Cultural Revolution

2nd Katlyn McGraw—Math Science and Arts Academy West

Women of the American Revolution


Junior Individual Performance

1st James Hogg–Home School

My 1863 Adventure

2nd Meghan St. Angelo–N.P. Trist Middle School

Treblinka: Death or Revolt


The National WWII Museum extends a well-deserved congratulations to all participating students. National qualifiers now enter a revision period to improve their projects for national competition.

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