IUSD students win top honors at National History Day Competition

National History Day

Two IUSD students placed first in their respective categories at the recent National History Day competition, while an additional seven IUSD students were named finalists for their historical projects, which include historical papers, individual and group exhibits, and group websites.  

Junior Historical Paper 1st place

Alexander Miller

The Cod Wars: Iceland’s Victory Through Diplomacy and the Global Consequences of Their Success

Lakeside Middle School

Teachers: Jon Pang, Michael Clark

Senior Individual Exhibit 1st place and Special Award Winner 

Riya Gupta

“A World Without War”: Women Empowered Debate and

Diplomacy at the Hague

Northwood High School

Teacher: Deanna Myers


Junior Individual Performance

Susan Kim

Yu Gwan Sun: A Martyr of the Korean Independence Movement   

Sierra Vista Middle School

Junior Group Website

Isabelle Yang, Zixuan Cui and Yongjing Li     

Judy Blume and the Battle Against Book Censorship

Sierra Vista Middle School

Senior Group Exhibit

Sol Choi, Deul Choi and Allison Yue  

Abstract Expressionist Art in the American National Exhibition: Modernist Culture as a Diplomatic Weapon 

University High School

Every year, the National History Day Program features students’ research within a historical theme. The theme provides a focused way to increase student’s historical understanding, an organizational structure, and the ability to see connections over time. Participants’ research focused on this year’s theme, “Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.” 

More than 600,000 students entered the competition during the 2021/2022 school year, utilzing resources from libraries, museums, archives and eyewitness accounts to present their findings through mediums including documentaries, exhibits, performances, posters, websites, papers or podcasts. 

After making it through the county and state competition levels, 2,700 students presented their historical findings at this year’s national contest.

When discussing Alexander Miller’s first place achievement in the Junior Historical Paper category, Teacher Jon Pang said, “What is great about Alex’s topic is that it focuses in on something that appears to be a small and specific conflict between two nations but has the unintended consequence to have a major impact on worldwide conflicts today.” 

Northwood High student Riya Gupta, who won the first place Senior Individual Exhibit prize, was also honored with the National History Academy Scholarship in the Special Award Winner category.  

“I really enjoyed competing in National History Day this year and truly learned a lot about history and the importance of equitable representation,” Gupta said. 

Both Miller and Gupta will receive the title of “National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar,” along with $1,000 awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

Robbie Robinson, IUSD History-Social Science and World Languages Coordinator notes, “The depth to which our students have investigated deep historical questions and issues in our world, should be held in the highest esteem. To identify an issue, develop an inquiry around it, and to explore the realities of these global themes is critical to citizenship in the 21st century. Our students are a model of what it means to be civically engaged and their work should inspire us all to do the same as we navigate this complex world.”