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Indiana Students Receive Special Awards, Honors at National History Day Contest

June 13, 2024

The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) proudly announces several Indiana students received special awards and honors at the National Contest for the National History Day (NHD) program held June 9-13 at the University of Maryland, College Park.

This year, Aesop Birkemeier of Brown County Middle School received first place in the Junior Individual Performance division for his project titled “Turning Points in WWII: The Legacy of the 10th Mountain Division.” 

Additionally, Haidyn Reed of Discovery Middle School in Granger, Indiana, won second place in the Junior Individual Exhibit for “Florence Nightingale’s Impact on Disease Prevention,” and Josiah Hoffeditz of Carmel High School won 10th place in the Senior Individual Exhibit for “Invention of the Piano: A Key to Music.”

The 2024 National Contest hosted a total of 2,849 students across the United States and territories, and 51 students participated from Indiana. The students completed projects in one of five categories — documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website — and then competed in a series of contests beginning at the local level. Less than 1% of projects advance to the National Contest.

Indiana had five projects receive honorable mentions, a recognition for projects that did not advance to finals but did place in the top 20 in the nation, including a Senior Individual Performance for “The POP Heard ‘Round the World: How Popcorn Was A Turning Point In Movie Theater History And American Society” by Grace Nie of Carmel High School.

“Indiana had an amazing year at the NHD National Contest,” said Manager of Education and National History Day in Indiana (NHDI) at IHS Lexi Gribble. “We are so proud of our students who worked so hard and brought their best to this year’s contest. It was an honor to celebrate our student’s work at the awards ceremony, and see their work recognized on this national scale. Their achievements today shows the research ability and creativity of Indiana students. Congratulations!”

NHDI is a yearlong program dedicated to enhancing history education in Indiana’s schools. Students in grades four through 12 explore a historical subject that fits under the annual theme. This year’s theme was “Turning Points in History,” inviting students to research and select turning points in U.S. history that interest them the most. NHDI is presented by Indiana Constructors, Inc., with support from Rooker Family Foundation and Vigran Family Foundation and made possible through a grant from Indiana Humanities in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information, visit www.indianahistory.org/historyday or call (317) 232-1882.

About National History Day® (NHD)

NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park, Maryland, which seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students every year in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Crown Family Foundation, The Better Angels Society, and the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation. For more information, visit nhd.org.

 About the Indiana Historical Society (IHS)

The Indiana Historical Society collects and preserves Indiana’s unique stories; brings Hoosiers together in remembering and sharing the past; and inspires a future grounded in our state’s uniting values and principles. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate.

2024 NATIONAL CONTEST RESULTS, NATIONAL HISTORY DAY, INDIANA

 1st Place

Aesop Birkemeier

Junior Individual Performance

Brown County Middle School, Nashville

“Turning Points in WWII: The Legacy of the 10th Mountain Division”

2nd Place

Haidyn Reed

Junior Individual Exhibit

Discovery Middle School, Granger

“Florence Nightingale’s Impact on Disease Prevention”

10th Place

Josiah Hoffeditz

Senior Individual Exhibit

Carmel High School, Carmel

“Invention of the Piano: A Key to Music”

NHD Indiana Honorable Mentions (Top 20 in the Nation)

Savannah Reymer

Junior Individual Website

Sycamore School, Indianapolis

“Battle of Okinawa: A Turning Point in World War II”

Tyler Li

Senior Paper

Culver Academies, Culver

“Marbury v. Madison as a Turning Point in the Rise of the Supreme Court”

Grace Nie

Senior Individual Performance

Carmel High School, Carmel

“The POP Heard ‘Round the World: How Popcorn Was A Turning Point In Movie Theater History And American Society”

Valerie Fu

Senior Individual Website

Carmel High School, Carmel

“The Spindletop Oil Discovery: Fueling America’s Petroleum Revolution”

Katie Zhao and Stephanie Tan

Senior Group Website

Carmel High School, Carmel

“Mokusatsu: The Deadliest Mistake”

Outstanding Affiliate Entries

Outstanding Affiliate Entry, Junior Division

Savannah Reymer

Junior Individual Website

Sycamore School, Indianapolis

“Battle of Okinawa: A Turning Point in World War II”

 

Outstanding Affiliate Entry, Senior Division

Katie Zhao and Stephanie Tan

Senior Group Website

Carmel High School, Carmel

“Mokusatsu: The Deadliest Mistake”

Showcased Projects

Exhibit Showcase at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

Emma An and Olivia Lim

Senior Group Exhibit

Carmel High School, Carmel

“Bromine Therapy: From Battlefield Hospitals to the Public”

Performance Showcase at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

Aesop Birkemeier

Junior Individual Performance

Brown County Middle School, Nashville

“Turning Points in WWII: The Legacy of the 10th Mountain Division”

Paper Showcase with the White House Historical Association

Tyler Li

Senior Paper

Culver Academies, Culver

“Marbury v. Madison as a Turning Point in the Rise of the Supreme Court”

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