News Releases

Mississippi Students Excel at National History Day Contest

June 26, 2024

Thirty-six students from across Mississippi represented the state at the 2024 National History Day (NHD) contest hosted at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. NHD is a program for middle and high school students to research, produce, and present a historical research project. Winners at the state level competition, Mississippi History Day (MDH) hosted by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH), progress to NHD. 

I am incredibly proud of our Mississippi students for showing how intelligent and creative they are on the national stage,” said MDAH outreach programs coordinator Bently Cochran. We look forward to next year as we expand the program and strive to be bigger and better than ever.”  

NHD affiliates include all fifty states and the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, and international schools in Europe and Asia. About 3,000 students from across the United States and overseas compete each June.

Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (MSMS) senior Harrison Shao won first place in the senior paper category for From Small Wonder to Big Salvation: How the Mass Production of Penicillin Became Possible in the Early 1940s. Shao's teacher, Kayla Hester, attended NHD with Shao and three other students from MSMS. 

Shao is the first Mississippi student to win first place at NHD. He was also one of four students in the nation who won the National History Academy Scholarship worth $10,000.  

Starkville High School (SHS) sophomore Walter Giesen placed eighth in the individual documentary category for Mississippi Turning: The Pivotal Role of School Desegregation in a Southern Town. Giesen's teachers, Craig and Maggie Wood, attended NHD with Giesen and nine other students from SHS. 

Additionally, MSMS sophomore Keylee Lang was one of forty-eight competitors to have their project exhibited at the National Museum of American History during NHD. Lang’s senior individual project is titled “The Modern Woman: How Flappers Changed Society’s Views of Women.”  

Mississippi students averaged in the top fifty percent in the nation at the competition in their first-round rooms, a first for the state. Among these NHD participants were: Samar Rahimi, grade eleven, and Dylan Michael Wiley, grade twelve, MSMS; Amy Choi, grade nine, Sachiko Clay, Jimin Kim, Mirae Nishikawa, and Claire Rhee, grade ten, Johnny Ford, grade eleven, Chyla Hanna, Jenna Holder, and Lindy Peterson, grade twelve, SHS; Trinity Collins and Heidi Overstreet, grade eleven, William Hardwick, Lucas Houston, and William Warfield, grade twelve, Hernando High School; Londyn Kirkland, Marlasha Johnson, Theo Milnor, Cambreh Spires, and Jatayla Williams, grade ten, Tougaloo Early College High School. 



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