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Seven Menlo Park Academy students advance to National History Day National Contest

Seven gifted students from Menlo Park Academy have qualified for the National History Day competition as the school racked up 10 total awards, which were announced this week. MPA had 15 students competing at the Ohio History Day competition on April 24, which took place virtually.

In all, the school’s competing NHD students — made up of Grade 7 and 8 history students — won four first-place awards at the state competition.

To qualify for the national contest, students must place either first or second at the state competition.

“Our students did absolutely amazing at Ohio History Day,” said Frank O’Grady, a Grade 7-8 history teacher at MPA and school advisor for the NHD program. “We’ve had some strong performances historically at the school for our projects, but to qualify seven students for the national competition is remarkable. It shows the enthusiasm and commitment our students have for the NHD competition, their creativity, and their ability to apply their classroom knowledge to the real world.”

The National History Day Competition will take place virtually in June, with about 3,000 students competing from across the country.

“In the previous two years, Menlo Park Academy had three students qualify for nationals, so the results this year are really impressive,” said O’Grady.

In March, at the Region 3 National History Day in March, MPA had 15 state qualifiers among 29 students competing.

The theme for the 2021 National History Day competition was “Communication in History.” The theme frames student research projects, and is chosen based on its broad application to world, national, or state history and its relevance to ancient history or to the more recent past.

National History Day is a non-profit education organization based in College Park, Maryland. Founded in 1974, NHD offers year-long academic programs that engage more than a half-million middle- and high-school students around the world annually in project research and presentation. Since 1974, NHD has sought to improve history education in schools.

Among the Ohio History Day winners from Menlo Park Academy, by category:

Junior Group Exhibit

Jaydon Hallis and Brandon Eardley, First Place, for Operation Mincemeat

Junior Individual Exhibit

Cehan Ahmad, First Place, for The Ghost Army: Communication and Deception by the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops

Anna Oestreich, Third Place, for Homing Pigeons: Military Messengers During the Great War

Sarah Weaver, Honorable Mention, for Seneca Falls: First Women’s Rights Convention 1848

Junior Individual Performance

Jackson Kenny, First Place, for The Story of FDR’s Fireside Chats, as told by “Deputy President” Harry Hopkins

Madeleine Suma, Second Place, for How the Diary of Anne Frank Changed the World

Junior Group Performance

Shashini Mohan, Nakshatra Mohan, and Atidya Mohan, Third Place, for The Words of Gandhi

Junior Individual Website

Ethan Chen, First Place, for President Reagan’s Speech: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall!”

Dae San Kim, Second Place, for FDR Fireside Chats

Women in Government Award

Sarah Weaver, First Place, for Seneca Falls: First Women’s Rights Convention 1848


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