Winning Projects 2020


NATIONAL HISTORY DAY 2020: Breaking Barriers in History

National History Day is a year-long educational program for middle and high school students to research, learn and produce a creative project on a topic in history. The National Maritime Historical Society is proud to be an official supporter of this program with the hope of inspiring young people to learn about maritime history.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, and a big thank you to all of the hard-working teachers, coordinators and judges who made this annual event such a memorable and rewarding experience!



Ashley Rangel and Kiera Sanders

Senior 1st Place: “Submersibles: A Deeper Look into Their History and Applications”
Students: Anish Reddy Leekkala and Rodrigo Suarez Lopez
Teacher: Ricky Manes, William J. Fulbright Junior High School, Bentonville, AR

Junior 1st Place: “Arkansas’s Hidden Figure: Raye Montague”
Students: Ashley Nickole Rangel and Kiera Sanders
Teacher: Ricky Manes, William J. Fulbright Junior High School, Bentonville, AR


Kowoon Jeong

Senior 1st Place: “Blowing off Steam: How the Steam Engine Broke the Transportation Barriers of the 1800s”
Students: Nicole Rudenky, Kiera Clarke, Francesca Carmaz and Jessica Lopez
Teacher: Ariella Kirschbaum, High Tech Los Angeles, Lake Balboa, CA

Senior 2nd Place: Hungnam Evacuation: Breaking Barriers for Freedom and Humanity”
Student: Kowoon Jeong
Teacher: Jennifer Harrington, Irvine High School, Irvine, CA

Junior 1st Place: Steamships and Ironclads”
Students: Tejas Prakash, Ashwin Sriram and Yashwanth Kandula
Teacher: Taylor Wittman, Thomas S. Hart Middle School, Pleasanton, CA

Evan Knight Taw

Junior 1st Place: “The Battle of Midway: Breaking the Japanese Code and Achieving Victory Against All Odds”
Student: Evan Knight Taw
Teacher: Rowena Moore, Fruitvale Jr. High, Bakersfield, CA


Senior 1st Place: “Sonar Significance: Revolutionizing Technology with Ocean Acoustics”
Student: Jared Murray
Teacher: Heather Hingston, Newark Charter High School, Newark, DE


Junior 1st Place: “Beyond Breaking Barriers/Merchant Marine in the Pacific World War II”
Students: Megan Anderson, Georgia MacDonald and Katharine Harper
Teacher: Howard Bechler, Talley Middle school, Wilmington, DE


Colin Boltz, Andrew Nordmark & Siddharth Sriram

Junior 1st Place: “Voyage of the Endurance: How Shackleton’s Expedition Broke Barriers in the Face of Adversity”
Student: Liam Infanger
Teacher: Danielle Smith, Charles S. Rushe Middle School, Land O Lakes, FL

Junior 2nd Place: “Ironclads of the Civil War: Pioneering the Path to U.S. Naval Superiority”
Students: Colin Boltz, Andrew Nordmark and Siddharth Sriram
Teacher: Teresa Bergstrom, Dunedin Highland Middle School, Dunedin, FL


Senior 1st Place: “Anne Bonny the Pirate”
Students: Faria Chowdhury, Alison Myers-Beck and Kayla Gurbaxani
Teacher: Sally Stanhope, Chamblee Charter High School, Chamblee, GA

Junior 1st Place: “Visionary Billy Mitchell: Breaking Barriers for US Air Power”
Student: Jonathan Dorminy
Teacher: Ann Dorminy, Sola Fide Home School, McDonough, GA


Senior 1st Place: “Edwards Dam Removal”
Students: Philip Allen and Trevor Brockway
Teacher: David Currier, Erskine Academy, South China, ME

Senior 2nd Place: “Breakthroughs in Transportation in the 19th Century”
Student: Tyler James Sawyer
Teacher: Ben Hale, John Bapst Memorial High School, Bangor, ME

Junior 2nd Place: “Breaking Barriers at Omaha Beach France 1944”
Students: Anthony Lancaster and Ethan Bryant
Teacher: Faith Campbell, Mount View Middle School, Thorndike, ME


Senior 1st Place: “Breaking Barriers With Bombes: Alan Turing’s War Contributions”
Students: Faith Chen, Isabella Convery and Katherine Pioch
Teacher: Kristine Forsgard, Montrose School, Medfield, MA

Senior 2nd Place: “Nelson’s Era: The Naval Battles that Changed World”
Students: Sean Campbell and Stephen Burchfield
Teacher: Scott Spencer, Winchester High School, Winchester, MA

Junior 1st Place: “D-Day The Turning Point June 6, 1944”
Students: Declan Paul Smyth and Daniel Gaffney
Teacher: Barbara Flynn, Catholic Memorial School, West Roxbury, MA

Junior 2nd Place: “The USS Liberty and the Attack That Changed America”
Students: Aaron Podesky, Elliot Elkin and Mo Hagenbuch
Teacher: Jason Levy, Ottoson Middle School, Arlington, MA


Junior 1st Place: “The Attack on Pearl Harbor”
Students: Josten Yael Calix, Sterling Mota and Edwin Peña
Teacher: Larry Bates, William Colmer Middle School, Pascagoula, MS

New Jersey

Senior 1st Place: “The Matriach of the Information Age: Grace Hopper”
Student: Ernest Tyler Pagaduan
Teacher: Diane Mannion, High Technology High School, Middletown, NJ

Senior 2nd Place: “Charles Darwin: The Theories of Evolution and Natural Selection”
Student: Brendan Glennon
Teacher: Stefanie San Filippo, Montville Township High School, Montville, NJ

Junior 1st Place: “Portugal’s Trade Route to India”
Students: William Pertsemlidis and Campbell Abbot
Teacher: Jason Guss, The Peck School, Morristown, NJ

Junior 2nd Place: “Panama Canal: A Path Between the Seas”
Student: Riya Nimkar
Teacher: Wendy Hurwitz-Kushner, Woodrow Wilson Middle School, Edison, NJ

North Carolina

McKenzie Botbol

Senior 1st Place: “Lynne Cox: The Freezing Swim That Melted Through the Cold War Barrier”
Student: McKenzie Botbol
Teacher: Chadwick Goins, New Hanover High School, Wilmington, NC

Karen Mauro and Kaesy Sanchez

Senior 2nd Place: “Waves at Sea”
Students: Karen Alva Mauro and Kaesy Sanchez
Teacher: George Knips, North Brunswick High school, Leland, NC

Junior 1st Place: “Cyrus West Field: Breaking Barriers in Intercontinental Communication with the Transatlantic Telegraph Cable”
Students: Brayden Sparks, Cameron Blair and Elijah Bandy
Teacher: Anne Boyette, Hendersonville Middle School, Hendersonville, NC

Junior 2nd Place: “History of the Submarine”
Student: Ayden Patrick Hamilton
Teacher: Erin Dancer, Hope Middle School, Greenville, NC

South Carolina

Junior 1st Place: “The H.L. Hunley: A Blast Through A Barrier in Naval Warfare”
Students: Amanda Caroline Hann, Oliver Hilton Carter and Zane Lawerence Harper
Teacher: Waylon Ross, St. James Middle School, Myrtle Beach, SC

Junior 2nd Place: “Breaking the Circumnavigation Barrier”
Students: Oliver Goldstein, Ross Crowe and Tanner Blaylock
Teacher: Richard Gehrman, Waccamaw Middle School, Pawleys Island, SC


“Breaking Barriers in the Pacific with the Marines!”

Senior 1st Place: “Breaking Cryptologic Barriers at Bletchley Park: How Bletchley Park’s Code-Breaking Efforts Aided the Allied War Effort”
Student: Wesley Tillman
Teacher: Wendy Scott, Tidewater Collegiate Academy, Virginia Beach, VA

Senior 2nd Place: “The LVT, Breaking Barriers in the Pacific with the Marines!”
Student: Emma L. Young
Teacher: Julie Elston, Charles J. Colgan High School, Manassas, VA

Junior 1st Place: “How the Titanic Broke Barriers”
Students: Kathryn Thomas and Annika Ryerson
Teacher: Nicholas Gardocki, Haycock Elementary School, Falls Church, VA


Kathryn Thomas and Annika Ryerson

Junior 2nd Place: “Foundations of Modern Technology: Grace Hopper’s Computer Compiler”
Students: Thomas Traber, Amy Genz and Rayanna Yowell
Teacher: Stephanie Hammer, William Monroe Middle School, Stanardsville, VA


Senior 1st Place: “Breaking Barriers, Constructing Commerce – Breaking Japan’s Barrier of Isolation”
Students: Alexander Dimov and Samarth Venkatesh
Teacher: Dori Wuepper, Bothell High School, Bothell, WA

Junior 1st Place: “Flat-Earth Fear”
Students: Brielynn McLean, Cody Tew, Lana Roy and Celeste Packard
Teacher: April Thome, HomeLink Yakima, Yakima, WA

Junior 2nd Place: “The Fight To Serve”
Student: Emily Ryder
Teacher: Susi Gestalter, Morgan Middle School, Ellensburg, WA