Winning Projects 2021


NATIONAL HISTORY DAY 2021: Communication 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!



Junior 1st Place: Titanic‘s Communication Catastrophe
Student: Lance Nolen
Teacher: Lindsey Baker, Pulaski Academy, Little Rock, AR


Xuan-Anh Ly Biggs

Jack Brown

Davenee McFadden


Senior 1st Place: Communicating with the Aliens in Our Seas: Understanding Dolphins
Student: Xuan-Anh Ly Biggs
Teacher: Leticia Hilton, Riverside Polytechnic High, Riverside, CA

Senior 2nd Place: Operation Ivy Bells
Student: Jack Brown
Teacher: Laura Fanelli, Crossroads Christian High School, Corona, CA


Junior 1st Place: “No Security Through Obscurity: Withheld Communication Caused the Loss of the Indianapolis
Student: Davenee McFadden
Teacher: Jeremy Schichtle, Vista Verde Middle School, Moreno Valley, CA


Jane Carty


Junior 1st Place: The Hedy Behind Hollywood: How a Silver Screen Starlet Revolutionized Communications Forever
Student: Jane Carty
Teacher: John Smith-Horn, Timothy Edwards Middle School, South Windsor, CT

Junior 2nd Place: “The Amistad: How Creative Communication Led to Freedom”
Student: Siddharth Rajagopal
Teacher: Jean Molloy, Irving A Robbins Middle School, Farmington, CT


District of Columbia

Senior 1st Place: “Navajo Code Talkers”
Student: Genesis Orellana-Castillo
Teacher: Jessica Tyson, Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, Washington, DC

Junior 1st Place: “Navajo Code Talkers in World War II”
Student: Rachel Brandon
Teacher: Brian McShane, Alice Deal Middle School, Washington, DC


Catherine Clark

Reece Dempster


Senior 1st Place: “Commodore Matthew Perry: Opening Channels of Communication between Japan and the United States”
Student: Catherine Clark
Teacher: Kelley Theodocion, Impact Academy, McDonough, GA

Senior 2nd Place: “Midway: One Outcome, Two Victories”
Students: Catherine Farr, Kenley Hanna
Teacher: David McElhannon, Westminster Schools of Augusta, Augusta, GA


Junior 2nd Place: “The Titanic’s Morse Code Tragedy”
Student: Reece Dempster
Teacher: Heather Schmanski, Mossy Creek Middle School, Kathleen, GA


Anika Noack and Genevieve Sychterz


Senior 1st Place:One Woman, One Fight: Rachel Carson’s Quest to Communicate an Environmental Emergency
Students: Anika Noack, Genevieve Sychterz
Teacher: Geoffery Wingard, Bangor High School, Bangor, ME

Junior 1st Place: “How The Sinking Of The Lusitania Changed World War I”
Student: Cassidy Russell
Teacher: Erica Swenson, Bruce M. Whittier Middle School, Poland, ME

Junior 2nd Place: Grace O’Malley the Pirate Queen
Student: Madelyn Gurschick
Teacher: Logan Landry, Bruce M Whittier Middle School, Poland, ME



Senior 1st Place:Multicultural Communication through Cuisine: Curry’s Journey from India to Britain and Japan
Student: Se-Aun Park
Teacher: Katharine Millet, Milton Academy, Boston, MA

Senior 2nd Place: “Understanding the Battle of Bismarck Sea: Zero Sum Game and Communication”
Student: Evan Khym
Teacher: Celene Ibrahim, Groton School, Groton, MA

Junior 1st Place: “Sinking of the Titanic – Communication Failure”
Student: Grace Molinsky
Teacher: Emily Spence, St. Joseph School, Needham, MA

Junior 2nd Place:Wireless Telegraphy and the Titanic Disaster of 1912
Students: John Teeven, Joseph Teeven
Teacher: Jacob Devereaux, Our Lady’s Academy, Waltham, MA


Richard Miller, Tyler Huang, Anne Xu, Ryan Xu, Lawrence Chen, and Eric Zhu

New Jersey

Senior 1st Place: “One Map’s Role in Identifying America: The Mitchell Map”
 Jason Cordero
Teacher: Kory Loyola, High Point Regional High School, Sussex, NJ

Senior 2nd Place: “The Battle of Midway: Where Codebreaking Turned the Tide of the War”
Students: Tyler Huang, Anne Xu, Ryan Xu, Hao Lawrence Chen, Eric Zhu
Teacher: Richard Miller, Princeton High School, Princeton, NJ




Param Bhatt, Naman Khandelwal, Aarav Mago, Yash Varama and Rohan Devineni

Junior 1st Place: The First Transatlantic Telegraph Cable
Student: Scarlette Liftin
Teacher: Alex Soudah, The Peck School, Morristown, NJ

Junior 2nd Place: “Turning the Tides Through Communication: The Battle of Midway”
Students: Param Bhatt, Naman Khandelwal, Aarav Mago, Yasa Verma, Rohan Devineni
Teacher: Wendy Hurwitz-Kushner, Woodrow Wilson Middle School, Edison, NJ




New York

Senior 1st Place: “The Amistad Rebels: A Struggle to Communicate Their Story of Brutality to Reclaim Their Freedom”
Student: Isabela Fenner
Teacher: Dana Landesman, Bronxville High School, Bronxville, NY

Senior 2nd Place: The Port Chicago Disaster: Communicating the Racial Injustice in the Armed Forces
Student: Maahir Kasliwal
Teacher: Jo Beth Roberts, The Wheatley School, Old Westbury, NY

Junior 1st Place: Understanding Japanese Naval Communications Was the Key to the U.S. Winning World War II
Students: Jake Bodkin, Thomas Camerlingo, Toby Shi
Teacher: David Hoefer, Felix Festa Determination Middle School, West Nyack, NY

Junior 2nd Place: “R.M.S Titanic Sinks: 1,517 Lives Lost to Miscommunication”
Students: Pavithra Jayakumar, Gopika Sarvepalli
Teacher: Andrew Krakat, Shaker Middle School, Latham, NY


Anika Suman

North Carolina

Senior 1st Place: “Elizebeth Friedman: Deciphering Communication with Cryptanalysis – Key to Defeating America’s Enemies”
Student: Trisha Raj
Teacher: Shailaja Raj, STEM Early College @ NC A&T, Greensboro, NC

Senior 2nd Place: Morse Code & The Telegraph: A Revolution in Communication
Student: Anika Suman
Teacher: Morris Johnson, The Early College at Guilford, Greensboro, NC


Junior 1st Place: “How Communications Won the Battle of Midway”
Students: Parker Stokes, Jake van Reede, Clayton Vinson, Davis Walsh, Sunook Yoon
Teacher: Joe Hughes, St. Peter Catholic School, Greenville, NC

Junior 2nd Place: Titanic “Come at Once” “Struck An Iceberg”
Student: Lorelei Weaver
Teacher: Erica Imbimbo, The Oakwood School, Greenville, NC



Senior 1st Place: Communications in History: The Cuban Missile Crisis
Adrik Dutta, Ezaiyah Jolly
Teachers: Sarah Davis and Joseph Konopinski, Shaker Heights High School, Shaker Heights, OH

Junior 1st Place: Titanic: The Miscommunication That Sunk the “Unsinkable” Ship and Launched Key Safety Reforms
Students: Chloe Leng, Nadine Nouraldin, Reyna Uechi
Joe Parrino, Birchwood School of Hawken, Cleveland, OH

Junior 2nd Place: “Morse Code”
Student: Daniel Winhusen
Teacher: Elizabeth Pille, Mercy Montessori, Cincinnati, OH


Mia Biagetti

Rhode Island

Senior 1st Place: SOS: How Radio Technology Impacted the Titanic
Student: Riley McCormick
Teacher: Michael McNamara, Ponaganset High School, North Scituate, RI

Senior 2nd Place: Mokusatsu: A Deadly Miscommunication
Students: Madison Bowman, Emily Dubord
Teacher: David Ricci, La Salle Academy, Providence, RI



Junior 1st Place: “An Unbreakable Code: The Navajo Code Talkers of World War II”
Student: Mia Biagetti
Teacher: Lisa Biagetti, Homeschool, Barrington, RI


South Carolina

Senior 1st Place: Titanic: The World’s Greatest Marine Disaster”
Student: Emma Carr
Teacher: Adam Powley, HCS Early College High School, Conway, SC

Senior 2nd Place: “Battle of Midway”
Students: Catherine Farr, Kenley Hanna
Teacher: David McElhannon, Westminster Schools of Augusta, Augusta, GA

Junior 1st Place: “US Naval Communication: Success or Disaster on the High Seas”
Student: Stevie Paris
Teacher: Richard Gehrman, Waccamaw Middle School, Pawleys Island, SC

Junior 2nd Place: A Race Against Fate: Did Communication Failures Sink the Titanic?
Student: Eden Murdock
Teacher: Susan Hopper, Dutchman Creek Middle School, Rock Hill, SC



Junior 1st Place: “War of 1812: The War of Missed Communication”
Students: Brannan Echols, Rowan Haney, Tyler Lowe
Teacher: Sarah Coffee, Canyon Ridge Middle School, Austin, TX



Senior 1st Place: “How Communication between Sailors and Their Families Has Changed Since WWII”
Student: Carolyn Heyel
Teacher: Katherine Snow, John Randolph Tucker, Henrico, VA

Senior 2nd Place: “Navajo Code Talkers”
Student: Evan Jennings
Teacher: Laila Jennings, Midlothian History Day Club, Midlothian, VA

Junior 1st Place: “The Lusitania Disaster: From Public Outcry to Declaration of War”
Student: Audrey Li
Teacher: Jill Shull, Haycock Elementary School, Falls Church, VA

Junior 2nd Place: “Submarine Communications: War Under the Waves”
Students: Samantha Braden, William Roach
Teacher: Stephanie Hammer, William Monroe Middle School, Stanardsville, VA


Vibhaakshayaa Sathish Kumar

Ryleigh Thornock

Avery Tait


Senior 1st Place:Miscommunication in the Cuban Missile Crisis
Students: Marissa Gantar, Dominic Newman
Teacher: Maik Hollinger, Lake Washington High School, Kirkland, WA

Senior 2nd Place: The Stained Paintbrush
Student: Vibhaakshayaa Sathish Kumar
Teacher: Rhonda McGee, North Creek High School, Bothell, WA


Junior 1st Place: “Sink, Sank, Sunk: How Miscommunication Led to Disaster”
Student: Ryleigh Thornock
Teacher: Dean Smith, Housel Middle School, Prosser, Washington

Junior 2nd Place: “The Attack on Pearl Harbor and its Miscommunications”
Student: Avery Tait
Teacher: Karen Price, Centennial Middle School, Snohomish, WA


Madison Dickhausen


Senior 1st Place:Communication Error Costs Many Lives on the Titanic
Student: Scarlett Torres
Teacher: Scott Dyar, Eleva Strum Central High, Strum, WI

Junior 1st Place: “The Titanic
Student: Madison Dickhausen
Teacher: Jacob Cimino, Viking Middle School, Woodville, WI