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Winners from Across Rhode Island in State History Contest

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (May 5, 2021) – Students throughout the state participated in the Rhode Island History Day contest in mid-April with winners from schools small and large announced on April 13. The local contest is coordinated and sponsored by the Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS).  

The 2021 contest theme was Communication in History: the Key to Understanding. Despite the difficult year, over eighty middle and high school students competed by completing projects in one of five categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Their projects were reviewed by committees made up from over thirty volunteer judges from the community. Due to COVID-19, this year’s contest was held virtually.

“I was impressed by the perseverance of the students in their work this year. Competing virtually has a different feel than being in-person, yet they submitted strong, well-researched projects,” says Geralyn Ducady, Director of Education of the Newell D. Goff Center of Education and Public Programs at the Rhode Island Historical Society and State Coordinator for Rhode Island History Day. “Participating in the National History Day program is the epitome of project-based learning. Students hone in on a topic, research and critically analyze primary and secondary sources, and synthesize what they learn in creative ways whether through an exhibit, performance, or one of the other competitive categories.”

Thanks to sponsors, students were able to earn special monetary award prizes as well.

First and second place winners are eligible to compete in the National Contest hosted by National History Day (NHD) which will be held virtually this year the week of June 13. Rhode Island winners will compete against top students from all 50 states, D.C., U.S. territories, and international schools.  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. 

Teachers and homeschool families who want to learn more about participating in Rhode Island History Day next school year can contact Ms. Ducady at 401-331-8575 x345 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The 2021 Rhode Island History Day winners are:

Junior Group Documentary

●        First place - Ginger Dow and Lila Wesner of Providence from De La Salle Middle School for their project The Harlem Writers Guild: The Communication of Equality Through Powerful Words

●        Second place – Sidney Alboum of Portsmouth and Avary Serpa of Newport from St. Philomena School for their project The Pony Express-Communication on the Western Frontier

●        Third place – Andrew Gudz of Portsmouth and his classmate from St. Philomena School for their project Breaking the Japanese Code at Midway: Communication Key to Victory

Senior Group Documentary

●        First place – Alexa Pelicano and Sidonie Todisco of Chapachet from Ponaganset High School for their project Claudette Colvin: Rewriting History Through Communication

●        Second place – Ricky Meyer of Wrentham and Natalie Williams of Cranston from La Salle Academy for their project Is the News Telling the Whole Truth?

Junior Group Exhibit

●        First place – Anaya De La Rosa, Clare Carroll, Mackenzie McCarthy, and Trinity Monteiro of Jamestown from Lawn School for their project Ms.

●        Second place – Jillian Devanney of Warwick and Zoe Gauthier of Pawtucket from De La Salle Middle School for their project Communication with the Civil War Telegraph

●        Third place – Nathan Olson of Riverside and Logan Peterson of Bristol from St. Luke’s School for their project The Ramming and Sinking of the MY Ady Gil

Senior Group Exhibit

●        First place – John Pesce of Barrington, Anthony SanMartino of Lincoln, James Sanzi of Cumberland, and Daniel White of Harrisville from La Salle Academy for their project 30 Speeches That Saved Millions From Suffering

Junior Group Performance

●        First place – Ella Donovan of Tiverton, Madelyn Krzych of Tiverton, Emily Pianka of Portsmouth, and Tessa Reid of Tiverton from St. Philomena School for their project The Seneca Falls Convention: Communicating for Women's Rights

Junior Group Website

●        First place – Logan Matthews of Warwick and Seamus O’Brien of North Dighton from De La Salle Middle School for their project Enigma Machine

●        Second place – Arielle Bey and Alexis Vieira of North Providence from Birchwood Middle School for their project Seneca Falls Convention: The Passage to Women's Suffrage

Senior Group Website

●        First place – Madison Bowman of Johnston and Emily Dubord of North Attleboro from La Salle Academy for their project "Mokusatsu": A Deadly Miscommunication

●        Second place – John Bond of North Scituate and Ian Bricker of Coventry from Ponaganset High School for their project The Cuban Missile Crisis Letters

Junior Individual Documentary

●        First place – Zachary Quintal of Portsmouth from St. Philomena School for his project Deciphering a Secret: Codebreaking and the U.S. Victory at the Battle of Midway

●        Second place – Haven Hoenick of Providence of De La Salle Middle School for her project Silent communication: The creation of American Sign Language and its impact on the deaf community

●        Third place – Madison Lawton of Foster from De La Salle Middle School for her project Delivering the Dream: The Power of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" Speech

Senior Individual Documentary

●        First place – Riley McCormick of Glocester from Ponaganset High School for her project SOS: How Radio Technology Impacted the Titanic

●        Second place – Luke Meisel of Providence from La Salle Academy for his project Bullseye: The Archers, The MOI, Propaganda and Democracy

●        Third place – Brayden Ogden of Warwick from Toll Gate High School for his project Code breaking In World War II: The Deciding Factor

Junior Individual Exhibit

●        First place – Kamea Escher of Jamestown from Lawn School for her project The Pony Express

●        Second place – Kelsey Blecker of Providence from De La Salle Middle School for her project Loud and Proud: The Stonewall Riots of 1969

●        Third place – Caroline Hopkins of Fall River from St. Philomena School for her project Women's Journal: Conservative Communication for Radical Result

Senior Individual Exhibit

●        First place – Mya Reynolds of Warwick from Toll Gate High School for her project The Constitutional Convention

●        Second place – Emma Dandeneau of Foster from Ponaganset High School for her project Debating the Legacy of Alexander Hamilton - The Reynolds Pamphlet

●        Third place – Lauren St. Onge of Attleboro from De La Salle Middle School for her project Communication: The Foundation Of Victory

Junior Individual Performance

●        First place – Lee Lamont of Portsmouth from St. Philomena School for his project Battle of the Somme. Communication through Propaganda

●        Second place – Kristen Gudz of Portsmouth from St. Philomena School for her project Library of Congress:Beacon of Communication

Junior Individual Website

●        First place – Avery Holland of Little Compton from St. Philomena School for her project Images of Injustice: Alice Seeley Harris Communicating Atrocities in the Congo Free State

Senior Individual Website

●        First place – Angeline Quattrucci of Johnston from Ponaganset High School for her project Taking Over Communication: The Nazi Ministry of Propaganda

●        Second place – Cade Brunette of Warwick from Toll Gate High School for his project Franklin Roosevelt´s Fireside Chats

●        Third place – Rhontahn Vega of Warwick from Toll Gate High School for his project The Role of Television in the 1960 Presidential Elections: The Nixon-Kennedy Debates

Junior Paper

●        First place – Dominic Keller of Jamestown from Lawn School for his project The Unbreakable Combo: Navajo Code Talkers and Their Code

●        Second place – Mia Biagetti of Barrington who is homeschooled for her project An Unbreakable Code: The Navajo Code Talkers of World War II

●        Third place – Matilda Holling of Portsmouth from St. Philomena School for her project The Seneca Falls Convention: Communicating for Women’s Rights

Senior Paper

●        First place – Kaden Rosa of Chepachet from Ponaganset High School for his project Voltaire and the Struggle with Censorship

●        Second place – Scarlett Jedele of Coventry from La Salle Academy for her project Always One Step Ahead: The Limping Lady

●        Third place – Faith Daggett of Warwick from Toll Gate High School for her project The Pilgrims and the Wampanoags

Rhode Island Historical Society Award

●        Madelyn Couto of Tiverton from Tiverton Middle School for her exhibit project Communication with Lighthouse: using Lights and Sound to Notify Sailors

Tomaquag Museum Award

●        Dominic Keller of Jamestown from Lawn School for his paper The Unbreakable Combo: Navajo Code Talkers and Their Code

The Naval Order of the United States Award

●        Zachary Quintal of Portsmouth from St. Philomena School for his documentary Deciphering a Secret: Codebreaking and the U.S. Victory at the Battle of Midway

●        John Bond of North Scituate and Ian Bricker of Coventry from Ponaganset High School for their website The Cuban Missile Crisis Letters

National Maritime History Award

●        First place Junior – Mia Biagetti of Barrington who is homeschooled for her paper An Unbreakable Code: The Navajo Code Talkers of World War II

●        Second place Junior - Andrew Gudz of Portsmouth and his classmate from St. Philomena School for their documentary Breaking the Japanese Code at Midway: Communication Key to Victory

●        First place Senior – Riley McCormick of Glocester from Ponaganset High School for her documentary SOS: How Radio Technology Impacted the Titanic

●        Second place Senior – Madison Bowman of Johnston and Emily Dubord of North Attleboro from La Salle Academy for their website "Mokusatsu": A Deadly Miscommunication

Fees and travel for in-person contests can be cost prohibitive for some students. The RIHS is committed to helping winners of the state contest be able to compete nationally. Those wishing to help sponsor student participation in the 2022 National Contest can contact Ms. Ducady at 401-331-8575 x345 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Rhode Island History Day

Rhode Island has been a state affiliate of National History Day for over 30 years and the Rhode Island History Day (RIHD) program is proudly managed by the Rhode Island Historical Society. Rhode Island History Day allows students in grades 6-12 to deeply explore an aspect of history, gain research and critical-thinking skills, and creatively deliver their research findings. Annually, the RIHD program engages 1,000 students across the state.

About the Rhode Island Historical Society

Founded in 1822, the RIHS, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is the fourth-oldest historical society in the United

States and is Rhode Island’s largest and oldest historical organization. In Providence, the RIHS owns and operates the John Brown House Museum, a designated National Historic Landmark, built in 1788; the Aldrich House, built in 1822 and used for administration and public programs; and the Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center, where archival, book and image collections are housed. In Woonsocket, the RIHS manages the Museum of Work and Culture, a community museum examining the industrial history of northern Rhode Island and of the workers and settlers, especially French-Canadians, who made it one of the state’s most distinctive areas.

 

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