Los Cerritos Elementary School students

National History Day 2024 Gets Underway at South City High

Group Exhibit: "How the Parker Brothers Rolled the Dice with Monopoly: A Turning Point in the Board Game Industry" by Josephine Harsana, Angeline Gloria and Sabrina Aquino
The National History Day competition is underway at South San Francisco High School.

The academic contest is a mainstay at South City High, which tends to do very well annually. 
For National History Day, students conduct research on a historical topic and decide how to present their project in one of several formats:
  • Research paper (individual)
  • Exhibit (individual or group)
  • Website (individual or group)
  • Performance (individual or group)
  • Documentary (individual or group)
Group Exhibit: "Barbie the Feminist" by Juliana Zoe May and Erica Songco
Afterwards, students present their projects at school, and judges determine which ones will move on to the county level by using a rubric that assesses research, historical accuracy, argument, and project execution. 

Winners at the county level advance to the state level in Sacramento.

The top two entries in each category in Sacramento advance to nationals, which typically take place in the Washington, DC area.

According to South City High history teacher Rhonda Clements, it is extremely difficult to win at the state level in California, because there is so much competition.

“Students have participated [in NHD] off and on for more than 20 years in our district,” said Clements. “SSFHS offers NHD program to more students than other schools in our county.”

Last year, South City High then-sophomores Alyssa Batang, Audrina Lopez, and Kylie Situ ('25)  advanced to the final round of competition in the annual National History Day (NHD) contest by placing first in the group documentary category during the state level round of competition that took place in Sacramento from April 14-16, 2023.
In 2022, then-juniors Charity Fan and Zoe Kwong ('23) also placed first at the state level in the group documentary category of California’s National History Day contest on May 7, 2022, for their project on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
Title IX exhibit
This year, the students in the following categories advanced to the county level:
Research Paper
  • Francesca Banzon: "The Death of Vincent Chin" (finalist) 
  • Jonathan Flores: "Reality’s True Horrors" (finalist) 
Individual Exhibit
  • Tessa McMahon: "The Cat-Killing Pope: The Papal of Witches & Cats a Turning Point to the Black Death" (finalist)
  • Jaidhen Amber Baladjay: "The Eccentric Mind: Albert Einstein" (honorable mention)
  • Xochil GonzalezFrancesca Banzon: "Summer of Love San Francisco 1967" (honorable mention) 
Group Exhibit
  • Josephine Harsana, Angeline Gloria, and Sabrina Aquino: "How the Parker Brothers Rolled the Dice with Monopoly: A Turning Point in the Board Game Industry" (finalist)
  • Juliana Zoe May and Erica Songco: Barbie the Feminist" (finalist) 
Individual Website 
  • Jarel Cristobal: "Indian Independence Act 1947: Partitioning India Forever" (finalist)
  • Isabella Chuong: "Transforming Diabetes Care: Eli Lilly´s Partnership with University of Toronto in Insulin Development" (finalist)
  • Gabriela Jimenez: "Instilling Equality in Confined Grounds: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990" (finalist)
  • Annalisa Borja: "The Invention of: the Chromoscopic TV Adapter in Mexico" (honorable mention)
  • Erika Anicete: "The Invention and Popularization of the Lobotomy" (honorable mention) 
Group Website
  • Adrian Arnaud, Jonathan Kam, Wesley Tan, and Edward Tian: "William B. Coley, the Father of Immunotherapy: A Crucial Victory in the Fight Against Cancer" (finalist)
  • Renee Chu and Charleen Ho: "The Endangered Species Act: Wildlife's Last Hope for Survival" (finalist)
  • Alessandra Campos and Tyler Llamas: "Las Carpetas: The American Spy Campaign Against Puerto Rican Nationalism" (finalist)
  • Jacob Stone, David Cisneros, Jonathan Flores, and Pete Rodriguez: "Reality's True Horrors: How Psycho Influenced the Filmmaking World" (honorable mention)
  • Nolen Lopez and Logan Reyes: "Toy Story's Effect on the Future of Animation" (honorable mention)  
Group Podcast
  • Malia Choy and Izabella Hidalgo: "Who Let the Purebred Dogs Out? How The Royal Kennel Club Transformed Breeding" (finalist)
  • Lola Bourdon-Molina and Jaena Mia Manalo: "The Accidental Beginning of Radiology" (finalist)
  • Madeline Popielak, Nicholas Zadorin, Natalie Forteza, and Hailey Fontela: "Every Drop Counts" (honorable mention)  
Individual Documentary
  • Jollyn Gunardi: "From Caricature to Character: A Turning Point in Asian Portrayals" (finalist)
  • Christine Chen: Penicillin: A Turning Point in Healthcare" (finalist)
  • Sofia Godines: "The Nuclear Arms Race: The Redemption" (finalist)
  • Noah Lee: "The Tulsa Race Massacre: Hidden in History" (honorable mention)
Group Documentary
  • Alyssa Batang, Audrina Lopez, and Kylie Situ: "The Kennedy v. Nixon Presidential Debate: Transforming Political Landscapes and Objectives" (finalist)
  • Mahaly Vasquez, Annalyn Huerta, Vanessa Clarisse Josue, and Elizabeth Unger: "The Delano Grape Strikes and the Future of Activism" (finalist)
  • Abby Yau and Benicio Chavez Cordell: "Aryanization: A Turning Point in Jewish Society" (finalist)
  • Revee Reboredo and Kaitlyn Le: "The Tower of Jewels Emerging Over the Smoke And Dust: How
    San Francisco Rebuilt Their Legacy" (honorable mention)
Individual Performance
  • Perry Gu: "Life and Death: Fritz Haber's Opposite Contributions in History" (finalist)
A complete list of awardees including special award recipients is available here:
Meanwhile, the following students reached the earlier county level in the following categories:

Individual Exhibit
Mariano Gonzalez: "The Trinity Test: Crossing Frontiers Into the Nuclear Age" (finalist)
Cassy Orobio: "NASA: Breaking the Frontier of Space Exploration" (finalist)
Julius Tumaliuan: "Quantum Physics" (finalist)
Group Exhibit
Sabrina Aquino, Angeline Gloria, and Josephine Harsana: "Brothers Grimm" (finalist)
Samantha Pinto and Jernee Evangelista: “Turn Your kid-neys into adult-neys: The first organ transplantation” (finalist)
Abril Martinez, Esmeralda Solano, Stephanie Navarrete, and Giana Barbosa: "Hydraulics Unfolded" (honorable mention)
Individual Website 

Sophia Buban: "Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine" (finalist)
James Quingua: "Triphibian Wars" (finalist)
Izabella Hidalgo: "Anesthesia" (finalist)
Joseph Castro: "Marshall Plan" (honorable mention)
Group Website

Lauren Fong, Alyssa Jose, Akansha Kumar, and Victor Lopez: "From Mines of Gold to State of Gold" (finalist)
Wesley Tan and Jonathan Kam: "Sun Tzu: The Art of War: Expanding Frontiers of Strategy and Success" (finalist)   
Ellaiza Bucago, Justin Gomez: "Coding the World: The Internet" (finalist)
Renee Chu, Jollyn Gunardi, and Charlene Ho: "Live Aid: Aid for the Hungry" (honorable mention)
Rachell Hernandez Cid, Karla Majano, and Carlo Diaz: "Che Guevara" (honorable mention)        
Group Podcast

Kieon Miller, Gabriel Espino, and Sanjeet Singh: "N.W.A.: Breaking the Limits of Rap" (finalist)
Adrianne Steven See, Shayla Lam, and Sophia Athanasiou: "Tamper Evident Packaging: A Frontier No One's Gonna Miss" (finalist)
Alex Christie and Jellian Lasmana: "Transvestia" (finalist)
Individual Documentary

Malia Choy: "Bruce Lee: Bridging Cultures Through a Life of Nonconformity" (finalist)
Enoch Fan: "The Invention of the MRI: A Frontier In Medicine" (finalist)        
Group Documentary
Austin Liu, Aden Sallaberry, Owen Kieth, and Joncarlo Estrada: The Firebombings of Japan: A Frontier in Civilian Targeted Warfare" (finalist)
Alyssa Batang, Audrina Lopez, and Kylie Situ: The Volksempfänger: Its Intrusion of German Minds" (finalist)
Zara Najmi, Indira Sergio, and Tiffany Tat: "Columbine: A Call to Action" (finalist)        
Group Performance
Erica Songco, Reuel Pallera, and Aleczia Trinidad: "The Protestant Reformation: A Musical Experience" (finalist)

More than half a million students take part in the NHD competition, which encourages participants to conduct historical research on a topic of their choice.