Five local projects have been named winners at the 2019 National History Day contest, which was held earlier this month at the University of Maryland in College Park.

The theme for this year's contest was "Triumph and Tragedy in History." Each theme is chosen for its application to world, national or state history and its relevance to ancient history or to the more recent past, organizers say.

Entries for students in the sixth through 12th grades took the form of a research paper, exhibit, performance, documentary or website, and all students at the national level advanced through their regional and state contests.

Projects that placed at the national level were:

• Third place, group documentary: Alizeh Hammad and Sania Hammad, Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School in Joplin, "Deeds, not Words: Tragedies Suffered and Triumphs Secured by the British Suffragettes."

• Third place, individual documentary: Josef Schuller, Joplin South Middle School, "The Bridge Over Funchilin Pass: The Only Option for Retreat." According to the Joplin School District, Schuller also received an invitation to attend an awards ceremony with filmmaker Ken Burns in Washington, D.C., in October with a special screening of his documentary.

• Third place, individual performance: Aubrey Chrisenbery, Joplin High School, "A Blessing or a Curse? The Triumph and Tragedy of Thalidomide."

Two local projects also received special citation as "outstanding" entries:

• Katelyn Dancer, Fort Scott (Kansas) Middle School, "The Radium Girls: Triumph Despite Tragedy."

• Kealan Hamilton-Youngbird, Grove (Oklahoma) Public Schools, "The Oklahoma Tax Commission vs. the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma: A Fight for Tribal Sovereignty and the Triumph of a Nation's Right to Self-Govern."

Many students this summer will begin thinking about next year's project. The theme for the 2019-20 contest has already been announced: "Breaking Barriers in History."

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