KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County students Jelena Armsworth, Timothy Cho and Matthew Wang earned recognition for their documentaries at the 2023 National History Day competition.

Armsworth from L&N STEM Academy earned third place in the Senior Individual Documentary category for her “Indian Magna Carta: The Proclamation of 1763 and the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Frontier” project. She was guided by educator Karen Stanish.

Wang and Cho from Farragut High School earned an honorable mention for their Senior Individual Documentary: “The Race to the South Pole: Earth’s Final Frontier.” They received guidance from educator Chris McNeer.

“Congratulations to these dedicated students for representing our state with such excellence,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I commend them on this well-deserved national recognition. The knowledge and skills gained through the National History Day competition will serve them well in the future.”

Armsworth, Cho and Wang were among 16 Tennessee students whose projects earned recognition during the competition. Overall, 54 students from Tennessee made it to the 2023 National History Day competition after competing in the statewide Tennessee History Day competition.

The goal of the competition is to allow students to showcase their creativity and research skills by developing documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances or websites with historical themes. This year’s theme was “Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.”

Students began working on their projects in the fall. The competition began in individual schools with the winners advancing to the district, state and national levels. At each level leading up to the national competition, they received feedback and had the chance to improve their project based on the judges’ feedback.

“The performance of our Tennessee students is a direct result of their tenacity and passion for their topics,” said Tennessee History Day coordinator Nikki Ward. “The History Day competition cycle allows the students to revise their projects based on feedback from the judges. Our students continued to work on their research even after school ended for the semester, and their efforts were certainly rewarded!”

At the national awards ceremony, more than 100 students took home cash prizes between $250 and $1,000 for their superior work. The program includes more than half a million students each year from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa and Department of Defense Schools. For this year, 7,500 students across Tennessee participated in the program.

Making it to National History Day

“It’s great to be back in person after three years of virtual contests,” said NHD Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Every year, NHD students surprise and inspire me with their enthusiasm, innovative thinking, and tireless research. The analytical skills they have cultivated will stand them in good stead for their future educational endeavors. Congratulations to the over half a million students globally who participated and to the thousands of teachers who guided them.”