Program encourages students to dig into the past while developing essential critical thinking skills.

Denisse Córdova shows off her medal at Texas State History Day.

[dropcap color=”#888″ type=”square”]H[/dropcap]ouston is going to be well represented at [icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]National History Day this summer. Of the 15 Houston area students advancing, eight are Aldine ISD students.

The students placed in the top two placements in their events in the [icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]Texas State Historical Association’s (TSHA) 36th Annual Texas History Day competition co-hosted by the Bullock Texas State History Museum and The University of Texas at Austin on April 30.

A total of 70 students from Texas will compete at the National History Day (NHD) Competition. The contest is set for June 12-16 in College Park, Maryland.


Huda Badat

AISD Projects Advancing to NHD

1st Place — Denisse Cordova
Category: Senior Individual Website
Project — Ada Lovelace:The Enchantress of Computing
Campus: MacArthur High School
Sponsor: Julie Thoma

1st Place — Jon Castaneda, Nicolas Gonzales, Elizabeth Manriquez, Jillian Nguyen & Samantha Salazar
Category: Junior Group Website
Project — Robert Ballard: Exploring, Encountering and Exchanging Underwater Mysteries
Campus: Lewis Middle School
Sponsor: LaShel Jackson


Laila Chinn

1st Place — Huda Badat
Category: Junior Individual Exhibit
Project — The Challenger Disaster: Exchanging Differences of Opinions, Encountering Disaster and Exploring Safety Procedures
Campus: Wilson Intermediate School
Sponsor: Matt Strommer

2nd Place — Laila Chinn
Special Award: Outstanding Junior Division Entry From the Aldine Region
Category: Junior Individual Performance
Project: Deadly Deception
Campus: Grantham Academy
Sponsors: Dylan Kane & Ann Ceaser

History is more than mere facts and dates. Students learn to dig deeper into historical content to develop perspective and understanding.

Each year more than 60,000 Texas students join more than 500,000 students across the country to actively engage in year-long research, interpretation, and creative expression through the National History Day program.


Jon Castaneda, Nicolas Gonzales, Elizabeth Manriquez, Jillian Nguyen and Samantha Salazar.

Texas students impressed Stephen Cure. He is chief operating officer and director of education at the [icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]TSHA.

Texas History Day was remarkable,” said Cure. “We had more than 1,100 enthusiastic student participants showcasing outstanding project entries. It is rewarding to see the student and teacher passion for history come alive throughout the entirety of the Texas History Day program. We look forward to cheering on our Texas students at National History Day.”


Todd Gonion

Aldine students weren’t the only ones to earn recognition. Also headed to the national competition is Todd Gonion. The TSHA honored the history teacher at Carver High School. Gonion placed second in the David C. DeBoe Texas History Day Teacher Award. This honor goes to faculty sponsors of a student history association. They have supported significant student scholarship and participation in Texas history.

Gonion has also been named a Texas Educator of the Year Finalist for the Patricia Behring Award at NHD. The award recognizes outstanding NHD teachers. Two winners, one at both the junior level and senior level, will be selected from each affiliate.

It is not the first time an AISD received the educator awards. In [icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]2013, history teacher Richard Cheplick received the DeBoe Award. He was also named a state finalist for the Behring Award. Cheplick teaches at Nimitz Ninth Grade School.

Aldine ISD students shined at [icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]National History Day last year. Students won first and second place in their respective events.

Study shows National History Day program boosts school performance and job skills.

Aldine ISD students brought home several more awards. Students won three third place finishes. Four earned distinguished achievement awards. And four received special awards at the state history day event.

Every year, National History Day (NHD) frames students’ research within a historical theme. The 2016 theme is “Exploration, Encounter & Exchange in History.”

Their research of the past helps them gain a better understanding of our world today. The goal is that students develop an understanding of people and societies.

National-History-Day-2016-LogoOther State History Day Highlights

3rd Place — Tatyana McClain & Han Van
Category: Junior Group Exhibit
Special Honor: Junior Student Choice Award
Project: Percy Julian
Campus: Shotwell Middle School
Sponsor: Monica Blackshire

3rd Place — Brent Vela
Special Honor: Outstanding Senior Division Entry from the Aldine Region
Category: Senior Individual Documentary
Project: The Fever of War
Campus: Nimitz High School
Sponsor: Barbi Binnig

3rd Place — Elvis Lainez, Vyanca Carlos, Dawayne Thomas, Gladys Gonzalez & Isaac Veloz
Category: Senior Group Website
Project: In the Shadow of Mount Everest
Campus: Nimitz High School
Sponsor: Barbi Binnig

Special Award — Jasmine Vital
Category: Junior Individual Documentary
Special Honor: 2nd Place in the Oral History Award
Project — Exploration in Medicine: The Salk Polio Vaccine
Campus: Teague Middle School
Sponsor: Brandy Medus

Distinguished Achievement — Jordy Ceballos, Darnell Celestin, Oscar Chagolla, Daniel Martinez & Ja’Quadry Limbrick
Category: Junior Group Documentary
Project: Martyr’s of Science
Campus: Parker Intermediate
Sponsor: Molly Albers

Distinguished Achievement — Ana Cahuantzi Juarez, Aracely Lara, Alma Pena & Ingris Pereira
Category: Senior Group Exhibit
Project: None But the Brave
Campus: MacArthur High School
Sponsor: Julie Thoma

Distinguished Achievement — Eric Pena
Category: Senior Individual Exhibit
Project: NASA’s Manned Space Flight Programs
Campus: MacArthur High School
Sponsor: Julie Thoma

Distinguished Achievement — Daisy Aguilar, Khairah Ali, Kaylah Anderson, Siboney Flores & Miquel Price
Category: Senior Group Website
Project: Charles Darwin and Evolution
Campus: Carver High School
Sponsors: Todd Gonion & Jessica Gray

Congratulations to All the Students & Good Luck @ Nationals!

How Does Taking Part in History Fair Benefit Students?

The history fair program prepares students for college by developing research and communication skills. Students also increase their understanding of history while honing decision-making skills.

There is research to back the value of taking part in history fair programs. A nationwide study in 2011 concluded that students who participate in the program do well in school. The study included Aldine ISD.

National-History-Day-LogoThe study shows that NHD students perform better on high-stakes tests. The students develop into better writers as well as more confident and capable researchers. Student also develop a more mature perspective on current events. They are also have higher civic engagement than their peers. Other skills gained include collaboration, time management and perseverance. These are all skills employers say are lacking in today’s workforce.

NHD Works: A Few Findings From the Study

[ul class=”list list-search”] [li]NHD students outperform their non-NHD peers on state standardized tests. Not only do they do better in social studies, but in reading, science and math as well.[/li] [li]NHD students are better writers, who write with a purpose and real voice. They collect solid evidence to support their point of view. [/li][/ul][ul class=”list list-search”] [li]NHD students are critical thinkers who can digest, analyze and synthesize information.[/li][/ul]

History not only teaches students about the stories of our past, but is vital to creating a generation of young people who can apply these lessons to the future.

— Cokie Roberts, Author & Journalist