BOUSD Students Emerge Victorious at Orange County National History Day Competition

Thirty-four students from Brea Olinda Unified School District emerged victorious and earned top recognitions at the National History Day (NHD) Competition in Orange County last month, with 22 students from Olinda Elementary and two students from Brea Junior High taking home top awards.   

The NHD competition in Orange County brought together 327 students from across 29 school districts in the county to revisit the past with the theme “Turning Points in History,” to study events, ideas or actions that have significantly affected the course of history and present their findings in visual, written and audio formats.  

Brea Olinda students created a mix of posters, documentaries, podcasts, exhibits and group performances to showcase their research using the NHD theme. BOUSD students have been participating in National History Day since 2015. Since then, Brea has had more than 300 students participate in NHD with dozens recognized as county and state champions. 

National History Day is a year-long project-based learning opportunity for students in grades 4 - 12 with students using primary sources to engage in historical inquiry on a topic of their choice. 

Among the winners at this year’s county competition, the following students will advance to the state finals in Sacramento on April 19-21: 

Junior Group Documentary

Charlotte Nethers and Evelyn Nethers

Brea Junior High

“The Birth of the American Teenager: A 1950’s Turning Point of Boundary Crossers, Rebel Rousers, and Unlikely Heroes”

Junior Group Exhibit 

Sean Hisakado and Alythea Leung

Olinda Elementary School

“The Human Genome Project: Turning Points in the Human Blueprint”

Junior Group Performance

Milania Borgelt, Blake Vardiman and Dylan Vardiman

Olinda Elementary School

“The White Rose: The Turning Point in Nazi Resistance”

Junior Individual Podcast

Arjun Rajkumar

Olinda Elementary School

“Che Guevara: Turning Point of an Iconic Image”

Junior Group Podcast

Tyler Choi, Aaron Lee, Sofia Yun and Ted Yun

Olinda Elementary School

“V-2 Rocket: Turning Point in Space Technology”

Elementary Individual Poster   

All from Olinda Elementary School


Layla Shah

“Mahatma Gandhi’s Salt March: Turning Point in Civil Disobedience”

Elementary Group Poster

Daniel Torres, Angela Gayed, Lulu Giang, Vincy Yu, and Michael Suh

“The U.S Constitution: Turning Point in American Government”

Elementary Individual Podcast

Harrison Hyun

“Jane Goodall: Hope for Our Planet, Hope for Our Future”

Elementary Group Podcast

Julian Cheng, John Cherian, and Aaron Chung,

“Duct Tape: Nixon’s Sticky Situation”

Elementary Group Podcast

Elliott Lee, and Theodore Hong

“Winging It: Turning Point in Economic Relationships Between The United States and China”

Additionally, the Orange County Department of Education’s Educational Services Division recognized top projects from each category. The 2024 medalists are available here.

"I felt so proud when I finished my podcast (about Jane Goodall), said Olinda Elementary fifth grader Harrison Hyun. “I learned so much, and I just feel so much smarter and successful. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life!”

Learn more about National History Day Orange County