National History Day Students Selected for National Women’s History Museum Performance Showcase

For Immediate Release
Media Contact

WASHINGTON, D.C.—National History Day® (NHD) and the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) are pleased to announce a new online showcase of 20 performances, researched, written, staged, and performed by middle and high school students competing in the 2021 NHD National Contest. This first-of-its-kind virtual performance showcase premiers today, Monday, June 14, via the National Women’s History Museum’s website.

NHD students, whose performances were selected for this showcase by NWHM staff, considered topics of local, national, or international women’s history from the fourteenth century to the present. These works also address the 2021 NHD theme, Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.

“Despite the ongoing pandemic that prevents us from enjoying a live theater-going experience, the virtual nature of this showcase allows us to leverage modern technology to share student work and creativity that addresses important movements and advancements in women’s history and the history of communications,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “These students have recognized, researched, and brought to life on stage powerful stories of communication breakthroughs and female pioneers of the past. We are so grateful to our partners at the National Women’s History Museum for making this virtual showcase and series of performances accessible to millions of people around the world.”

"We’re excited to continue our longstanding partnership with National History Day with the inclusion of the Women's History Performance Competition Virtual Showcase,” said Holly Hotchner, president and CEO of the National Women’s History Museum. "We're proud of the students and supporting educators who participate in National History Day and look forward to sharing their efforts with our Museum's audience.”

The 20 student performances will be available to watch online for two weeks via the National Women’s History Museum’s website at virtual-performance-showcase-2021 from today, Monday, June 14 through Monday, June 28.

The following performances and students have been selected for this showcase:

Performance Title



City, State

Operating on the Front Lines: The Hello Girls of World War I

Elsa Baumgartner, Adelyn Phillips

Francis Parker School

San Diego, California

Angela Davis Takes on Oppressive Criminal Justice Systems

Cierra James, Brie Johnson, Tori Tracey

Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter School / Real World History

Washington, D.C.

Hedy Lamarr-Mother of Wi-Fi

Arushi Srivastava

James Weldon Johnson College Preparatory Middle School

Jacksonville, Florida

A Broken Nation: The "Civil" Communication of Rose O'Neal Greenhow and Elizabeth Van Lew

Mirah Bennion

Madison Junior High School

Rexburg, Idaho

Mary Ann Bickerdyke: The Messenger on the Battlefield

Joan Huh

Carbondale Community High School

Carbondale, Illinois

Hedy Lamarr: More Than Just a Pretty Face

Emma Nord, Emily Payne, Miley Proplesch, Ella Shipley

Seaman Middle School

Topeka, Kansas

Kalpana Chawla: Communication in Space

Ishwari Bhatt

The Gagie School

Kalamazoo, Michigan

The Key to Understanding Coded Communications: Elizebeth Smith Friedman Unlocks Enemy Secrets, Paving the Way for a Secure Nation

Megan LeaTrea

Whitehall Middle School

Whitehall, Michigan

Wartime Communication in the Military: Mail = Morale

Aedea Winter

Winter Academy

Hermantown, Minnesota

The Broadcasting Betrayal

Hailey Hearting, Ella Heathman

Nevada Middle School

Nevada, Missouri

Nellie Bly's Untold Story

Taci Flinn, Celina Braithwaite, Kaitlyn Heyen, Justin Lueck

Arcadia Public School

Arcadia, Nebraska

Rapper's Delight: How Sylvia Robinson and the Sugarhill Gang Transcended Race with Just One Song

Willow Grosskopf

Willets Road School

Roslyn Heights, New York

"You Can Disagree Without Being Disagreeable": The Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Story

Madeline Heyman, Madison Honig, Sydney Honig, Michael Heyman

George W. Hewlett High School

Hewlett, New York

She Had a Disaster to Report : The Story of Genie Chance and the 1964 Alaska Earthquake

Ellery Cheek

Hendersonville Middle School

Hendersonville, North Carolina

The Venona Project: Lies, Ties, and Soviet Spies

Lila Feather, Ella Smith, Harry Davenport, Alex Fleury

Hendersonville Middle School

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Alice Paul and Lucy Burns - Boldly Marching to Communicate the Vital Need for Women's Suffrage

Yara Salam, Manya Raina, Ishika Chand

Birchwood School of Hawken

Cleveland, Ohio

The Grimke Sisters and their Fight for Social and Political Equality

Hannah Bender, Madison Beckles, Haylie Fackler

Ten Oaks Middle School

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Harriet Tubman and the Secret Code of the Underground Railroad

Antoinette Bruce, Bergen Erickson

Clayton-Bradley Academy

Maryville, Tennessee

Communication Amidst Chaos

Madeleine Broussard

Impact Early College High School

Baytown, Texas

Nellie Bly: Communicating through Words and Actions to Change the Future for Women

Alexandra Geffert, Rowan Smithberger

Smithberger Homeschool

Middleton, Wisconsin




About National History Day
NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park, Maryland, which seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students every year in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website.

Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, The Better Angels Society, Jacqueline B. Mars, and BBVA. For more information, visit

About the National Women's History Museum
Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) is an innovative museum dedicated to uncovering, interpreting, and celebrating women’s diverse contributions to society. A renowned leader in women’s history education, the Museum brings to life the countless untold stories of women throughout history, and serves as a space for all to inspire, experience, collaborate, and amplify women’s impact—past, present, and future. We strive to fundamentally change the way women and girls see their potential and power.

The NWHM fills in major omissions of women in history books and K-12 education, providing scholarly content and educational programming for teachers, students, and parents. We reach more than four million visitors each year through our online content and education programming and, in March 2023, mounted our first physical exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in downtown Washington, DC, We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist DC. The Museum is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and visit us at