ECS at Humboldt History Day 2024

Eureka City Schools at Humboldt History Day 2024
Posted on 03/12/2024

Eureka City Schools students excel at the Humboldt History Day competition

Zane students win in ten categories & Alice Birney students compete for the first time

March 12, 2024 - Eureka, CA - Eureka City Schools (ECS) is excited to announce that its students performed exceptionally well in the Humboldt County History Day competition held on March 2, 2024. Zane Middle School students won a total of fifteen awards across ten different categories, while Alice Birney Elementary participated in the event for the first time.

Each spring, students in 4th grade through high school compete in Humboldt County History Day, held at Cal Poly Humboldt and hosted by the Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE). 

The 2024 contest theme was Turning Points in History. 


A turning point is an idea, event, or action that directly, or sometimes indirectly, causes change. The National History Day® (NHD) 2024 contest theme invites students to consider questions of time and place, cause and effect, change over time, and impact and significance.


Junior Group History DayCounty winners will have the opportunity to compete in the National History Day California State Finals, which will take place in Sacramento from April 19-21, 2024. Over 1,600 students compete at the state contest each year. California champions will advance to the national competition that occurs in Maryland in June. 

Zane Students Win in Ten Categories

For the History Day projects, Zane teachers Hilary Manion and Scott Grant supervise and guide students through the process of researching and developing original and creative ideas. During this process, students learn to analyze various issues, people, historical events, and ideas and apply this knowledge to their projects. 


Cambria Jones History Day

"We are so proud of these students and all of our students who worked so hard on this project,” said Manion.


“Sustaining this kind of extensive and in-depth study is not easy, and our students knocked it out of the park.” 

Zane students took first place in categories ranging from exhibits and documentaries to podcasts and even performances.

Grant says, "This project is challenging and engaging for students. They do the work of historians and have all the joy and pain that brings. We have a long successful tradition of performing at History Day, and these students added their contributions to that legacy.” 

Diego Stengl History DayZane eight-grader Diego Stengl represented ECS at History Day as an Independent Study and won big with his documentary, "Dam It: A Turning Point of Destruction." Diego was not only a winner in the Junior Individual Documentaries category but was honored with the prestigious Humboldt County Historical Society Award for Outstanding Local Historical Research and the Clarke Historical Museum Award. Diego also took time to work with the Alice Birney History Day participants and helped to refine their projects. 


Alice Birney Students Compete for the First Time

Alice Birney students competed in the 4th-5th grade category for Posters with five projects.

Principal Kristin Sobilo says, “History provides such a rich opportunity to apply reading and writing skills. Our 4th graders learned the difference between a primary and secondary source, the key to summarizing concisely, the writing of a thesis and annotated bibliography, and the power of public speaking."  


Alice Birney History Day

Student topics covered included the Invention of the Printing Press, The Taliban - a Turning Point in History, The Invention of the Light Bulb, The Children’s Crusade for Fair Treatment, and the Trail of Tears.    

“Students created beautiful posters around topics of their choice. In the feedback from the judges, students scored well for their decisions! Moreover, the students valued the opportunity to travel to Cal Poly. Thank you to the students and their families, Ms. Stengl and Mr. Brooks, for their hard work, support, and collaboration on this project! We congratulate our students on this accomplishment and look forward to watching them continue to pursue their love of history,” added Sobilo.   

The Eureka City Schools History Day Winners are as follows:

Please check out the available student projects. You'll indeed be amazed!

*Junior Individual Documentaries*

Paving a New Era: Henry Ford’s Model A by Jack Fisher.

See it here:

Dam It: A Turning Point of Destruction by Diego Stengl.

See it here:

Stengl also won the Humboldt Historical Society Award for Outstanding Local Historical Research and the Clarke Museum Award for his documentary.

*Junior Group Documentaries*

Harlem Hellfighters: Fighting Racism from the Western Front by Miles Grant and Jack Vasquez.

See it here:

The Forgotten Pandemic of 1918 by Lucas Vang and Ryan Tan.

See it here:

*Junior Individual Exhibits*

The Cuban Missile Crisis; A Point Near Nuclear Destruction by Kyla Benzinger.

The Birth Control Pill: How 9.85 Milligrams Helped Women Reclaim Their Lives by Cambria Jones.

*Junior Group Exhibits*

Frankenstein: How Mary Shelley Changed Literature by Rain Ross-Kohl and Kai Holland.

Clara Barton: Angel of the Battlefield by Eva Meyer and Madeline Dotson-Murphy.

*Junior Group Performances*

The Original Dixieland Jazz Band: A Social, Economic, and Cultural Turning Point by Cash Jones, Pia Marrow, Sydney Boone, and Rees Claussen.

*Junior Individual Podcast*

The Sinking Pirate City: The Biggest Turning Point in Pirate History by Lily Baldwin.

Hear it here:

*Junior Group Podcast*

The Rise of Ebola and How Its Severity is a Turning Point in History by Lane Baker and Charlie Hinton.

Hear it here:

The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: A Turning Point in History Around the World by Christopher Williams and Dante Landry.

Hear it here:

*League of Women Voters Award*

The Turning Points That the Seneca Falls Convention Did for Women by Dazie Alvarado.


Press Contact:

Sierra Speer Dillon

Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Eureka City Schools

[email protected]


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