In celebration of understanding the past so we can build a brighter future, Brooklyn Public Library has announced the winners the annual New York City History Day Contest.

A total of 120 students participated in the contest, representing 23 schools across the city. The students submitted group and individual projects in five categories; exhibits, performances, websites, papers and documentaries — addressing the theme Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.

And Brooklyn students showed up.

Roberto Bloodworth, a seventh grader at the Dock Street School in Brooklyn, worked with a classmate to create a documentary titled A Comparison of African American Television, which won the award for Outstanding Project from a First Time School.

“I really enjoyed history day because it allowed my group to make a documentary exploring topics in history we found interesting that were not discussed in school,” Bloodworth said.

“It also made me think about history as more than names of politicians and dates of battles or laws.”

Cindy Yang and Khadiza Rahman of Brooklyn Technical High School received first place in the Senior Group Documentary for their work The Impact of the Bubonic Plague on Communication of 14th and 15th Century Art.

Mariana Melzer and Kathryn Herbert of Brooklyn Technical High School received first place in Senior Group Exhibit for their work Revolutionary Propaganda: How Communication Can Incite Support and Change Within a Society.

Ashley Liu of Brooklyn Technical High School was awarded first place for Senior Individual Exhibit for her work You Are What You Wear: The Role of Fashion in Communicating Social Status During the Tang Dynasty.

Laura Fan of Brooklyn Technical High School was awarded Outstanding Project on Women’s History for her senior paper The Fight for Abortion Rights: The Key to Understanding through News Media.

It is the first time the new Center for Brooklyn History at Brooklyn Public Library has hosted the event, taking over from the Museum of the City of New York, which hosted the contest for 30 years.

This year’s projects explored global and national events spanning the Middle Ages to today, and included studies on the last American slave ship, the war on drugs, race and the Rockettes and the international influence of a Taiwanese pop star.

BPL President and CEO Linda E. Johnson said she hoped students would return to the Center for Brooklyn History for many years to come, “to continue honing their research skills and their understanding of our past, so that they can build a brighter future.”

The contest is the regional component of National History Day, a program that provides more than half a million students with the opportunity hone their skills in historical research, interpretation and creative expression.

Sixty-four students from New York City have the opportunity to advance to the New York State History Day contest. 

A complete list of winners can be found here, including special awards for outstanding projects on social activism, women’s history and People of Color.

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