Isabella DiPasquale Wins State NHD Competition in Website Category
Eighth-grader Isabella DiPasquale took first place at the National History Day® (NHD) state competition in the Individual Website Junior Group category. Her website, entitled “The Radium Girls: Get a Job, Lose a Life,” explores the plight of American female factory workers who unknowingly contracted radiation poisoning in the 1920s from their work painting watch dials with self-luminous paint.
DiPasquale will advance to the national level of competition in June, a week-long competitive event held at The University of Maryland College Park that draws nearly 3,000 students and their families nationwide.
DiPasquale has made it to the state level of competition in every year she had previously competed in NHD. In sixth grade, Isabella and classmate Liz Sterlin were awarded the Best Use of Newspaper prize for their exhibit on the Astor Place Riots. Last year as a seventh grader, Isabella was named a Nationals Alternate for her individual website on “The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848.”
“It feels awesome,” DiPasquale said. “Now that I have made it to nationals, I am very happy because I am assured that my improvement from these years has made me state winner.”
DiPasquale said she chose to do her project on the Radium Girls because she felt like she could relate to them since they were so young during their factory employment.
“I also chose this topic because I am very interested in women's rights, and how women have gotten to where they are today,” she said.
Of the seven Peck groups who competed at the state level, eighth-grader Marshall Herman earned alternate status in the Live Performance Junior Group category for his performance “American Pirates or Patriot Privateers?: How the Salamander Bites the (Achilles) Heel.” If the first-place winner is unable to compete in the NHD nationals, Herman will also advance to College Park in June.
In addition, Marshall also earned special recognition by winning the National Maritime Historical Society Award for his research on Revolutionary War pirates and privateers.