Blythewood Senior Takes Top Prize in the National History Day Contest


Sofia Lynch, a senior at Blythewood High School and a member of the BHS Honors Forum, was awarded the top prize for her entry in Women’s History at the National History Day Contest in June 2019.  

National History Day® is a nonprofit educational organization that promotes the teaching and learning of history in middle and high schools around the world through a variety of programs for teachers and students. The largest program is the National History Day Contest. Established in 1974, the National History Day Contest encourages more than half a million middle and high school students around the world to conduct original research on historical topics of interest. Students present projects at the local and affiliate levels.

The National Contest is the final stage of a series of contests at local and state/affiliate levels. Students begin their journey by presenting their projects in classrooms, schools, and districts around the world. Top entries are invited to the state/affiliate level contests. The top two entries in every category at the state/affiliate level are then invited to the National Contest. The 2019 National Contest was held at the University of Maryland, College Park. 

The BHS Honors Forum students participate in the NHD contest through the AP  Seminar or Honors Advanced Seminar class that they take during their junior or senior year.  They compete by writing an extensive research paper of 2,500 words containing approximately 50 sources.  They enter their paper against students from other high schools in the Midlands regional competition in March and the top winners from that competition go on to participate in the state competition in April where they compete against the winners of the other regional competitions, with the winners advancing to the national competition.


The BHS Honors Forum has been fortunate enough to have had several regional and state winners in each of the past five years.  However, Sofia’s award is the first achieved by a BHS student at the national level. Scott Auspelmyer, Sofia’s teacher and the lead teacher of the Honors Forum program, remarked, “There is no finer example of hard work that has led to academic success and achievement than the efforts that Sofia exhibited when researching and writing her paper last year.  She is a stellar student and a great person who is a role model for all of her peers.”