Two Fayette County students won their divisions in the 2016 National History Day Contest during the June 12-16 national conference at College Park, Md., with each earning the title National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar. They emerged from nearly 3,000 students who presented their work in this year’s competition themed “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.”

Amir Abou-Jaoude, who graduated in May from the Liberal Arts Academy at Henry Clay High School, captured first place in the senior division with his paper, “A Pure Invention: Japan, Impressionism, and the West, 1853-1906.” The Stanford University-bound student also was featured in a Time magazine article about his 200-hour independent research project and 2,500-word paper.

In the junior division, Lily Gardner of Winburn Middle School received first-place honors for individual website with “An Unrepentant Risk Taker: Paul Durand-Ruel Encountering Parisian Culture.”

National History Day (NHD) challenges students to develop perspective and understanding of historical content. After extensive research, participants present their conclusions in a dramatic performance, imaginative exhibit, multimedia documentary, innovative website or in-depth research paper. Awards are given in competitions at the regional, state, and national levels.

The Kentucky Historical Society coordinates NHD participation for students in the state. The theme for 2017 is “Taking a Stand in History.” Email state coordinator Cheryl Caskey or call (502) 564-1792, ext. 4461, for more information.