WHAT IS NATIONAL HISTORY DAY?
National History Day is an exciting way for students to study and learn about historical issues, ideas, people, and events. This year-long educational program fosters academic achievement and intellectual growth through project-based learning. In addition to acquiring useful historical knowledge and perspective during the series of district, state, and national competitions, students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will help them manage and use information now and in the future.
Students are encouraged to choose any topic in local, national, or world history and investigate its historical significance and relationship to the theme by conducting extensive primary and secondary research. After analyzing and interpreting their information, students present their findings in papers, exhibits, performances, documentaries, and websites that are evaluated by historians and educators.
National History Day has two divisions: the junior division (grades 6-8) and the senior division (grades 9-12). Students can enter one of the following eight categories: individual paper, individual or group exhibit, individual or group performance, individual or group documentary. Groups can consist of two to five students.
District History Day contests are usually held in February or March. District winners then prepare to compete at the state contest usually held in early May. The top two finishers in each category at the state contest become eligible to advance to the national contest held in June at the University of Maryland at College Park.
What to Expect During the contest
Historical Quality (60%)
- Historical accuracy
- Historical context
- Analysis and interpretation
- Use of available primary sources
- Wide research
- Balanced research
Relation to Theme (20%)
- Clearly relates to theme
- Demonstrates significance of topic in history and draws conclusions
Clarity of Presentation (20%)
- Presentation, written materials are original, clear, appropriate, organized and articulate
- Entry is organized; visual impact is appropriate to topic