What is National History Day?
National History Day (NHD) is a highly regarded academic program for elementary and secondary school students.
Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide, participate in the NHD contest. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries. In the spring, students enter their projects into local, state, and national competitions, where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators. The program culminates in the Kenneth E. Behring National Contest held at the University of Maryland at College Park each June.
In addition to discovering the exciting world of the past, NHD also helps students develop the following attributes essential for future success:
• critical thinking and problem-solving skills
• research and reading skills
• oral and written communication and presentation skills
• self esteem and confidence
• a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process
More than five million students have gone on to careers in business, law, medicine and countless other disciplines where they are putting into practice what they learned through NHD.
Connect with the Maryland Humanities Council for more information on how to get involved in History Day
as well as many other Maryland focused initiatives!