National History Day is a fun event that encourages students to become historians by developing research, analysis, presentation and social skills. Working individually or in groups, junior (grades 6-8) and senior (9-12) division students select a topic related to an annual theme. They conduct extensive historical research using primary sources, articles, and books, then distill their research and analysis into a dramatic performance, multimedia documentary, museum exhibit, website, or research paper.
National History Day and its state affiliate Washington History Day provide leading-edge training and curriculum materials to help educators meet and exceed education standards. Annual workshops help educators learn how to adopt National History Day in their classrooms, while also offering strategies that make history education interesting, exciting and fun for students.
Students may choose to compete in regional contests held in February and March, entering their project against others in the same division and category. Regional winners advance to the Washington History Day state contest, held in late April or early May.
Students who finish in first and second place at State in each category go on to the National contest, held in mid-June at the University of Maryland in College Park.
Future Contest Themes (Subject to Change)
- 2015: Leadership & Legacy in History
- 2016: Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History
- 2017: Taking a Stand in History
Watch this Gold Medal winner from the 2013 National History Day competition. It earned Heni Barnes, from Coupeville High School, a $5,000 award from the History Channel.
So you're a history buff? Check out all of the ins and outs of preparing for and participating in History Day. Resources include downloadable .pdf documents and website links that will help you choose, create, and compete with your project.
Prepare your students for History Day with all the documents and links we've compiled for easy reference. Get the tools you need to guide them through the selection and creation of their projects, as well as how to inspire them along the way.
Just can't get enough of history? Volunteer as a judge for a History Day event and be a part of the exciting process of historical inquiry. We provide all the information you need to get started and prepare for your judging assignment.