How did National History Day begin?
National History Day started as a small contest in Cleveland in 1974. Members of the history department at Case Western Reserve University developed the initial idea for a history contest to make teaching and learning history a fun and exciting experience. Students gathered on campus to devote one day to history. They called it “National History Day.” Although the name has remained the same, NHD has grown into a national organization with year-round programs and a week-long national contest.
How many students and Teachers participate in History Day?
Nationwide, 700,000 students and 40,000 teachers annually participate in National History Day programs. More than 3,000 students from across the country attend the national contest (from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Schools and American Samoa). Over 35,000 students participate in NHD-California each year with nearly 1,200 competing at the state level contest in 20 entry categories across three grade-span divisions (elementary, junior, and senior).
How Does History Day Work?
National History Day is both a way to teach history and a highly regarded academic competition. Students participate locally (at the school or school district level) to reach county or regional contests. Champion entries from these county/regional contests represent their areas at National History Day – California. Champions at the state competition in the Junior and Senior Divisions advance to National History Day held at the University of Maryland each year.
Two grade-span divisions comprise the Ventura County contest:
Junior (grades 6 – 8)
Senior (grades 9 – 12)
There are nine entry categories each for the Junior and Senior Divisions:
- Individual Paper
- Individual Exhibit
- Group Exhibit
- Individual Web site
- Group Web site
- Individual Performance
- Group Performance
- Individual Documentary
- Group Documentary
Individual entries consist of one student. Group entries may have two to five students.