“It’s not just a day – it’s an experience!”
History Day is a national co-curricular program that encourages young people to explore a historical subject related to an annual theme. In 2005, the theme is Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.
Students in grades 6-12 can participate as an individual or in a group in the following categories:
Regional, state, and national competitions are held each spring, and winners advance to the next level after a panel of volunteer judges assesses their work. Each student receives a detailed critique with constructive suggestions for improvement from the judging panel, which consists of museum professionals, academic historians, and other individuals who are interested in history.
The national competition is held in Washington, DC.
Christopher Kenney, Director of Education at the Wm. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, also serves as a regional coordinator for Ohio History Day. “The program is important because it is a unique way for students to become involved in history,” says Kenney. “They can immerse themselves in a subject of their interest, all while learning important research and writing skills.”
In 2001, over 700,000 students participated in History Day nationwide, and with outreach programs for teachers at the local level, the number continues to grow. History Day is an excellent way to meet the rigorous state-mandated teaching standards, in a non-traditional way that really connects with students.
The goal of History Day is to promote the study of history by engaging students and teachers in the excitement of historical inquiry and creative presentation.
Volunteer judges are always needed for both regional and state competitions. If you are interested in participating, please visit the National History Day website and find the competition nearest you.
The kids work really hard on their projects, and produce some amazing results!