National History Day
Honing skills through historical study
National History Day is an academic contest where students demonstrate critical thinking, reading, writing and inquiry skills through a historical topic related to the annual theme. The historical topics go beyond wars and popular leaders, with students exploring everything from the impact of Starbucks on the coffee industry, to McDonalds and the rise of the fast food industry, to Jackie Robinson and the impact of integrating sports.
Students learn to evaluate sources of information. They begin looking at secondary sources and move to primary sources as they learn how to seek out the most accurate information sources. Students then learn to analyze and interpret the information they research. After their in-depth look, they draw conclusions about the significance of the topic and the impact that it has on the world today and what it means for tomorrow.
Students take all of this information and present it in one of five ways: a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary or a website. Students then compete regionally at the end of February at Eastern Washington University in Cheney. As a bonus in between their competition and the awards ceremony, students are able to get a tour of the campus and learn about college life. The top winners at regionals move on to the state competition at the beginning of May in Seattle.
The top winner in each category at each division level move on to the national competition in June in Baltimore. Along the way, students earn prizes and scholarships. The National History Channel has been known to buy the rights to documentaries that are of exceptional value.
In the end, all students walk away with life skills of being able to think critically about topics. They gain writing, reading and thinking skills that will help them be successful in high school, college and beyond.
Please contact the club advisors form ore information or see the club website below.