National History Day

  • NHD, a non-profit education organization, offers year-long academic programs that engage over half a million middle- and high school students around the world annually in conducting and presenting original research on historical topics. National History Day breathes life into the traditional history curriculum by engaging students and teachers in a hands-on and in-depth approach to studying the past. By focusing on a theme, teams of 2-5 students are introduced to a new organizational structure for learning history. Teachers are supported in introducing highly complex research strategies to students.

    When NHD is implemented in the classroom, students are involved in a life-changing learning experience! Through participation in the contest, students will experience benefits beyond learning about interesting issues, ideas, people, and events of their choosing. Students will hone their expressive abilities as they demonstrate command of their topic and present work in one of the competition’s formats.

  • Eligible Region 5 counties include:

    Blair, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union.

    Students can enter one of the following categories:

    Groups can consist of two to five students.

    • Historical paper—a traditional research composition; individual entries only.
    • Exhibit—similar to a museum exhibit; individual or group entries.
    • Performance—a dramatic portrayal of a topic; individual or group entries.
    • Documentary—a multi-media production created to detail a topic; individual or group entries.
    • Website—a website designed to explore a topic in detail; individual or group entries.
    National History Day has two divisions:

    Junior Division (grades 6-8)
    Senior Division (grades 9-12)

    Students compete at several levels of competition:

    Local—a school may hold an event to highlight student accomplishments and narrow down regional participants, if necessary.

    Regional—Regional competitions are held in the spring. Students must compete on the regional level, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each category advancing to state.

    State—the state contest is held in early May. 1st and 2nd place finishers win the right to compete at the national level.

    Nationals—Nationals are held at the University of Maryland, College Park in June.

  • 2024 NHD Theme: Turning Points in History 

    To celebrate their 50th anniversary, NHD’s theme will be Turning Points in History. This year’s theme invites students to consider questions about time and place, cause and effect, change over time, and impact and significance. 

    A turning point in history is more than just an important event that happened a long time ago. It is more than a new idea or a particular action taken by an individual. A turning point is an idea, event, or action that directly, or sometimes indirectly, causes change.


    Contest Date & Check in/Exhibit Setup Time:  March 22, 2024. Check in runs 8:30 - 9:30 AM

    Contest Location:  Lock Haven University, Main Campus, 401 N Fairview St, Lock Haven, PA 17745

    Region 5 Registration & Deadline: Opens January 2, 2024 at 8:30 AM. Closes March 13, 2024 at 3:00 PM.

    Project process paper and bibliography may be uploaded to the registration system. Uploaded process paper and bibliographies will be printed by the CIU10 and presented to teachers at check-in. If this paperwork is not uploaded, it is the responsibility of the NHD team to provide physical copies of their process paper and bibliography. (Websites: process paper and bibliographies must be available on the website.)

    Website Lockout Date:  Websites will lock for judging 2 days before the contest at 3PM.

  • For more information regarding NHD, contact:

    NHD in PA State Coordinator:
    Jeff Hawks
    [email protected]

    NHD Region 5 Coordinator:
    Dr. Dawn Hayes
    CIU10 Director of Curriculum & Innovation
    [email protected]

  • National History Day (NHD) programs are open to all students and teachers without regard to race, sex, religion, physical abilities, economic status, or sexual orientation. NHD does not discriminate against, or limit participation by, physically challenged students. NHD staff and affiliate coordinators strive to accommodate students with special needs.

    National History Day does not censor National Contest entries based upon content. This means that the views and opinions expressed in student entries are those of the students and/or the sources cited in their projects. They may not represent the views or opinions of National History Day, Inc. or its donors, sponsors, supporters, partners, or affiliates.