Welcome to the
2021 Frederick County National History Day!
We are holding the Frederick NHD Contest this academic year, despite the upheaval of COVID-19 to the regular school day. The contest will be virtual, but may have some live virtual components, such as judging. Details for the contest day will be coming soon. The theme this year is "Communication in History: The Key to Understanding".
New this year are updated rules, the first update in several years; link here for the new rule book.
Below are key dates for the contest:
- Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 - Student registration begins
- Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 - Student registration ends
- Monday, Feb. 1, 2021 - Late registration ends; registrations closed to changes except through District Coordinator
- Mon., March 1, 2021 - papers, documentaries, and websites are due to District Coordinator and closed for changes
- Sat., March 13, 2021 - Frederick County NHD Contest, performances and exhibits are due. Contest is virtual this year, with no student interviews.
- Sat., May 1, 2021 - Maryland NHD Contest
So, you are thinking about participating in History Day!
To start your journey, you will need:
- a teacher advisor
- a student account on this website
- a topic that relates to the theme "Communication in History: The Key to Understanding"
Ask your social studies or enrichment teacher if your school has a History Day advisor. If not, you can have an advisor from another FCPS school, if none exists in your school. Homeschoolers who need an advisor can contact Mary Atwell at email@example.com.
Student registration opens on this website on Dec.1st, but you do not need to wait until then to start your project! If you participated last year, you will need to set up a new account.
Rules have changed this year! If you have entered the contest in the past, make sure to read through the rule book and category rules to see the changes. If you have not particpated before, read the rule book and category rules before starting your project.
NHD Rule Book 2021.pdf
Your advisor will help you choose a topic in history that fits the contest theme. The options are basically unlimited, the only requirement is that your history topic is tied into the theme "Communication in History: The Key to Understanding". It is also better to choose a topic that's reasonably historic. While communication about current events would make fascinating projects, enough time has not gone by to provide good historical analysis in secondary resources.
Below are lists of possible topics to get you started. Once you decide on a topic, you are ready to start your research and decide what format category your project will take! More information is here: https://www.nhd.org/communication-history-key-understanding.
Ideas for Topics are here:
2021 Theme Book - NHD.pdf
AARCH Flyer and Topic Suggestions 2021.pdf
The Great National Museum of American American History and Culture Topic Hunt - helps you narrow down a topic related to African American history
Chesapeake Maritime Museum
Enoch Pratt Free Library: Maryland State Library
Maryland Historical Society
National Museum of African American History and Culture
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
State and National Contest Dates:
May 1st - Virtual competition, Maryland History Day
May 4th - Deadline for websites and papers review for nationals
May 14th - deadline for documentaries, performance, and exhibits review for nationals
June 13-17 - NHD national contest, University of MD, College Park
Judges - the Backbone of History Day
According to Maryland Humanities, over 27,000 Maryland students participate each year in historical topics and research to create original documentaries, exhibits, performances, research papers, or websites.
Students that place in the Frederick County contest advance to Maryland History Day, held on May 11 at UMBC. If they place at the state level, they go on to the national competition held in College Park. Each year, Frederick County does very well at states, in part because of you and your helpful analysis of hteir projects!
While most judges include humanities scholars, teachers, librarians, and museum professionals, anyone who wants to support students may judge. Judging entails: reviewing student projects as part of a team of 3, interviewing contestants, selecting the winners to advance to the state contest, and providing constructive feedback.
Judging is a wonderful way to support students in the Frederick community, and help them learn how to analyze and think about history. Why judge?
- Community involvement
- Networking opportunities with other Frederick history professionals
- Learn something new
- Free breakfast and lunch - with exploded potatoes!
- Help Frederick County students
Training Materials: Upon registering to judge, you are encouraged to review the National History Day rulebook to see specific details about the categories and procedures, as well as the annual contest theme. You can also look at sample projects from previous competitions.