Welcome to the Frederick County District NHD Contest

Important Dates & Times

Saturday March 13, 2021 at 3:00 PM
Saturday March 13, 2021 at 4:00 PM


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"

Teacher Advisor

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 frederickhistoryday@gmail.com

Student Account

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





history teachers.png


Greetings Advisors!

Before your students can register you must set up your account. If you have any trouble, please contact Mary Atwell, Frederick District Coordinator, at 301-696-3933, or at frederickhistoryday@gmail.com.

Please note that rules have changed as of June 2020, beginning with the 2021 NHD contest. You can access the new rule book here.




2021 Theme Book - NHD.pdf

NHD Rule Book 2021.pdf - new!

NHD Rule Changes - Summary.pdf

NHD Webcentral 101.pdf  - NHD Webcentral is the only platform allowed for websites in the 2021 contest. View this file for assistance.

2020-2021 Performance Submission Guidelines - Virtual.pdf

Topic Ideas: see Student Main in the topic section for links and Thinkport Inquiry Kits 

NHD Evaluation Form - Exhibit.pdf

NHD Project Checklist 2021 - Exhibit.pdf

NHD Evaluation Form - Website.pdf

NHD Project Checklist 2021- Website.pdf

NHD Evaluation Forms - Documentary.pdf

NHD Project Checklist 2021- Documentary.pdf

NHD Evaluation Forms -Performance.pdf

NHD Project Checklist 2021 - Performance.pdf

NHD Evaluation Forms - Paper.pdf

NHD Project Checklist 2021 - Paper.pdf




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.




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