National History Day

National History Day is a competition where students compete for prizes ranging from cash to trophies. The Junior division consists of students Grades 6-8, and Senior division consists of students Grades 9-12. The National History Day takes place in June, with fourteen categories can be chosen. Competitors from different schools, led by their teachers, compete in one of these topics in intense competitions which are judged individually.

1st Category: The First Category is Individual Performance where a single person writes, and memorizes a script with dialogue relating to the topic chosen. They are judged on many things, including knowledge of lines, staying within the ten minute time limit, Historical Value, questioning, and that the competitor has a Research Analysis and Bibliography.

2nd Category: The Second Category is Group Performance where 2 or more people have direct dialogue on the topic they have chosen, which must also be memorized, and the guidelines are the same as Individual Performance.

3rd Category: The third Category, individual exhibit, is when one person builds, and accessorize an exhibit on their chosen topics. The Exhibit category has a stage unique to it called Run-offs, and this is the first stage of judging. The Exhibit makers are judged by their captions, design, and several other factors, including the Research Analysis and Bibliography discussed in Performance.

4th Category: The Fourth Category is Group Exhibit where two or more people build an exhibit, and write their analysis and bibliography. This category also has run-offs, with the same rules as Individual Exhibit.

5th Category: The fifth category is Individual Documentary, where a single person builds a documentary presentation, with still pictures, music, and narration The recording of a documentary, while in the end only adding up to 10 minutes, can take 3 hours, with editing. The guidelines are about music relating to topic, historical value, analysis and bibliography, Time limit, and Picture or Voice quality.

6th Category: The Sixth category is Group Documentary, where two or more people build a documentary composed of pictures, music, and alternating narration When narrating, the documenters usually divide the dialogue in the documentary in two. The Documentaries are judged by basically the same guidelines as Individual Documentary.

7th Category: The final category, Historical Paper, is the only category that is not divided among Group or Individual. Historical Papers are written on a topic chosen, which can only be written by one individual, and they also must write a Research Analyses and a Bibliography.

The other 7 are simply the Senior Divisions exact same categories with the same guidelines. Questioning from judges, which lasts about 5 minutes, directly follows the presentation.

The History Day has three levels, Regional's, where the top three of every category advance to States (42 in all), where the top three of each category are narrowed even further to go to the big event, National History Day. The national competition is held at the University of Maryland. Here, the best of the best of these competitors compete for one of the 14 top spots from each category. Prizes are vast and varying.

2002: Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History
2003: Rights and Responsibilities in History
2004: Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History
2005: Communication in History: The Key to Understanding
2006: Taking a Stand in History
2007: Triumph and Tragedy in History
2008: The Individual in History

Topics have ranged anywhere from in 2005, E.S.P. to Helen Keller to Sign Language to NASA. National History Day is the ultimate gathering of dedicated students tackling a historical topic and following through with it. Some of them work on these projects for a whole year, and it is a great experience for any person.