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National History Day

Students at National History Day Contest in College Park, Maryland

National History Day

National History Day is a year-long academic enrichment program that challenges students to research, develop and present papers, exhibits, documentaries, websites and performances about historical topics related to an annual theme. Students compete in a junior division (grades 6-8), senior division (grades 9-12), and a non-competitive youth division (grades 4-5). They learn important literacy skills and how to conduct research using primary, secondary, community and statewide resources. Working individually or in small groups, participants learn how to think critically and communicate through various formats while building self-confidence and a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process.

National History Day in Iowa is dedicated to creating a positive environment for all participants to showcase their work and receive feedback on their projects from judges at local and state contests, with top students advancing to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park.


As a participant you will choose a topic relating to the annual theme, apply critical thinking skills, conduct research using primary and secondary sources, analyze and interpret those sources, and create a project to present your findings in a creative way.


The National History Day program includes a progressive contest cycle open to students in grades 6-12 beginning with the district contest in March, state contest in April and national contest in June.


Volunteer judges are needed to help evaluate student projects and create a positive experience for Iowa's young historians during district contests across the state in March and at the state contest Monday, April 24, 2023 at the Iowa Events Center. All judges will be provided with online training prior to the contest. Volunteers must be 18 or older to participate. Sign up to participate.