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National History Day, NHD | Wisconsin Historical Society

National History Day - Parents

  • Thank you for supporting your student as they research and analyze history. Find information about National History Day and how to help your student in this process.



The program: National History Day is more than just a day; it is an academic enrichment program for 6th-12th graders. Kids all across the country (and world) create NHD projects.

The project: Students can research any type of history and create a project. Encourage them to:

  • Choose whatever kind of history they are interested in: sports, war, music, cultural, environmental, political, etc.
  • Pick how they want to show their information: exhibit, website, documentary, paper, or performance.

The competition: Competing is optional. If your student decides to compete, there are different levels of competition.

  • School level (optional): if your child’s whole grade level or class participates, the teacher may host an afterschool event to pick which projects advance.
  • Regional level: Wisconsin hosts regional events based on county. Email us to ask where your student’s regional is located.
  • State level: Each regional sends the top 3 entries in each category to compete at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. This contest is always in early to mid April.
  • National level: The top winners from every state (and some countries) compete at the University of Maryland campus.

Please Note: Website and paper projects are submitted earlier than other projects because proper judging of these categories requires advanced viewing.


My student(s) told me a little, I want to learn more:

Explore this website and the National website to learn about the history of the program, how NHD works, and what other states are doing!

I want to support my student! When and where do I need to be?

  • Ask your student’s teacher about how they determine who moves on to the Regional competition.
  • Find out where your regional competition is located.
  • Learn more about the state contest.
  • Browse the National website for examples, resources and program information here.

How can I help my child?

  • Remember this is their project.
  • Encourage their creative side.
  • Ask why they chose their topic.
  • Take them to a local library.
  • Ask them to tell you more about their project (the best way to check if they know something is if they can teach other people).

Where are these Contests?

Have More Questions?

Explore answers to commonly asked questions about National History Day in Wisconsin.

Frequently Asked Questions