This past June a number of staff from the AHA and I had the opportunity to serve as judges in the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest, held at the University of Maryland-College Park. Ihad been involved in National History Day for a number of years and even served as coordinator for the district contest when I lived in New Haven, Connecticut. But this was my first time as a judge, and my first ever experience with the national competition.
National History Day is a year-long academic program during which middle and high school students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct research, analyze and interpret sources, draw conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, and then present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances, and documentaries. Each year about 500,000 students participate in National History Day in local and state competitions across the country, and winners of the state competitions advance to the national competition at College Park each June.
Read more about my day-long experience as a judge at this year’s competition in the September 2014 issue of Perspectives on History.