National History Day in PA

National History Day is a year-long academic program focused on historical research, interpretation, and creative expression for students in grades 6-12. By participating in National History Day, students become writers, filmmakers, web designers, playwrights, and artists as they create unique contemporary expressions of history.

Since 2008, the Foundation’s Education Department has managed and hosted National History Day in PA. Held as a statewide contest, students research a historical topic, develop a thesis, and create a project to present their research. Regional contests serve as qualifying events for the statewide contest. National History Day in PA contest winners are selected to attend a national competition held annually at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Participation in National History Day in PA begins in the classroom. Students and teachers are strongly encouraged to read the NHD Rule Book, review annual theme materials, and visit the National History Day website to review lessons and tutorials before starting their projects.



NHD Rule Book

NHD in PA Spectator and Judging Policy

Annual Theme Materials

National History Day website


Pre-Contest Judges Orientation

National Contest Judges Briefing (2019)

Judge Instructions – Documentary

Judge Instructions – Exhibit

Judge Instructions – Paper

Judge Instructions – Performance

Judge Instructions – Website

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