“National History Day is a competition that happens in schools throughout the nation. The idea of it is to incorporate historical thinking skills like analysis, and corroboration and research and project creation, with student choice,” described AP U.S History Teacher Anne Olson.
Every year the competition is structured around a theme through which students can create their own project of varying mediums ranging from essays, websites, or even documentaries. From there, students develop arguments to tie how the project relates to the year’s theme; this year’s theme is communication.
Junior Diana Castro details her excitement about the competition and is “looking forward to seeing the diversity of ideas that other students have since the projects will be centered around communication throughout history with examples such as photography, protests, art, et cetera.”
Although all students from the AP European and AP U.S History classes are competing at the M-A competition, only a select few students will make it to the San Mateo County Competition, where they will face students from other schools in March. In May, students who made it past the county will participate in the state competition. And in June, winners from state competitions will compete nationally.
With reaching the state and national competitions comes the potential for winning the competition’s awards, “there’s opportunities to win a special award, which usually comes with a cash prize, or maybe some books or museum entries depending on who’s sponsoring it,” added Olson.