40th Annual Texas History Day
April 25, 2020
“Breaking Barriers in History”
Co-hosted by University of Texas at Austin
What is Texas History Day?
Each year thousands of students, encouraged by teachers and parents statewide, participate in the National History Day program in Texas. Texas History Day, an affiliate of NHD and is a highly regarded academic program for 6th through 12th grade students. Each year more than 65,000 Texas students join more than 500,000 students across the country for National History Day!
Texas History Day provides a framework for successful student projects. Each student bases their project on the same annual theme and rule book. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research at libraries, archives, museums, historic sites, and more. Projects are not limited to any particular time period or geographic area. After analyzing and interpreting their source material, create a plan to present their findings to the peers and teachers before moving on to regional, state, and possibly national contests. Students can create and present original research papers, exhibits, performances, websites, and documentaries.
The student projects may be entered into competitions in the spring at one of our regional contests across Texas. Winners from each regional competition will advance to the state contest in Austin. Students who place first or second at our state contest advance to the National Contest held each June held at the University of Maryland at College Park.
In addition to discovering the exciting world of the past, Texas History Day also helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success:
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Project management skills
- Research and reading skills
- Oral and written communication and presentation skills
- Self-esteem and confidence
The Texas National History Day Program not only teaches students about history, it encourages them to participate in history!
NHD provides a framework for student project development. Students must research and build their project using the annual theme and NHD rules to participate in the contest. NHD is open to all students from 6th – 12th grades. Students may qualify for a number of special awards at the contest. In addition, the best entries from the paper category may be eligible for publication in the Texas Historian, the official journal of the Junior Historians of Texas.
Once you have chosen a historical topic related to the annual theme you will conduct primary and secondary research to prepare you to create your project. After you have analyzed and interpreted your sources and have drawn a conclusion about the significance of your topic, you will then be able to present your work in one of five ways: as a research paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a website. Each of the categories except papers can be created by a group of two to five students.
In the spring, you may enter your work into the regional contest where it will be judged by educators, professors, museum staff, and historians. If your work is chosen as one of the best, you will move on to the state’s NHD contest. As a winner at your state NHD contest, you will be eligible to attend the National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June. This is where the best National History Day projects from across the United States, American Samoa, Guam, International Schools of Asia, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe all meet and compete.
NHD provides a framework for success. It teaches essential skills, boosts performance, prepares students for college, and inspires participants to do more than they ever imagined they could. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Check out the National History Day Works program evaluation and see for yourself what NHD does for our Texas students.