NHD equips students with college- and career-ready skills of collaboration, research, writing, and innovative thinking that come from the study of history and civics. Through participation, students are prepared to handle impending—and complicated—global challenges. NHD is providing essential skills to empower successful citizens to strengthen the democracy of the future.
The innovative instruction from NHD is linked to academic success and skills development across all subjects, including reading, science, and math, as well as social studies. NHD students outperform their non-NHD peers on state standardized tests across subjects. For example, NHD students scored more than twice as well on Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS).
The historical research training, skills, and experience of NHD prepares students for college, careers, and citizenship. NHD students learn to collaborate with team members, summarize and articulate arguments, manage their time, and persevere. The confidence gained by participation prepares young citizens to be critical thinkers who can digest, analyze, and synthesize information.
“…to understand where we come from, why we are what we are, that is found in history.”
NHD inspires students to do more than they ever thought they could, making a positive impact among students whose interest in academic subjects may wane in high school. NHD participants report significantly higher levels of interest in history, civic engagement, and confidence in research skills.
During her first year with NHD, a Washington state teacher had 11 students whom she says had “fallen through a lot of cracks, and some discovered they liked it there.” None of them had ever participated in any kind of competition until NHD. Four placed locally and went on to compete at the state level. Thanks to the NHD experience, seven graduated from high school, three earned a GED, and a couple even went on to college.
“I had the right, the responsibility, to tell that story to the best of my ability.”
Learn More about the Effectiveness of National History Day
National History Day teaches critical thinking, writing, and research skills; prepares students for college, work, and citizenship; and inspires students to do more than they ever thought they could. An independent study from 2011 found that participation in NHD benefits students far beyond the competition.