Wisconsin Historical Society National History Day in Wisconsin Update

February 2011
National History Day logo Greetings!

This is an exciting time to be involved in National History Day! The national NHD program has just completed the first nationwide evaluation of the program... and has some amazing results.
  • If you've NEVER done NHD, please keep reading to learn more about why you should considering bringing this effective and engaging program into your classroom.
  • If you ARE doing NHD, check out some of the related documents to share with your principals, parents, and administrators!
NATIONAL HISTORY DAY WORKS: National Program Evaluation

The first national evaluation of National History Day (NHD) finds that students who participate in the program perform better on high-stakes tests, are better writers, more confident and capable researchers, and have a more mature perspective on current events and civic engagement than their peers. Participants also show a greater ability to collaborate with peers, manage their time and persevere - all skills employers say are lacking in today's workforce.


"This research confirms what those of us who work with National History Day students have seen anecdotally for years. This program not only helps students improve academically, it can also change their lives. Students who are 'slipping through the cracks' of our education system find their way back and get on track to succeed in school while participating in NHD." - Cathy Gorn, NHD Executive Director


Some of the important findings include:

  • NHD students outperform their non-NHD peers on state standardized tests, not only in social studies, but in reading, science and math as well.
  • NHD students are better writers, who write with a purpose and real voice, and marshal solid evidence to support their point of view.
  • NHD students are critical thinkers who can digest, analyze and synthesize information.
  • NHD students learn 21st century skills. They learn how to collaborate with team members, talk to experts, manage their time and persevere.
  • NHD has a positive impact among students whose interests in academic subjects may wane in high school.
The full report, executive summary and other documents are available online. If you're ready to learn more, sign up for free curriculum materials.
Whoops! We forgot to include the school registration form as part of the regional event registration packets. You can download this document on our website - it's now included in the regional event entry forms for each regional. 
Wisconsin Map
Regional events will take place in March and April, with registration deadlines falling several weeks before the actual competition date. Visit our website to check your regional assignment and download registration forms.

If this is your first year participating in NHD, it's also a good idea to email your regional coordinator and let him or her know you intend to participate. While not required, we appreciate your help as we make space and volunteer preparations.

Remind students that paper and website entries are due by the registration deadline. Papers must be submitted with registration forms. Website students will be locked out of editing their website once the registration deadline passes. This policy is in place to allow judges sufficient time to review entries in advance of the competition. If you have questions, please contact your regional coordinator or the state office.
Judging at NHD Events
School History Day events are a great opportunity to showcase the work of all your participating students. Many schools use these events to narrow down the number of projects they can send to a regional event, but they can be a valuable promotional tool for your school! Inviting parents, other teachers, school board members, media, and the community will help to provide additional recognition for the academic achievements of your History Day students. You can download event resources on our website. First time planning an event? Feel free to contact us for hands-on help and advice!
Students at National Contest
If you are new to the program, you will want to check out our new PowerPoint to help introduce teachers and students to the structure and format of NHD competitions. We have provided photos of events, samples of questions, and general information on the timeline of the day to get your students prepared for their first NHD event. Still have questions? Please feel free to let us know!
Picket Line at Milwaukee City Hall, WHS Image ID 2941.
The Wisconsin Labor History Society's mission is to promote and preserve Wisconsin labor history. In addition to the Labor History Prize at all regional and state NHD contests in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Labor History Society would like to highlight several additional opportunities:
For more information, please contact Judith Gatlin, Wisconsin Labor History Society Board of Directors, at gatlinj@uwec.edu or 715-836-2933.
Sarah Michele and SarahTHANKS FOR READING!
Be the first to reply to this email and win a free NHD sample project, "King of Hearts: Dr. Lillehei's Medical Odyssey."

We appreciate your support of National History Day in Wisconsin.  We are excited to have you as part of our program!

Sarah Aschbrenner, State Coordinator
National History Day in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Historical Society