National History Day is an exciting academic enrichment program that helps students learn about historical issues, ideas, people, and events. This academic adventure provides teachers with an innovative teaching tool and fosters students' enthusiasm for learning.
National History Day is an organization in which students compete on the basis of academic excellence. Differing it from other academic competitions, such as Destination Imagination, is that the focus in entirely on history.
NHD was founded in Cleveland, OH in 1974, though nowadays the national competition is held in College Park, MD, at the University of Maryland (University of Maryland, College Park). Though NHD maintains that "Every day is National History Day," the actual national competition is held in June (the exact date depends on the year).
There are two levels of participants, junior (grades 6-8) and senior (grades 9-12). Additionally, individual exhibit, group exhibit, individual documentary, group documentary, individual performance, group performance, and individual paper are the fields for competition.
A problem with NHD is its subjectivity. There can be anywhere from two to four rounds of competition - national, state, regional, and school - depending on if it is popular in your area. Compounding this, the juding boards often disagre about criterea (for example, are national or local figures more important?).
Nonetheless, it's a lot of fun.