Getting Started

student exhibit board about Matthew Shepard

There are a lot of decisions that go into a History Day project.  Here are some questions to consider:

  • What topic in US history, world history or Vermont history do you want to research?
  • How does your topic connect to the annual theme? The 2024 theme is Turning Points in History.
  • Can you find both primary sources and secondary sources about your topic?
  • Do you want to work individually or in a group of 2-5 students?
    • Paper entries must be individual projects.
    • All participants in a group must be from the same age division - 5th grade, Junior Division (6th-8th grade) or Senior Division (9th-12th grade).
  • What type of project do you want to create? There are five project categories:
    • Documentary
    • Exhibit
    • Paper
    • Performance
    • Website (using the NHDWebCentral editor)

Remember to read the National History Day Contest Rule Book for specific details about requirements like how many student-composed words can be on your exhibit (500) or how long your documentary can be (10 minutes). The Vermont History Day state contest is a qualifying contest for National History Day, so the rules are the same. Students who place first or second in each category and division qualify for the National History Day contest. Students in 5th grade can win at the Vermont contest but cannot advance to National History Day.

You might also want to watch some helpful videos from National History Day.

You will need to register for the contest by March 15, 2024, at 11:59 pm. There are more instructions in the online registration system.

Students with websites, documentaries and papers need to submit projects by March 25, 2024 at 11:59 pm. See the project submissions instructions for more information. Exhibits and performances are due at the state contest.

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