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National History Day in Colorado

What is National History Day in Colorado?

Teaches…21st century skills, civic engagement, critical thinking, writing and research skills.

Prepares…students for college, career and citizenship.

Inspires…students to do more than they ever thought possible.

National History Day in Colorado (NHDC) is an academic program at the University of Colorado Denver benefitting Colorado middle and high school students.

Each year, 15,000 Colorado students participate in National History Day in Colorado.  NHDC is an affiliate of National History Day, a nationally acclaimed academic program that annually challenges 700,000 students and 40,000 teachers nationwide to ask amazing questions and uncover life-changing answers by engaging in historical research, interpretation and creative expression.  For thirty years, NHDC has strengthened relationships between--and provided support to--students and teachers, successfully helping youth from all socio-economic and educational backgrounds to achieve in school, build confidence and prepare for college. 

NHDC is for everyone, and can be a life-changing experience for many students, particularly in Colorado’s most underserved areas. 

Students choose historical topics related to an annual theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries. These projects are entered into competitions in the spring at local, state and national levels where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators. The program culminates in the Kenneth E. Behring National Contest each June held at the University of Maryland at College Park.

In addition to discovering the exciting world of the past, NHD also helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Research and reading skills
  • Oral and written communication and presentation skills
  • Self esteem and confidence
  • A sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process

More than 5 million students have gone on to careers in business, law, medicine and countless other disciplines where they are putting into practice what they learned through NHD.