Frequently Asked Questions
Can All Students Participate?
All students in grades 6 through 12, including home-school students, may prepare History Day projects for classroom credit or entry in district competition throughout the state. Students in grades 6-8 compete in the Junior Division, while students in grades 9-12 compete in the Senior Division. To enter the state competition, students must place in the top 3 at their district contest.
Why Should Students Participate?
History Day equips young people with valuable, college ready skills they will use the rest of their lives:
In the Classroom In preparation for district contests, students select a topic that relates to the yearly broad theme. The Kansas History Day Program website offers ideas for topics relating to the theme, but teachers are encouraged to brainstorm ideas with their classes, in relation to Common Core Standards. Students then research their topic thoroughly, using primary and secondary sources. As students research, they interpret the material and develop a History Day project: Individual or Group Performance, Individual or Group Documentary, Individual or Group Exhibit, Individual or Group Website, or a Historic Paper. Once the projects are completed, students are ready to share their findings with a larger audience. Some schools showcase this work at a school or local History Fair, while others prepare their students to enter a district History Day competition.
How Does The History Day Competition Work?
As part of the National History Day program, formal competition in Kansas begins at the district level. The state is divided into 6 districts, each hosting its own competition for students living in the counties within the district. Student entries are evaluated by judges who are professional historians, educators, or experienced in other ways with the History Day program. Following district competition, the first-, second-, and third-place entrants in each category are eligible to compete at the state competition at Washburn University in Topeka. Students who place first and second at the Kansas History Day State competition proceed to the National History Day contest in College Park, Maryland, held every June.