National History Day

National History Day (NHD) Georgia is a program of Georgia Humanities and LaGrange College. NHD encourages middle and high school students to engage more deeply in historical research and analysis.

National History Day Georgia News

Scroll below for news featuring National History Day Georgia educators and students.

Team Georgia Earns Top Marks at the National History Day National Contest

The virtual National History Day National Contest was held June 9–14, 2020.

The 2020 National History Day Georgia buttons.

More than 60 Georgia students qualified to compete in the National Contest after earning top marks at the virtual National History Day Georgia State Contest held earlier in April. In both the junior and senior divisions, students competed a range of projects including papers, documentaries, exhibits, and websites, in relation to the theme “Breaking Barriers in History.”

Georgia students competed with peers from all 50 states and U.S. territories and countries as far away as Singapore.

For the second year in row, the Outstanding Entry on Native American History award, sponsored by the National Park Service, was awarded to a Georgia student. The award is given in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the study of Native American history. The 2020 recipient of this award, Sophia Shepherd, is a student at Druid Hills High School.

For the first time in National History Day Georgia history, a Georgia student’s documentary was selected to be screened in a virtual showcase sponsored by the Smithsonian Learning Lab. Midtown International School student Temple Lester’s documentary, “Shirley Chisholm: The Good Fight,” was one of just 35 student documentaries selected for this prestigious opportunity by the staff of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

See the full list of NHD Georgia’s national contest results >

National History Day Georgia Student Filmmaker Temple Lester Named for Smithsonian Documentary Showcase

The National Museum of African American History and Culture Selected Lester’s Film for a Smithsonian Learning Lab Showcase

Temple Lester

Temple Lester, a student at Midtown International School in Atlanta, is among a select group of middle and high school students who will have their National History Day documentaries screened by the Smithsonian Learning Lab.

National History Day (NHD), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and the Smithsonian Learning Lab selected just 35 documentary films, produced by middle and high school students competing in the 2020 National History Day Contest, to be featured in an online showcase. The films were selected and screened by NMAAHC staff, and will premier Wednesday, June 17, as a special collection of the Smithsonian Learning Lab. The online showcase will remain available to stream through Wednesday, June 24.

To be selected for the showcase, students needed to address topics and stories in their documentaries consistent with the mission of the NMAAHC. Each documentary also reflects the 2020 NHD theme, Breaking Barriers in History.

Lester’s ten-minute documentary, Shirley Chisholm: The Good Fight, received first place in the National History Day Georgia State Contest earlier in May. The National Contest award ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, June 20.

View the documentary showcase >

Read the full press release >

Atlanta Educator Nominated for National History Day Teacher of the Year

Laura Szymanski

Laura Szymanski

Laura Szymanski, a teacher at Midtown International School in Atlanta, was nominated for the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award.

Each of the 58 National History Day affiliates may nominate one middle school teacher for this award, and Mrs. Szymanski is the junior division nominee from Georgia. Every nominee is a teacher who demonstrates a commitment to engaging students in historical learning through innovative use of primary sources, implementation of active learning strategies to foster historical thinking skills, and participation in the National History Day Contest.

The national winner will be selected by a committee of experienced teachers and historians, and will be announced in summer 2020.

Read more about Laura Szymanski’s nomination.

Tyrone Educator Nominated for National History Day Teacher of the Year

William Harris

William Harris

Mr. William Harris, a teacher at Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, was nominated for the Hannah E. (Liz) MacGregor Teacher of the Year award.

Each of the 58 National History Day affiliates may nominate one high school teacher for this award, and Mr. Harris is the senior division nominee from Georgia. Every nominee is a teacher who demonstrates a commitment to engaging students in historical learning through innovative use of primary sources, implementation of active learning strategies to foster historical thinking skills, and participation in the National History Day Contest.

The national winner will be selected by a committee of experienced teachers and historians, and will be announced in summer 2020.

Read more about Mr. Harris’s nomination.

Locust Grove Student-Teacher Team Chosen to Study World War II in Hawaiʻi

Coleman and Cortes

L to R: Jennifer Coleman and Nicole Cortes

Nicole Cortes, a student at Luella High School in Locust Grove, and her teacher, Mrs. Jennifer Coleman, make up one of only 16 student-teacher teams from across the United States selected to participate in the second annual Sacrifice for Freedom®: World War II in the Pacific Student & Teacher Institute.

This institute brings student-teacher teams together for the distinctive opportunity to study, consider, and reflect upon World War II in a way that few have done before. Students and teachers will read books and selected materials, engage in online discussions, and research a Silent Hero®, a military service member who died in World War II and is buried or memorialized at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.

In June, the teams will meet in Oʻahu where they will walk in the footsteps of history, and learn firsthand about the impact of World War II in the Pacific.

Learn more about the Sacrifice for Freedom program here.

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Thank you to our volunteers for serving as judges for the 2020 virtual National History Day State Contest. We appreciate your support!

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“It is inspiring to research and share untold stories with the public. I learned how to do that through National History Day.”

—Dr. Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, National History Day alumnus

Over the course of the school year, students select a topic related to the year’s theme and develop their projects through extensive primary and secondary source research. The NHD theme for 2020 is Breaking Barriers in History.

Under the guidance of a sponsoring teacher, students choose both their subject matter and a vehicle to present their research within the following categories: documentary, exhibition, paper, performance, or website. NHD attracts thousands of participants each year.

Competitions occur at the regional, state, and national levels.

Getting Started

The National History Day Georgia website offers valuable information.  Find answers to common questions and learn how to register for the program here.

Get Involved

Volunteers play a crucial role in National History Day Georgia at every level of competition. Learn more about how you can contribute to the National History Day experience in Georgia as a judge or as a day of event volunteer.

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