National History Day in Minnesota Engages Students Across the State

For immediate release

Release dated: 
February 11, 2013
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3148 • jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

Tim Hoogland • Minnesota History Day • 651-503-9326 • tim.hoogland@mnhs.org

National History Day in Minnesota Engages Students Across the State

Regional competitions get underway in March.

Thousands of Minnesota students across the state are putting the final touches on performances, documentaries, websites, exhibits and papers, in advance of regional competitions which get underway in March.

History DayNational History Day in Minnesota, co-sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota, History Department, is a national academic program that encourages middle and high school students to explore history through research and competition. "History Day is a model for improving student achievement," said Tim Hoogland, director of the History Day program. "By moving beyond memorization students become experts on their topics and build research and writing skills that better prepare them for college." They say they enjoy it too. More than 90% of participating students in Minnesota report that History Day was one of their better learning experiences.

History Day is the fastest growing social studies enrichment program in the state, with 125 students participating in 1988 to nearly 30,000 last year. The inquiry based approach of History Day also helps students meet required state graduation standards in both social studies and English language arts.

Throughout the academic year, the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota combine their resources to provide teachers and students with the support they need for project development and research. These services include introductory classroom presentations, teacher workshops, undergraduate mentors and library field trips.

History Day Regional, State and National Events

Students and teachers begin working together in the fall, with completed projects due in early March. During December, January and February, students attend History Day Hullabaloos held at libraries around the state. During these sessions students work hands-on with library professionals.

  • Regional Events, March. After months of researching, editing and polishing, students showcase their projects at regional History Day fairs during the month of March, hoping to advance to state and national competitions.
  • State Competition, May. The History Day in Minnesota state competition is held May 4, at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
  • National Competition, June. From the state competition, a select few are invited to the National History Day competition, June 9 - 13, at the University of Maryland, College Park, just outside of Washington, D.C.

Three Minnesota entries earned the title of national champions at the 2012 National History Day competition. In all, 18 entries (63 Minnesota students) won national honors.

History Day is made possible, in part, by the Legacy Amendment through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

legacy logo

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.