For Parents

Your child is working on a History Day project for school and you probably have a lot of questions. History Day, while challenging. can be just as enjoyable for parents as it is for students. The Maryland History Day team is here to help.

The Maryland History Day competition process is comprised of three to four levels: classroom, school, district, and state. In addition, there is a national competition where winners at the state level compete. Questions regarding the classroom and school level should be directed to the teacher. If you have questions about the district competition, you can ask one of our many district coordinators. Questions about the state and national competition should be sent to the Maryland History Day team.

If your child’s school does not participate in History Day, please contact us for information about how to participate. Are you a homeschool parent? We are here to help you get started and provide you with the necessary resources.

“My children have learned a vast array of skills by participating in National History Day. Not only are they learning research skills, but also a layered knowledge of topics, from the main topic to those infused with it…The impact this annual competition has made on my two kids alone is seemingly immeasurable, as the emotional strength and confidence found from a job well done cannot be calculated.” – Queen Anne’s County History Day parent Robin DeMaso

What is the role of parents?

  • Provide encouragement by sharing the experience through discussions about student research.
  • Review our Entering the Contest page with students to make sure they are familiar with all the requirements. Make sure you read the rule book. If you have questions, please contact Maryland History Day staff!
  • Take a look at sample projects from previous competitions.
  • Consult with your child’s teacher to become familiar with the project schedule and deadlines. Deadlines for the state competition can be found on the Maryland History Day homepage.
  • Extra help can be found on the Entering the Contest page; this includes worksheets on how to develop a thesis, category-specific guides, as well as other helpful links.
  • Provide transportation to research sites (such as libraries, archives, museums, historic sites) and to History Day competitions.
  • You can assist with the operation of dangerous equipment, such as power tools, but only students are responsible for the design, construction, and presentation of projects.
  • Parents can also help with transporting exhibits and props. But remember only students are allowed to set up the exhibits and props and operate documentary and website equipment.
  • You can also help prepare your student for competition judging with practice questions for the interview. Unlike traditional classroom assignments, the competition judges will spend most of the time reviewing the projects with the students and asking a few questions. Students are not expected to do a full presentation. Most interviews will last five to ten minutes.

“I believe the experience was invaluable. The most positive impact that Maryland History Day had on my child was being able to have the opportunity to choose a topic that she was interested in and to be able to present that information in a format that allowed her to learn new skills. I also feel that some of the judges asked insightful questions. The ability to answer questions on the spot allowed all the students to gain experience in public speaking. Overall, the whole experience enabled students to participate in an activity that allowed them to explore a somewhat different set of skills than what is normally offered in the day to day routine at school.” – Maryland History Day parent

  • “I had never done anything like this before so it was a totally new experience to write a paper, be interviewed, and defend my positions. I now really know how to do research and it has improved my writing skills.”

    ​Maryland History Day student
  • “I had never done anything like this before so it was a totally new experience to write a paper, be interviewed, and defend my positions. I now really know how to do research and it has improved my writing skills.”

    ​Maryland History Day 2015 Student
  • “[The students] learned a variety of ways to present their material and they could focus on what they wanted to learn about. The students had a choice in their learning. It was about their learning NOT what someone else felt they need to learn.”

    ​Maryland History Day teacher
  • “It provided an opportunity for my child to learn through experiential opportunities. He had interviews and tours that were relevant to his topic that helped the history come alive and create unforgettable memories.”

    Maryland History Day 2015 Parent
  • “By using a variety of sources, I was able to get angles on my topic that I wasn’t able to before. Also, I learned so much about a topic near and dear to my heart that will enrich my learning later in life.”

    Maryland History Day 2015 Student
  • “My students became more competent researchers, and took ownership of their work. They had total free reign to choose their topic, direct their research, and create their final project.”

    ​Maryland History Day 2015 Teacher
  • “MHD illustrated the applicability of the study of history to contemporary issues and current events. It was very motivating to converse with the students about their historical topic and observe how they applied it to current events and their own life circumstances.”

    ​Maryland History Day parent
  • “Maryland History Day challenged my daughter to go deeper, deeper in research analysis and presentation. It took her to a whole new level academically.”

    ​Maryland History Day parent
  • “I think the continual process of improving her research and presentation through the various levels of competition has been incredibly valuable. It has caused her to dig deeper in her research and build upon and refine her work and presentation.”

    ​Maryland History Day parent
  • “The thing that had the most impact were the skills that I got from this project. I developed better hunting skills in terms of looking for reliable sources and I also learned to work hard and not procrastinate to achieve something great.”

    Maryland History Day student participant
  • “The part of History Day that had the most impact on me was seeing all the other entries and entry categories. It was really inspiring to see so many different people of history honored for their leadership and legacy as that was this years theme. You forget that the whole world has a history and there are so many different people and leaders who make up that history. The fact that this day brings together all of us students, our imaginations, our creativity, research skills, and history really reminds you how much of us would be lost if we didn’t remember those who made an impact.”

    ​Maryland History Day student participant
  • “The students are now far more prepared for the high level of scholarship and achievement that will be expected of them in future years. MHD also elevated many other skills too. These include public speaking, the use of technology, learning to collaborate.”

    ​Maryland History Day teacher
  • “The researching and communicating skills have made me a more confident person in all academic endeavors. These are skills that will last me a lifetime.”

    ​Maryland History Day student participant
  • “[My son] became a real expert in his topic and, he says, developed a life-long love of history, especially the history of music. I cannot thank you enough for this rare and incredible opportunity.”

    Andrea LeWinter, parent of Maryland History Day participant
  • I’ve loved judging! It’s exciting to see the passion the middle schoolers have put in their projects. I hope that my critiques have helped strive for excellence throughout their lives.

    Dee Krasnansky, Maryland History Day Judge
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Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities.
Maryland Humanities
108 West Centre Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-4565
(410) 685-0095
(410) 685-0795 fax
info@mdhumanities.org
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