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State Historical Society of Iowa
NHD in Iowa students at the 2023 national contest welcome ceremony

National History Day

National History Day Ⓡ is a year-long academic enrichment program that challenges students to take ownership of the past by conducting original historical research about topics of their choosing and presenting their findings in creative research projects. Working individually or in small groups, participants learn how to think critically and communicate through various formats while building self-confidence and a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process.

National History Day in Iowa is dedicated to creating a positive environment for all participants to showcase their work and receive feedback on their projects from judges at local and state contests, with top students advancing to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park.

For Teachers

NHD is a great fit for any classroom. The program prioritizes student-led learning and builds essential 21st-century competencies. Students that participate in NHD consistently outscore their peers in writing assessments and report higher confidence levels in college- and career-ready skills. NHD also meets Iowa social studies inquiry anchor standards. Need more convincing? Watch this video to hear from veteran teachers in Iowa's program about how and why NHD works.

For Students

NHD is an exciting opportunity to dig into the past and write history for yourself! If you've never competed before, get started by reviewing the rule book and the NHD process. If you're a seasoned NHD competitor, learn more about this year's theme and get a jump start on your research.

For Volunteers

NHD in Iowa needs YOU! Volunteer judges evaluate student projects and create a positive experience for Iowa's young historians during district contests across the state in March and at the state contest in April. All judges will be provided with training prior to contests—no experience necessary! Volunteers must be 18 or older to participate. Click here to get involved!

NHD in Iowa in Action