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As an affiliate of National History Day (NHD), Florida History Day provides a year-long academic experience that uses history to improve students’ research, critical thinking, and communication skills and expand their awareness and appreciation of the past. Working alone or in a group, students research topics related to a broad theme selected annually by NHD. After gathering, evaluating, and analyzing primary and secondary evidence from archives, libraries, historic sites, and other sources, students present their findings in a web-site, performance, documentary, historical paper, or exhibit.
Students compete at school and county levels. First- and second-place winners in each division and category may advance to the state contest. First- and second-place division and category winners at the state level represent Florida at the National History Day contest in College Park, Maryland, in June. During each round of competition, judging teams evaluate entries and provide feedback to help students improve the content and presentation of their project.
Divisions of competition
- Junior: Grades 6 to 8
- Senior: Grades 9 to 12
Some counties sponsor an elementary-level contest, but the winners do not advance to the state contest.
Categories of competition
Each division includes nine categories. Group entries include two to five students. Categories are judged separately within each division.
- Historical Paper (individual only)
- Individual Exhibit and Group Exhibit
- Individual Performance and Group Performance
- Individual Documentary and Group Documentary
- Individual Website and Group Website
Eligibility to participate
Counties pay an annual fee of $100, which enables all students in that county, regardless of their instructional setting, to participate.
Benefits for teachers
- Florida History Day enlivens the teaching and learning of history through the use of primary and secondary sources and authentic research.
- Florida History Day helps educators to satisfy Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and Language Arts Florida Standards.
Benefits for students
- Students improve critical thinking, research, language arts, and personal skills that are useful throughout life.
- Multiple presentation categories enable students with different learning styles to express themselves in the most effective way.
- FHD winners and participants receive certificates, medals, gift cards, and recognition in their community.