NMAAHC is eager to support students who are engaging in historical research for projects, especially those related to National History Day. As the national museum devoted to telling the American story through the African American lens, NMAAHC can assist students in exploring multiple perspectives in history by providing access to primary sources, supporting materials, and expert mentorship.
NHD 2020 Theme
Breaking Barriers in History
This year’s theme, Breaking Barriers in History, is a new theme for National History Day and requires you to show how and why an individual, group, event or idea "broke barriers" in history. Keep in mind that barriers can be physical, natural, or ideological. Also, it is common to assume that a barrier is negative, but is it always? What about barriers that have had positive consequences? Overall, think critically about what it means to "break barriers." Throughout this academic year, you will need to ask yourself these questions and more.
Your task as a student participant is to demonstrate breaking barriers through a topic of your choice from local, state, national, or international history. You will need to explore and explain the immediate, short-term, and the long-term effects of breaking barriers through an individual, group, or event. In conclusion, your project should answer this question: “So what?” Why should your audience care how and why did an individual, group, or event that broke barriers matter in the course of local, state, national, or international history?
About National History Day
National History Day ® is an academic competition focusing on history for students in grades 6-12. Today more than half a million students enter the contest. They construct entries as an individual or in a group in one of five five categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Students then compete in a series of contests - school, local/regional, and state - to proceed to the National Contest held each June at the University of Maryland, College Park.
The mission of National History Day is to provide students with opportunities to learn historical content and develop research, thinking and communication skills through the study of history and to provide educators with resources and training to enhance classroom teaching.