What do students say about NHD? Here’s a few statements from last year!

From student reflection in February 2019…

NHD was worth the experience even if it took a long time and a lot of work to complete it.

I improved on developing a thesis and learning how to research smarter not harder.

I think NHD taught me a lot about time management and making a thesis-guided argument. I also learned how to create a good bibliography and how to cite my sources using footnotes.

I learned that asking for help can really help me.

I learned that when you are doing a major project that takes a lot of time and effort is sometimes quite difficult and challenging but one finished is quite rewarding.

I really enjoyed NHD. I enjoyed having the freedom of picking my own topic and showing my topic in a way that I designed. For me NHD helped me with time management and getting over things that were frustrating in the moment.

One of my biggest takeaways was that it takes a huge amount of effort to convey accurate historical information in an important way, and that research is the most effective tool for understanding.

Once I began to understand how important a thesis was, my project became stronger because I worked really hard on supporting it.

This year I used my feedback to my advantage and that helped a lot. This helps so much because now I know how much feedback enhances my projects, which helped my realize that I should always ask for feedback.

I believe that one of my biggest takeaways form this project is the ability to manage my time. This has been the longest project I have been constantly working on and I believe this will help me out a lot in high school and later down the road.

I chose to do an individual project. But this didn’t mean I didn’t need teamwork. I had to work well with teachers, librarians, my parents and myself.

What I learned about in this project is that you can’t wait until the last second to do everything or slack off in the beginning.

Overall, I feel that this project was the most important piece of work I have done that will shape my work ethic in high school.

NHD was one of the most fun, beneficial, and educational things we have done in middle school. I thought it was a great project that challenged me the entire way through. Using teacher help was extremely useful, we would not have anywhere near the project we had without the teachers help.

My biggest takeaway from what I learned in this project is teamwork. It felt like my group flew past every assessment and met every deadline. My group was very prepared and I think its because everyone contributed enough. I had doubts about working with this group but it turns out we work well together.


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National History Day is a challenging and exciting research based program that has been a fixture in many social studies classrooms around the country for 30 years. 8th grade University School students have successfully participated in the program for the past 12 years, earning local, state, and national recognition! All 8th grade students will be selecting topics, researching primary and secondary sources, creating incredible papers, exhibits, performances, documentaries, and websites, and presenting their work to the USM community … and beyond.

You will be creating a project based on the 2020 NHD Theme – Breaking Barriers in History.  Make sure you read the theme overview carefully, and check out this summary!

We will spend our 50 minute afternoon American history classes working on NHD … and you will need to work outside of class as well.  It’s important to plan your research, and I am here to help!

Your goal for your NHD project is not a grade … it’s to develop your skills as a young historian, create an amazing project, present your work to your classmates and USM community, and hopefully compete at the regional state, and national contests!

How do you get started? Check out the following resources: