National History Day in Washington, D.C.

June 10th, 2005 by Adam

Marjorie Kasten, a student at Elm Street Middle School in Nashua, is one of nine students selected to present her National History Day project next week at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The theme of this year’s National History Day is “Communication: The Key to Understanding.” Marjorie’s project is titled “Canvassing the West: American Painters Draw Settlers Westward.”

Marjorie is one of 26 students representing New Hampshire at the National History Day national contest at the University of Maryland June 12-16, where more than 2,000 finalists will present their projects, exhibits, performances and documentary films.

The competing students from New Hampshire won top honors at the state National History Day competition, held April 2 at Plymouth State University. Eighty middle and high school students attended this year’s state competition, according to PSU history professor Patrick May, who coordinates the state’s competition with fellow history professor John Krueckeberg.

National History Day (NHD) is an educational program which encourages middle and high school students to celebrate their skills as historians and exposes them to the processes, sources and complexities of historical research.

Working as individuals or in groups, students choose a topic relating to a nationally established annual theme. Students investigate their topic, develop a thesis, and interpret primary and secondary sources to apply it to the national theme. These students then bring history to life in meaningful ways by presenting their project in one of the four formats: paper, museum-style exhibit, dramatic performance or video documentary.

Every spring students are chosen by their schools to demonstrate the product of their hard work in a state-wide contest held at PSU. The best projects, as judged by a panel of professional historians and educators, are selected to represent the state at the five-day national competition at the University of Maryland, outside of Washington, D.C.

National History Day in New Hampshire (NHDNH) is the state host of this exciting program, supported by PSU and other state-wide educational organizations.

For more information about National History Day in New Hampshire, contact