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What is Oklahoma National History Day?

Each year thousands of Oklahoma students, encouraged by teachers statewide, participate in the OkNHD program. Oklahoma National History Day (OkNHD) is part of National History Day and is a highly regarded academic program for 6th through 12th grade students. It allows teachers the chance to incorporate an academic program that directly addresses Common Core and Oklahoma Assessment Standards for the Social Studies with student-based projects. Each year more than 500,000 students across the country participate!

Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, and historic sites. After analyzing and interpreting their sources students draw conclusions about their topics' significance in history before presenting their work in original papers, exhibits, performances, websites, and documentaries. The student projects are entered into competitions in the spring at district, state, and national contests where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators. Each May students from across Oklahoma compete in the state finals. The program culminates in the Kenneth E. Behring National Contest each June held at the University of Maryland at College Park.

In addition to discovering the exciting world of the past, OkNHD also helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Research and reading skills
  • Oral and written communication and presentation skills
  • Self-esteem and confidence
  • A sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process

The Oklahoma National History Day Program not only teaches students about history, it encourages them to participate in history!

Contest Information

Once you have chosen a historical topic related to the annual theme you will conduct primary and secondary research. After you have analyzed and interpreted your sources and have drawn a conclusion about the significance of your topic, you will then be able to present your work in one of five ways: as a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a website. In the spring, you may enter your work into district contest where it will be judged by professional educators and historians. If your work is chosen as one of the best, you will move on to the state's NHD contest. As a winner at your state NHD contest, you will be eligible to attend the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June. This is where the best National History Day projects from across the United States, American Samoa, Guam, International Schools of Aisia, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe all meet and compete.

The 2015 Oklahoma National History Day contest is scheduled for May 6-7, 2015 at the Oklahoma History Center. Junior Division will compete on Wednesday, May 6, and Senior Division will compete on Thursday, May 7. Awards will be given each day.

The 2014 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest will be held June 14-18, 2014.


Oklahoma National History Day is made possible through the support of numerous organizations and foundations. You too can support Oklahoma National History Day. To find out more please contact the state coordinator.
The 2015 Oklahoma History Day Sponsors are:

Ad Astra Foundation

Global Health

Mount Vernon

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Grand River Dam Authority

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