Nearly 500 middle and high school students presented their extensive historical research at the first in-person Maryland History Day State Contest in three years. The competition, held on April 30 at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), is the culmination of a year-long program from Maryland Humanities. Last year, nearly 20,000 Maryland students participated at the school level.
Maryland History Day, produced by Maryland Humanities since 1999, sparks critical thinking and helps develop skills in research and analysis, writing, and public speaking. Working solo or in small groups, students create original documentary films, exhibits, performances, research papers, or websites exploring a historical topic of their choice on an annual theme, which this year is “Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.” Maryland History Day is open to public, private, parochial, and homeschool students in grades 6 through 12.
Competitors at Maryland History Day have already won first or second place in their category at school and/or district levels. Students from thirteen counties and Baltimore City received special awards, designated for outstanding Maryland History Day projects that cover specific subjects.
Students from eight Maryland counties and Baltimore City will represent Maryland in the National History Day competition, where they will compete among an estimated 3,000 participants from across the country and beyond. National History Day, virtual this year, runs June 12–18. Special Prize recipients and students who received first and second place were honored at a Virtual Awards Ceremony on May 1.
The national competition involves students from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and international schools in China, Korea, and South Asia. Maryland History Day is an affiliate of National History Day, a non-profit education organization that promotes an appreciation for historical research among middle and high school students through multiple annual programs, including the National History Day Contest.