An extraordinary system of cultural and historical resources.

History Day FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About History Day

What grade levels can participate?

There are three age divisions: Youth (grades 4-5), Junior (grades 6-8), and Senior (grades 9-12). Regional and state competitions are open to all age divisions. The national competition is for junior and senior divisions only.

Can a student not enrolled in a public school participate?

History Day is open to all the students of Idaho.  Public, charter, private, and home schooled students are all encouraged to participate.

What is this year's theme?

Every year the competition is based around a unique theme. The 2014-2015 theme is "Leadership and Legacy."

How do I start my research?

In a nutshell, you will choose a topic that is appropriate for the annual theme, research your topic using primary and secondary sources, choose a category to show your findings, and present your project to judges for evaluation.   Check out the Getting Started page for more information.

How do I find out about categories and contest rules?

Students may choose to present their topics in one of five categories:  Documentary, Exhibit, Historical Paper, Performance, or Web Site:

  • Rules for All Categories 
  • Rules for Web Sites                                         
  • Rules for Documentaries  
  • Rules for Performances                              
  • Rules for Historical Papers                          
  • Rules for Exhibits                                                         
How does a student compete in a regional competition?

The first step in the competition is to participate in a regional competition. There are currently six History Day regions in Idaho. To find out more about your local competition, contact the regional coordinator closest to you.

How does a student take part in the state competition?

The 2015 National History Day in Idaho contest will be on Saturday, April 11 at the College of Idaho. To be eligible for the state competition, a student must first compete in one of the regional competitions. Top finishers in each category at the regional contests can compete in the state competition held at the College of Idaho.  For more information contact your state history day coordinator or go to the State Contest page.

History Day Coordinator
Idaho Historical Museum
214 Broadway Ave
Boise, Idaho 83702
(208) 780-5190

How does a student take part in the national competition?

Top finishers in the junior and senior divisions of the state-level competition are eligible to compete in the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest held on the University of Maryland campus at College Park, MD.  Qualifying students will receive registration information for the national competition at the state awards ceremony.

Is there an entry fee?

There is an $8.00 fee to enter a regional competition and a $12.00 fee to enter the state competition.

  • REGIONAL HISTORY DAY ENTRY FEES: Checks for Regional History Day entry fees may be made payable to your area's Regional History Day Coordinator.  Please indicate on the "memo" line that the check is for History Day and the name of the student(s) being paid for. 
  • STATE HISTORY DAY ENTRY FEES: Checks for the State History Day competition ONLY should be made payable to the Idaho State Historical Society.  Please indicate on the "memo" line that the check is for History Day and the name of the student(s) being paid for.
Who pays for travel to the national competition?

All registration fees and travel expenses such airfare, lodging, and meals are the responsibility of the student and their family.  Students may apply for small travel scholarships sponsored by the Union Pacific Foundation.  The state coordinator will proved winners the information on how to apply for these scholarships.

Are there prizes for the winners?

Students may win a wide variety of prizes during National History Day in Idaho.  Most regional contests award ribbons and/or medals as prizes.  First and second place winning entries from each regional level contest of the National History Day in Idaho program are eligible to compete at the state level competition.  Awards presented at the state contest include ribbons, medals, scholarships, cash prizes, gift certificates, books, organization memberships, etc.  To be eligible for any of these awards, students must first compete in a regional program.  First and second place entries from the junior and senior divisions of the Idaho state competition may advance to the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest held at the University of Maryland the second week of June. For a complete listing of available Student Awards and Special Prizes, see the Awards and Scholarships page.

Useful Links

Rules of all categories:

Documentary Rules
Historical Papers

Scholarships and Prizes – for Teachers as Well as Students

National Special Awards
History Channel Teacher Award
Patricia Behring Teacher Award

Getting Started - How to Start & Regional Contacts

Creating a History Day Entry 
Teacher Guide to Implementing History Day in the classroom
Resources for Teachers
Idaho Regional Contacts
Regional Entry Form

Research – This Year’s Theme, Tips on Research and Ideas for Idaho Themes

This Year’s Theme is Leadership and Legacy
Idaho Topics to consider
Research Tips
More Tips on getting started