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National History Day in Idaho

National History Day in Idaho 2018

National History Day in Idaho is an exciting way to engage students in history. The program pulls students out of the classroom and into the world of the professional historian. Students track down information about historic people and events by exploring archives, libraries, and other resources. This research leads to new insights and original conclusions that students use to prepare exhibits, documentaries, websites, papers, and performances. History Day is a great way to teach students critical thinking skills while instilling a lifelong love of history. The mission of NHD is to improve the teaching and learning of history in middle and high school. The most visible vehicle is the NHD Contest.

Beginning in the fall, students choose a topic related to the annual theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, exhibits, performances, websites, or documentaries. These projects are entered into competitions in the spring at local, affiliate, and national levels, where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators. The program culminates at the national competition held each June at the University of Maryland at College Park.

For more information:

Curriculum and contest materials are distributed to NHD coordinators and teachers in the fall.  To receive current National History Day in Idaho information, contact your regional coordinator, or the Coordinator for National History Day in Idaho, Johanna Bringhurst,, or call (208)780-5190.



 NHD Teacher Workshop 2017



NHD 2018 Theme: Conflict & Compromise

NHD - Conflict and CompromiseBeginning in the fall, students will explore and research possible topics related to the theme.  Each year National History Day uses a theme top provide a lens to study history. The theme is always broad enough so that you can select topics from any place (local, national, or world history) and any time period. Once you choose your topic, you investigate historical context, historical significance, and the topic’s relationship to the theme by conducting research in libraries, archives, and museums; through oral history interviews; and by visiting historic sites.   

This year’s theme, Conflict & Compromise in History, requires you to view history through multiple perspectives. Compromise can sometimes prevent a conflict, but what happens when it does not? If a conflict occurs, how can compromise help to end the conflict? What happens if a failed compromise leads to an even larger conflict? Throughout this academic year, you will need to ask yourself these questions and more.

2018 NHD Theme Book 

2018 NHD Theme Narrative

Sample Topics

Idaho Topic Ideas


2018 NHD in Idaho Contests

Dates still to be determined, check back soon!



Six Regional contests will be held in February and March 2018 at the following locations. Click on the "Contest" tab in the upper left corner of this web page for more details and for your region's registration links and information, or click here.

  • Northern Idaho Region

Date to be determined!
Eastern Washington University Cheney, WA

  • West Ada Region

Date to be determined!
Lowell Scott Middle School Meridian, ID

  • Eastern Idaho Region

Date to be determined!
Rocky Mountain Middle School Idaho Falls, ID

  • South Central Idaho Region

Date to be determined!
Burley Junior High School Burley, ID

  • Treasure Valley Region

Date to be determined!
Riverstone International School Boise, ID

  • Southwestern Idaho Region

Date to be determined!
Idaho Arts Charter School Nampa, ID


The State contest will be held in April 2018, at the College of Idaho in Caldwell, Idaho. 


The NHD National contest will be held June 10-14, 2018, at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.

Newsworthy Events

Normandy Institute








Renaissance High School teacher Janelle Gilson, and her student, Josh White, were one of fifteen teacher-student teams across the country selected to participate in the 2016 NHD Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student and Teacher Institute. Janelle and Josh spent the school year researching the story of Silent Hero Ray O. Coffey, a combat engineer from Idaho, who gave his life in World War II shortly after the D-Day landings in Normandy. In June, they traveled to Washington D.C. to finish their research, and then journeyed to Normandy, France with the other teacher-student teams to visit the D-Day beaches, museums and historic sites. Their final stop was the Normandy American Cemetery, where Josh delivered a heartfelt eulogy next to Combat Engineer Coffey's grave.

Click here to see some photographs from their trip to Normandy, and click here to watch their interview on KTVB's Viewpoint broadcase on July 31, 2016. The interview begings at about the 13 minute mark of the segment.



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FARGO at the Old Pen
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