Alaska History Day 2024

Alaska History Day is the Alaska-based affiliate program for National History Day®
(NHD), which for fifty years has helped teachers teach and students learn historical research skills. Alaska History Day/NHD fosters an appreciation for history through project-based learning, helping middle and high-schoolers gain research, problem-solving analysis, and critical thinking skills; gain self-esteem and confidence; and engage with and grow their appreciation of the study of history and the world around them.

Read the press release or check out the Alaska History Day 2024 Winners here!

By participating in AHD/NHD, students become writers, filmmakers, web designers,
playwrights, and artists as they create unique contemporary expressions of history. Each year,
NHD selects a theme to help teachers and students frame their research. Based on that
theme, participants identify a topic they want to research, gain an understanding through
study of primary and secondary sources, develop an argument about their topic’s
significance in history, create their project to share their conclusions, and finally present their
work at the competition itself. Students can work individually or in groups as they build their
research projects. While some contests are in-person, Alaska History Day is an entirely on-line
competition, allowing students to submit projects from throughout the state without
expensive travel.

This year-long program culminates with students presenting their research at History
Day competitions, with top projects having the opportunity to participate in the national
competition in College Park, Md. At each level of the competition, from schools to nationals,
volunteer judges evaluate student work and provide feedback, helping students to refine
their projects. Students do not need to participate in the competition itself to benefit,
however, the skills they develop will serve them throughout their lives.

Alaska History Day encourages the study of local, regional, and state history, to help
learners better understand our home’s unique qualities and challenges. NHD supports
teachers and students through the process, by providing curriculum and lesson plans, video
materials, professional development opportunities, research tips, and more. As we rebuild, we
will expand work with archives and historians around the state to identify theme-related
Alaska topics and sources that students may wish to study. With NHD materials and Alaskan
expertise, we hope to reach more classrooms, teachers, and students throughout our state
after several challenging years. Further, we hope to support students attending the national
contest. In 2023, over 800 students participated in Alaska History Day at the classroom level,
with over eighty entering the state contest, and twenty traveling to Nationals. There,
students not only presented their research but also visited members of Alaska’s
congressional delegation. Alaska students won national recognition for their research, with a group from Atka earning the National Endowment for the Humanities’ “History of Place” special award for their project.

Alaska History Day began in 1989 and has been operated by various organizations
around the state. Since in 2022, the Alaska Historical Society is the program sponsor, with
financial support coming from various groups and individuals, including the Alaska
Humanities Forum, and the Cook Inlet Historical Society. Your can make a gift towards Alaska History Day here. Thank you for your support of Alaska’s history!