History Day District 6 Competition

2020 Theme:  Breaking Barriers in History       

When: Saturday, March 7, 2020, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Event will proceed regardless of weather.)                                                                  

Where: Western Michigan University, Brown Hall and Dalton Center Recital Hall (new location on campus)                                                                       

Parking on WMU's campus will be free. Miller Parking Ramp will be the best area to park on competition day.                                                                                         


Dates to remembER

 February 19, 2020-Registration deadline.

 *REGISTRATION FORMS MUST BE COMPLETED ELECTRONICALLY ONLINE. WE WILL NOT ACCEPT HANDWRITTEN FORMS* (Please use internet explorer or google chrome when opening the form link.)


  •  All forms and $12 payments should be in the hands of the WMU Department of History on this day. We ask that you do not send in multiple envelopes of your payments. Please hold your payments until you have collected them all and then send in at that time. 

*February 26, 2020

  • Papers should be in the hands of Dr. Warren - as a Word document and emailed to wilson.warren@wmich.edu.
  • Websites should be finished. They will be locked at 11:59 p.m. on this day and edits will no longer be allowed. Click here to get instructions on how to build a website.
  • Documentaries should be uploaded on or before this day to Google Docs: Upload Instructions. The file title should be identical to that listed on your registration form. At least one student last name should also be listed at the end of the title so judges can locate your entry; i.e. "Triumph & Tragedy - Jones".

Schedule of events

Saturday, March 7

8 a.m.: Registration and set up, lobby area of Brown Hall
8:20 a.m.: Judges meeting with Dr. Bill Warren, Room TBD
9 a.m.: Opening ceremony with Dr. Bill Warren in the Recital Hall, Dalton. Follow the signs across the plaza.
9:20 a.m.: Judging begins in rooms located throughout Brown Hall.

Lunch on your own–Biggby and Subway will be open which are located in the Bernhard Center on the lower level. (Bronco Mall)

12:30 p.m.: Judges’ consultation period, Lounge area. Judges and volunteers: lunch buffet provided; students, parents, teachers and friends: breakfast and lunch on your own.
2 p.m.: Awards ceremony with Dr. Wilson Warren in the Recital Hall in Dalton - across the plaza from Brown Hall. (start time depends on when the tallying is complete)

Michigan History Day

Michigan History Day (National History Day in Michigan) is a competition sponsored by the Historical Society of Michigan for students in grades 4 through 12 that offers an exciting means for students to learn history. Students, working as groups or individuals, prepare exhibits, media, projects, dramatic performances, or historical papers that explore a broad theme set each year by the National History Day contest.

The southwest Michigan District #6 includes Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Hillsdale, Jackson, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties. Qualifying entries at the district level may compete at the state finals in late April. Qualifiers at that level are eligible to enter the National History Day contest in early June at the University of Maryland.

2020 State Finals: Saturday, April 25, 2020 at Central Michigan University



Parent and teacher recommend History Day Contest
If you are a teacher, either considering participation with your students or continuing to work with students in the competition, please read the following:

You are Invited!

We invite you to consider having your students participate in the National History Day contest. NHD is a highly regarded academic program for elementary and secondary school students.

Contest background

The contest began in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1974, and has grown to include more than a half million students nationwide. In Michigan, students in grades 4-12 can participate. The contest is organized into three levels of competition: district, state and national. The first stage of the competition is at the district level. Michigan is comprised of 11 districts. Kalamazoo County and 10 other counties in southwest Michigan constitute District 6. Since 2001, Tom Dietz from the Kalamazoo Valley Museum coordinated the District 6 competition. Beginning in 2015, the Department of History at WMU sponsored the contest with the competition taking place in the Bernhard Center. Dr. Wilson Warren is the coordinator of the event. Successful entries can be entered in the state contest, which will take place in late April. Top entries at the state contest are then eligible to compete at the national contest at the University of Maryland in College Park in June.

For the contest, students choose historical topics related to the annual theme. After selecting a topic, students conduct extensive primary and secondary source research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites. Many of these materials are available online.

The NHD’s website includes extensive research links. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance, students present their work in one of five categories: papers, websites, exhibits (posters), performances (generally short skits) and documentaries (generally PowerPoint presentations). These productions are judged at each level of the competition by panels of professional historians and educators. For more detailed information about the competition, see the National History Day website  and the Michigan History Day website.

In addition to investigating exciting historical topics, NHD helps students develop attributes that are essential for future college and career success, including critical thinking and problem-solving skills, research and reading skills, oral and written communication and presentation skills, self-esteem and confidence, and a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process. NHD has also developed a detailed handout on how the contest is linked to Common Core standards.

Dr. Warren and Dr. Koenig are happy to answer any questions and talk further with you about preparing your students for the contest.

Past History Days at WMU

See past History Day results: 20202019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

Photos from District 6 Competition 2017