April 26, 2019
On April 27, over 600 National History Day in Missouri students will gather on the University of Missouri campus to showcase their creative work. These state finalists, having advanced from regional competitions around the state, represent the best of over 5,000 middle and high school students participating in the 2018-2019 program, which is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Missouri (SHSMO).
Students present their original research in one of five competition categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Participants vie for the opportunity to represent the Show-Me State at the national competition at the University of Maryland—College Park, in June.
According to SHSMO executive director Gary Kremer, the National History Day in Missouri program is one of SHSMO's most important educational initiatives. Students research significant events in history while simultaneously discovering how to use the medium of their competition category to effectively share their research.
"The National History Day in Missouri program provides students with the opportunity to explore their interests and gain a stronger understanding of the world," Kremer said. "The impact on students is tremendous: they build confidence, develop their critical thinking, and learn important communication skills."
This was the case with Anna Skalicky, a National History Day in Missouri alumna who competed in the documentary category at the state and national levels for four consecutive years. A student from Central High School in Springfield, Missouri, Skalicky shared that "editing [documentaries] became second nature, and my inbox was flooded with emails from historians, responding to my requests for interviews. I made it a goal to learn about our past and share my love of history with others." Skalicky added: "I have come to realize that in order to get where we're going, we must know where we come from."
At the 2018 national competition, Missouri celebrated six finalists, two outstanding entries, and a silver medalist.
A national evaluation found that students who participate in National History Day:
To get involved in National History Day in Missouri, contact the State Historical Society of Missouri at 573.882.7083 or visit the NHDMO website.