History Day District 6 Competition

See past History Day results: 2017 | 2016 | 2015

When: Saturday, March 3, 2018, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Event will proceed regardless of weather.
Where: WMU Bernhard Center, second floor

2018 Theme: Conflict and CompromiseConflict & Compromise

Photos from District 6 Competition 2017

Parent and teacher recommends History Day Contest

2018 Registration form
Documentary Upload Instructions
Website category information

Parking on campus will be free.
Bernhard Center floor maps.

Michigan History Day - State Finals will take place in April


Bernhard Market and Café (main floor) will be open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Select from hot a la carte breakfast (no food will be available in the registration area) or lunch menu choices and find a table in the dining area. Your entire group can sit together and enjoy some down-time during the day. Cash and credit card payments allowed and they are open at our request during this competition.
Items available:

  • Coffee and other hot beverages 
  • Soft drinks: fountain and bottled 
  • Salads, sandwiches, pizza, hot dogs, hot entrees a la carte 
  • Snacks: nuts, chips, crackers, granola and energy bars and meat jerky sticks 
  • Bakery items, candy, ice cream novelties

Hoekje/Bigelow Dining Hall will be open for lunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), all-you-can-eat, self-service, dine-in, buffet style service.  See the map of the Bernhard Center main level for dining hall location.  Payment is at the checker stand at the entrance door to the dining hall, cash or credit card accepted, $9.25 per person.

Buster's Bookstore will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for all your bronco gear.

Schedule of events for Saturday, March 3, 2018

8 a.m. Registration and set up, second floor lobby, Bernhard Center
8:20 a.m. Judges Meeting with Dr. Bill Warren, room #244 (Faculty Lounge)
9:00 a.m. Opening Ceremony with Dr. Bill Warren in the North/South Ballroom, Bernhard Center
9:20 a.m. Judging begins in rooms located throughout the Bernhard Center. See maps for location of each category

Lunch on your own - Bernhard Market and Cafe or Hoekje/Bigelow Dining Hall

12:30 p.m. Judges’ Consultation Period: Faculty Lounge (lunch buffet provided for judges and volunteers) (Students, parents, teachers and friends: breakfast and lunch on your own)
2:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony with Dr. Wilson Warren in the North/South Ballroom, Bernhard Center

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.

WMU History Day logo

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.


Registration deadline for the competition is Tuesday, February 16. Information for teachers, parents, and students is available in early September from either of the district co-coordinators Dr. Bill Warren or Mr. Josh Koenig as well as on this website. Registration forms are due Tuesday, Feb. 14 for all entries. Historical papers must be submitted in hard copy or PDF by Feb. 22, 2017 to provide sufficient time for the judges to read them.

As a teacher, either considering participation with your students or continuing to work with students in the competition, please read:

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. 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 Western Michigan University sponsored the contest with the competition taking place in the Bernhard Center. Mr Joshua Koenig and Dr. Wilson Warren are the co-coordinators. Successful entries can be entered in the state contest, which will take place in late April at a site still to be determined. 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, please 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 Mr. Koenig are happy to answer any questions and talk further with you about preparing your students for the contest.