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Michigan History Day®

Engaging the next generation of historians.

Announcing the 2023 Button

Frontiers in History: People, Places, and Ideas

We're thrilled to announce the 2023 button for Michigan History Day® (National History Day in Michigan)! It's time to dive in to history's exciting topics and identify your topic, whether it be Michigan-based, national, or global. The frontier is yours! 

From National History Day:
To understand the historical importance of the topics chosen, students must ask questions of time and place, cause and effect, change over time, and impact and significance. What factors contributed to the development of a frontier? Why did it emerge, and how did it change? When did it cease to be a frontier? What impact did it have on the people who experienced it, and how did they affect it? Regardless of the topic selected, students must present a description of it and draw conclusions about how their topic affected individuals, communities, nations, or the world, changing the course of human society.

Michigan History Day 2023 Theme Button

What is Michigan History Day?

Michigan History Day Logo

Michigan History Day®, a project-based learning program of the Historical Society of Michigan, is a yearlong educational program that encourages students to explore local, state, national, and world history.

Also known as National History Day in Michigan, winners of the state level Michigan History Day competition in the Junior and Senior categories move on to compete in National History Day in College Park, MD.

After selecting a historical topic that relates to the annual theme, students conduct extensive research by using libraries, archives, museums, and oral history interviews. They analyze and interpret their findings, draw conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, and create final projects in one of five categories: paper, exhibit, documentary, website, or performance.

These projects can be entered into a series of competitions, from the local to the national level. Local competitions start at the school-level in February. Regional competitions take place within eleven districts in March. The state finals for Michigan History Day usually take place the last Saturday of April.

Please notify the Historical Society of Michigan through if you or your student plans to participate in Michigan History Day. Our staff can help!


A group poses in front of their exhibit

Students in grades three through twelve are eligible to compete in MHD contests, but students of any age can use the program. We welcome young scholars from public, private, charter, and virtual schools and those in homeschools as well. Start your historical adventure today!


Engage your students by allowing them to research a topic of their choice while they develop research skills and build historical literacy. Help the young scholars in your life achieve success whether you work with multiple classes of students, an after school club at your historical organization, or a child in your home.


Students and their teacher at National History Day


A judge listening to a student's presentation

Learn from young scholars and share your interest in history by volunteering to judge at a Michigan History Day contest. Judges provide valuable feedback to students through evaluation forms and interviews and select the projects that will advance to the next level of contests. You don't have to be an expert on a historical topic, just an interest in history and a willingness to learn.


Competitions can be a fun way for students to showcase a year's worth of hard work. Projects selected from school contests are entered at one of eleven district contests across the state. The top three projects in each age division and category at a district contest are eligible to compete at the State Finals in April. Judges select the top two projects in each category of the junior and senior divisions to advance to the National Finals in June. Click the button below to learn about district contests and the State Finals.

Michigan History Day 2023 Theme Button
List of Michigan History Day sponsors