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Hundreds of Students Set to Compete in State History Day Contest

Elementary, middle, and high school students from across the Commonwealth will compete this weekend in the Virginia History Day State Contest that will be held at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC).

Virginia History Day is the state affiliate of the National History Day program. Similar to a science fair, but for history, the National History Day Contest was founded in 1974 to inspire students to conduct original historical research. Since its creation, the contest has grown into an international competition with more than half a million participants and thousands of dollars in scholarship awards and prizes annually.

In a time when civics and history education are critical for engaged citizenship, Virginia History Day offers students a transformative learning experience by making history relevant and approachable. The contest challenges students to draw connections between the past and present to ensure they see and understand the importance of history in shaping the world we live in.

Students are asked to research topics related to a theme and express their research in one of the 5 project categories (documentary, exhibit, website, paper, performance). Providing students with a choice in how they express their research allows for them to see themselves in history and helps get them excited about their research.

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture has been the host of the Virginia History Day contest since 2017, and this year will be its largest, with over 400 students participating. The contest will take place Saturday, April 29th (elementary & middle school) through Sunday, April 30th (high school).

A wide range of activities will be featured during the energetic weekend, including trivia games, food trucks, and tours of the museum’s newest space exhibition, Apollo: When We Went to the Moon. Through artifacts, objects, and interactive components this exhibition explores the social and political forces that shaped the Space Race and chronicles the history of space exploration.

For more information on the 2023 Virginia History Day Contest, please visit

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