Welcome to the
Florida History Fair!
Sponsored by the Museum of Florida History, the Florida History Fair (FHF) is an annual, statewide activity that enhances the teaching and learning of history at elementary and secondary levels. Florida joins 48 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, and the Department of Defense Schools as an affiliate of the National History Day (NHD) program, which was established in 1974. NHD promotes history in the classroom by offering students the means and encouragement to do original research about people, ideas, and events of the past. The Museum of Florida History has coordinated FHF since the 1988-89 school year.
Students who participate in the history fair acquire valuable, life-long skills. Among these are
- self-directed study;
- the ability to conduct purposeful research and to identify, analyze, and interpret primary and secondary sources;
- awareness of past events and their impact on society;
- the ability to convey synthesized information in popular formats; and
- poise and self-assurance during contests with peers.
Based on a theme selected annually by NHD, students in grades 6 to 12 use primary and secondary sources to research a topic relating to local, national, or world history. The 2010-11 theme is "Debate and Dialogue in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences." After analyzing and interpreting the information they have gathered, students express their findings in a paper, exhibit, performance, documentary, or web site. They may work individually or in groups of up to five members except in the historical paper category, which is open only to individuals. Students' entries are judged in two divisions—junior (grades 6-8) and senior (grades 9-12)—during the various levels of competition. First- and second-place county winners in each category and division advance to the state contest in Tallahassee in May. Similarly, first- and second-place state winners in each category and division earn the right to represent Florida at the National History Day competition in College Park, Maryland, in June.
More than 34,000 students in 25 counties participated in the 2009-10 Florida History Fair. More than 850 youths attended the state contest in May, and 55 students from 14 counties represented Florida at the National History Day competition.
Participating counties pay an annual fee of $75, which enables all public, private, charter, and home school students to compete. Each county has a local coordinator, who oversees the school and district contests in her/his area. The statewide coordinator assists local efforts by preparing contest and curriculum materials, maintaining a web site, providing training workshops for teachers and students, administering the state competition, and coordinating Florida's involvement in the national program.
Counties that participated in the 2009-10 Florida History Fair include: Alachua, Bay, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Duval, Escambia, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Leon, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, St. Lucie, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Seminole, and Volusia. Interested students in counties not listed above should contact the state coordinator for information about how to become involved.