NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Following months of research and competitions at the local and district levels, more than 300 students from across the state will present their projects at the annual Tennessee History Day competition in downtown Nashville Saturday. The competition allows students to showcase their creativity and researching skills by developing projects with historical themes. The students with the projects judged best in the statewide competition will advance to the National History Day finals – held in College Park, Maryland June 11 through June 15 – with prestigious awards and scholarships awaiting the top finishers there.

Middle and high school students created projects based on topics of their choosing, all of which related to this year’s theme, “Taking a Stand in History.” Students compete in five categories: papers, exhibits, documentaries, websites and performances. Tennessee History Day helps participating students learn the importance of history and critical thinking through the use of primary source documents, in-depth research and analysis.

“Each year, there are so many great projects related to the selected theme for History Day,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “This year’s theme is particularly inspiring because it focuses on people who have made courageous stands that have helped our state, our country and our world become what they are today. I wish all of this year’s participants the best of luck in what I’m sure will be an exciting competition. I am sure Saturday’s winners will represent Tennessee well at the national competition in College Park.”

“We look forward to hosting this special group of talented young scholars at the capital this year,” added Ann Toplovich, executive director of the Tennessee Historical Society, which has sponsored the competition since 2009 with grant support from the Secretary of State’s Office and Humanities Tennessee. “Their History Day projects bring amazing insights into the history that shapes the world we live in today.”

Nationwide, the History Day program includes more than a half million students annually from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa and Department of Defense Schools. Each fall, students and teachers nationwide begin work on the yearlong curriculum, which starts with competitions held in individual schools. The winners there advance to district competitions. In Tennessee, those district competitions take place in Knoxville (sponsored by the East Tennessee Historical Society and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville), Greeneville (sponsored by Tusculum College), Cleveland (sponsored by the Museum Center at 5ive Points), Clarksville (sponsored by Austin Peay State University), Murfreesboro (sponsored by Middle Tennessee State University) and Memphis (sponsored by the University of Memphis). The district winners qualified for Saturday’s event, which will be held at various buildings in downtown Nashville.

For more information about Tennessee History Day, please visit