Youth Contest

Ohio History Day invites 4th and 5th-grade students to participate in the 2024 Ohio History Day Youth Contest! Students have the opportunity to become real historians, choosing their own topic, doing research with primary and secondary sources, and coming up with their own thoughts and ideas about what they've learned. Students then share their research and ideas by creating either an exhibit or a performance.

2024 Annual Theme Information

Every year National History Day frames students' research within a historical theme. This broad theme allows students to explore topics from across the world or locally; from ancient history or the more recent past. The 2024 theme is Turning Points in History. This theme asks students to explore what happens when different people and different viewpoints come together. To learn more about this theme read the following materials:

Contest Information

Contest Date: Saturday, April 20, 2024

Location: Capital University

2024 Youth Submission Guidelines


Youth Division Coordinators

Alex Eveleth
The Ohio History Connection
Columbus, Ohio 43211
Main line: 614.297.2300

If you have any further questions about the Youth Competition please contact the Ohio History Day Team by visiting our Contact Us page and selecting "History Day" from the drop-down menu.

Registration Dates and Fees

Click here to register for the Youth Contest!

Registration Deadline: Monday, April 8, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

Registration Fee: $13 per student; there is no educator registration fee

Lesson Plans

The goal of this activity is to give students a greater understanding of primary and secondary sources, and how each are used in historical research. Participating in the activity will also demonstrate to students why it is important to use a wide variety of sources during research. This will prepare students to find, analyze, and use primary and secondary sources in their Youth History Day projects.


In this lesson plan, students will experience first-hand why they can’t believe everything they find on the internet. They will also learn questions to ask themselves when deciding whether a website contains trustworthy information or not. Practicing these skills will assist students in finding reliable sources when doing historical research, whether it is for a class assignment or an Ohio Youth History Day project. This will also help develop their information literacy skills and make them better-informed citizens in everyday life.


During this activity, students will puzzle out for themselves what makes a great thesis statement. Students will break down the different components of a thesis, and then, by experimenting with and combining these components, learn how to make a strong one. A strong thesis statement that makes a claim and states the topics’ historical significance is the bedrock of any good Youth History Day Project. Learning this skill will help students not only in history but in other subjects as well


Frequently Asked Questions

What category can I create a project in?

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Youth participants can create a project in the exhibit or performance category. For more information, please check out the Youth History Day Rule Book.

How will my project be judged?

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When your project is judged the judges are evaluating your project using two different levels of criteria.

Historical Quality (80%)

The Historical Quality of your project is worth 80% when it comes to the judges' final decision. Historical quality focuses on the accuracy of facts, analysis and interpretation of the material, an understanding of historical context, a wide array of research represented in the annotated bibliography, a balanced presentation of your materials (unbiased) and the use of available primary sources. This section also includes your topic's connection to the annual theme.

Clarity of your Presentation (20%)

This criterion is worth 20% in your final evaluation. Clarity of presentation focus on whether the entry is presented in an effective, original and creative manner. The judges will also consider an entry in compliance with the rules in the final consideration. Failure to follow the rules will count against an entry in the final decisions by the judges.

At every level of competition, ALL JUDGES DECISIONS ARE FINAL!

Should I prepare a formal presentation for the judges?

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No, you do not need to prepare an official presentation for the judges. They will read your paperwork, view your project, and then interview you about your project.

What types of questions will I be asked in the interview?

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Interview questions can vary depending on the judges. Most likely you will be asked content questions about your topic and then questions about your research and how you put together your projects. Here are some sample questions you might be asked:

  • Why did you choose this topic?
  • What was your most valuable source and why?
  • How do you think your topic impacted history?
  • What was the most interesting thing you learned?
  • How did you divide up the work? (for groups)
  • What was the most challenging thing about your project?
  • Why did you choose to create a (paper, documentary, exhibit, website, performance)?