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History Day at UMN Department of History

April 1, 2019

National History Day (NHD) is a tremendous event that takes place each year, in which students grades 6-12 in Minnesota and around the country create and complete an inter-disciplinary research project.

The UMN history department is committed to supporting NHD through graduate and undergraduate outreach. Each cohort of undergraduates, both history majors and students from around the University prepares to be mentors for middle- and high-school students.

Beginning in the late fall and continuing through the spring, undergraduate mentors commit to spending 10 hours a week guiding History Day participants on presentation, communication, and research. This year, there are around 40 undergraduate mentors, 26 of whom are new to the program and therefore enrolled in the introductory course taught by a graduate student in the history department.

The goals of the course, according to current teacher Brooke Dependbusch, are to solidify mentors’ understanding of historical processes and research and to help them draw meaning for themselves out of the mentorship experience. The course is designed to help mentors take a step back and think about how they learn history, the most effective ways to teach and the social disparities they encounter in the classroom.

Next week we will look at some of the ways undergraduate mentors have responded to their experiences and what they have learned from their mentorship experience. Remember! The History Day program is not just for history majors! All undergraduate students are welcome to participate.