Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

National History Day: Home

Resources from the Science History Institute: Digital Collections, Museum collections, Archival collections, and the Othmer Library's collections.

National History Day 2020 Theme Narrative

The theme narrative for the 2020 National History Day competition is "Breaking Barriers in History." 

Many scientists broke barriers in both their personal and professional lives. What were their barriers? Were they discriminated against because of their race, religion, a disability, and/or gender? Were they able to overcome all of these odds to brake through in their field to be a respected scientist, discover an element, found a college, create a company, or win a Nobel prize? Was the barrier a deeply held belief that a scientific discovery disproved? Did people doubt or fight against this scientific discovery? 

About National History Day

"National History Day is a year-long academic program focused on historical research, interpretation and creative expression for 6th- to 12th-grade students. By participating in NHD, students become writers, filmmakers, web designers, playwrights and artists as they create unique contemporary expressions of history. The experience culminates in a series of contests at the local and affiliate levels and an annual national competition in the nation's capital in June."

The Science History Institute and Our Collections

The Science History Institute is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We are a museum, library, and center for research focused on the history of science with the core of our collections dealing with the history of chemistry and related topics. 

Primary versus Secondary Research Materials

Primary sources are materials that provide a firsthand account or evidence of a subject. Primary sources are generally contemporary (occurring at the same time). They can be documents, letters, manuals, brochures, photographs, objects, oral histories, and contemporary published books and articles. 

Secondary sources are materials that analyze and interpret a subject. They can be encyclopedias, histories, and biographies which can be in book, article, or website format.