A day of learning about NCHD

Thanks to all the teachers who joined us at last Friday’s teacher info session at St. Paul Catholic High School. Nearly 40 teachers took part to learn about National Capital History Day. Some of the teachers had participated in NCHD last year, but more than three-quarters were new to the program.

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Lots of teachers attended our info session — which included lots of practical information about NCHD and a complimentary breakfast.

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A number of lucky teachers received prizes from some of our key sponsors and supporters (and they were blinded by some shiny National Capital History medals….).

The day started with an overview of the program, followed by a film produced by St. Paul students about last year’s event. (We’ll post that film soon!) National Capital History Day started with a Fulbright Community Leadership Program grant that was awarded to Ruth Dunley, who explained that National Capital History Day is modelled after the very successful National History Day program in the United States, which is allowing NCHD to adapt its rules and materials for the Canadian classroom. After a very successful first year, the program has found new sponsors and is planning its second year at a new home: Carleton University.


Ruth Dunley gave everyone an overview of the NCHD program, and how it came to Ottawa. 

Kristin Riddell and Ruth Bouttell walked participants through all five of the NCHD categories of competition: Essay, Exhibit, Performance, Documentary and Website. Kristin and Ruth also explained that students can enter the contest as individuals, or in groups of up to five. Best of all, entire classes can participate, giving teachers many opportunities to integrate NCHD into their teaching schedule.


Ruth Bouttell discussed rules for Drama and Documentary.


Kristin Riddell, far left, discussed the Essay, Exhibit and Website categories, outlining rules for participation.

Teachers also had a chance to meet National Capital History Day’s liaison with Carleton University, Dr. Matthew Bellamy. Dr. Bellamy invited students and teachers to contact him for help in connecting with the many experts at Carleton, opening new research avenues for students to connect with professors.

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Dr. Matthew Bellamy is National Capital History Day’s academic liaison with Carleton University.

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Professor Bellamy is available to help teachers and students connect with experts at Carleton.

Kathy Scheepers covered one of the most important topics of the info session, explaining and describing this year’s theme: Leadership & Legacy in History. Kathy explained that students must touch on both aspects of the theme and led the educators in a brainstorming session, giving them a practical tool that they could use in their own classrooms to help students better understand how they could approach the theme.


Kathy Scheepers got everyone discussing this year’s theme: Leadership & Legacy in History. After a brainstorming session, teachers were able to share some of their ideas.

Erin Gurski told everyone about what they could expect on May 1 (great speakers, workshops, Hall of History and more!) and our registrar, Alison Peters, coached everyone through the registration process, which has been streamlined since last year’s event. (Updated info about registration will be posted here in the new year.)


Erin Gurski let teachers know what they could expect at National Capital History Day on May 1, 2015.


Registrar Alison Peters is in charge of registering all students and their projects — she guided teachers through the process and led a step-by-step discussion of how the registration form works.

Thanks to all the teachers who attended the session, many of whom expressed how excited they are to have their students participate in NCHD this year. And, of course, thanks to our many sponsors and supporters who supplied prizes for the educators who attended — more than a dozen teachers walked away with fantastic gifts from Legion Magazine, the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa Walking Tours and every teacher left the session with a gift bag of goodies from Carleton University.

Congratulations to all our winners!

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