NHD Recap

On February 25th, passionate students from all over Korea gathered in KIS for a special annual event: NHD. Follow Blueprint throughout a series of interviews.

Featured Image: Sammie Kim (’18)

While most students slept in late on the Saturday morning of February 25th, taking time to relax after the tiring school week, some made their way to KIS early in the morning, bracing themselves for a day of competition that would mark an end to months of work. These students had worked on either a paper, website, documentary, performance or exhibit that illustrates an event or movement in world history and presents a thesis about it to participate in something called NHD: National History Day. Ranging from 6th to 12th graders, every participant strived to challenge their research and historical analysis skills, exploring a unique topic that genuinely interested them and applying it using a personal asset such as drama, art, or film.

The event progressed smoothly and ended in a success- all thanks to some of the key contributors who were able to make this competition possible. Along with Ms. Gillette, the KIS NHD club took major initiative this year by not only organizing the NHD history bowl but also managing the Korea NHD website and making various posters and pamphlets. Moreover, the NHS club helped out, making sure the day was fluid by directing the participants and judges find their way around the school. Blueprint interviewed multiple people for a well-rounded balance of perspectives on the event:


  1. Ms. Gillette (Head Organizer for NHD Korea competition)

In what aspects can NHD challenge and develop a student, apart from historical knowledge?

“In addition to increasing their knowledge of history, NHD helps students develop solid research, writing and presentation skills which can be used in any class they take, even in university! “

What is your favorite part about NHD?

“My favorite part of NHD is all the different topics the students come up with to fit the yearly theme. Even as a teacher, I learn something new every year.”

Why should more students participate in NHD?

“More students should participate in NHD because: 1) the skills they learn are very helpful 2) they have a chance to go to America and compete against students from all over the world and I would love to see more KIS students each year and 3) history is fun!”

Do you have any other words for students who participated this year?

“I would like to thank all the KIS students who participated this year. I am very proud of them for working so hard on their entries. I hope to see them all back next year!”


  1. Edward Hwang (KIS NHD Club officer)

What are your impressions of 2017 NHD?

“I think the best part about this year was how the KIS students took initiative to help run the event, such as by spending hours to devise the questions for the history bowl, which was pretty amazing.

How do you think NHD club specifically helped out in organizing the event?

“Most schools, though I’m not sure about SIS or SFS, don’t really have a club solely dedicated to managing NHD, since Ms. Gillette has always been around as the head. And even before she came around, it was Mr. Yanuszeski who took the lead to organize NHD.  But as a club, we strived to improve it. We try to set NHD apart from other events because there are not that many humanities related competition in Korea. And I feel this year, the opening ceremony also ran more smoothly than last year’s.”


  1.  Roger Han (KIS NHD Club officer)

What are your impressions of 2017 NHD?

“Compared to last year’s NHD, it was great how the club officers and members really got to help out to organize the event. I would say we had a greater sense of achievement.”

How do you think NHD club specifically helped out in organizing the event?

“We did all the background work; to put it quite frankly, most of the ‘dirty work.’ Ms. Gillette was obviously in charge; we helped out with sorting the categories out, organizing the history bowl and carts for the contestants, and just making sure the competition runs smoothly.”


  1. Selena Kim (NHD website 1st place winner)

What are your impressions of 2017 NHD?

“NHD helped me become more aware of how concrete events in history still influence the world today and how deep of a context historical events can have. I never thought of myself as much of a history person but NHD helped open up a portal that allows me to look at history at a larger, interconnected scale.”

What would be your advice for future NHD competitors?

“The greatest piece of advice I can give to future NHD competitors is to choose a topic that genuinely interests you. Since the most authentic work always sprouts from true interest, a topic that is unique to the person will surely make the best work.”


  1. Jenny Chung (NHS volunteer for NHD)

How was your experience with 2017 NHD?

“I actually went to the Nationals last year with a couple of other KIS students. But this year, as an NHS member, I decided to volunteer and help out managing the event. I honestly didn’t get to see anything else other than the exhibits, but I was clearly shocked at the scale. It was way better than what I initially anticipated. In the Junior exhibits, I remember seeing a project with a monitor, and it looked like an [actual] museum, which really shocked me, and there was [also] one from SIS that was really well done. From the ones in our school, JJ’s and Jaemin’s really caught my interest.”


While not everyone got to go home with a medal by the end of the day, it was clear that they all walked away with a special experience: a vibrant celebration of learning.

-Sammie Kim (’18) & Jisoo Hope Yoon (’19)



Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: