Middle School Programs

This two-week summer experience for rising 7th, 8th and 9th-grade students provides an opportunity to:

  • Explore history through a series of virtual site visits and presentations from historians and site content experts.
  • Analyze and Evaluate powerful primary source texts and contemporary news articles in historical context.
  • Share in civil discourse with peers led by teachers eager to make connections between the site visits, lectures, documents, and conversations.
  • Connect the past to the present through current events, articles, and discussion rooted in connecting the past to the present.

Students will explore U.S. History through specific themes, driven by essential questions to guide you in your studies as you develop greater historical knowledge and understanding.

Each week, you will spend about three-four hours a day in small online classes led by top history teachers from around the country. In daily classes, you will meet to explore the theme of the week. Three days a week will include one-hour virtual tours of relevant sites. During the course of the session, you will work in smaller groups on a final collaborative project. A national leader or historian will speak on the final day.

2020 Sessions:

Abraham Lincoln Memorial

Session 1: July 6 – 17
Leadership and the Presidency/Civil Rights


Week One: “Leadership and the Presidency.” We will explore themes of national expansion, national unity, and global leadership through the study of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt at Hyde Park.

Week Two: “Civil Rights.” We will examine inclusivity in the Constitution through the impact of WWII Japanese American Concentration Camps at Minidoka National Historic Site, the fight against segregation with the Little Rock Nine at Central High School, and the struggle for Hispanic-American workers’ rights at Cesar Chavez National Monument.

Polio Vaccine

Session 2: July 20 – 31

Week One: “Innovation.” As the country seeks a vaccine for Covid-19, we will study the historical examples of innovation through the search for the polio vaccine, the development of the automobile, Thomas Edison’s research and development laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey, and the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site in Richmond, VA.

Week Two: “Resilience.” The United States is currently faced with unprecedented challenges. We will examine the collective American response and resiliency to past challenges through the study of the Civil War at Gettysburg, the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, Texas, and the 9/11 Museum in New York City.

Time Commitment

Typically, all synchronous class sessions are between 12:30 pm and 5 pm EST (with a scheduled one hour break at 2:00 pm) and a guest speaker series is scheduled around 6:00 pm EST (which is not required). There is also an optional Town Hall meeting one night per week at 7:00 pm EST.

Tuition and Scholarships

Tuition for each two-week session is $495, and space is limited. To ensure the program is accessible for all, we offer a generous scholarship program. Applying for a scholarship is easy: just check the “Scholarship” box on the Application. National History Academy is part of a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, and tuition received will defray the costs of the program.

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