History Passion Project Ideas for High School Students: Our Top 10 in 2023

4 minute read

If past events fascinate you or if you truly feel as if you were born in the wrong century, you should consider becoming a historian! Knowing when, why, and how decisions have been made over time is a great skill to have. Those who possess a good understanding of the outcomes of past events, have the upper hand in helping create a better future.

Explore this topic even further by conducting your own research project! Here’s a list of 10 passion project ideas to get you started.

1) History Research Project

Jump in and get your hands dirty by exploring your favorite historical event! Once you choose your theme, identify your primary questions, find primary sources, and study up on your topic, draft your findings into a paper. 

Idea by mentor Charles

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2) Family History

Gain a better understanding of your family’s past and the historical events your ancestors may have lived through. Start by interviewing your relatives and listen to their stories in order to collect as much information as possible. Ask questions about your ancestors, places where they’ve lived, collect documents, record oral histories etc. By using the information given, you can do a deeper dive into your family's past.  Write your own family’s history or create a podcast! 

Idea by mentor Luther 

3) Comparative (Ancient) History

Conduct a research paper focused on an ancient historical event of your choosing. Once your topic is chosen, determine a research gap within your event that you would like to further explore. From there, recognize five research questions revolving around your event gap that can help you fill in the blanks. Do you research to find the answers to your questions! 

Idea by mentor Supratik 

4) Hollywood vs. History

Choose a few different movies that revolve around real historical events. After watching the movies and taking detailed notes, do your research to read up on each of these topics. How realistic are the movies? Was information added, left out, or exaggerated? Idea by mentor Holly 

5) Propaganda in World War II

If the Second World War fascinates you, this is your project! Pull together as many pieces of propaganda from that time period that you can find. This could range from anything relating to a poster, milk carton, comic book, etc. Analyzing your findings will provide you with an understanding of the different reactions portrayed through society at this time. How does this compare to today?

Idea by mentor Jonathan 

6) History Podcast

Choose a recent event that revolves around race and capitalism within the U.S. Pull together articles, new stories and social media posts to view the different reactions to this event that occurred. Compare this current event to a similar past event and create a podcast or video of your findings. 

Idea by mentor Samantha 

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7) The Interwar Herald : News of the World

Are you intrigued by the roaring 20s? If so, create your own newspaper revolving around events from the 1920s! Choose multiple different news stories from that time and get creative. Get creative and design your paper using pictures, articles, ads, interviews, and letters all from that time period.  

Idea by mentor Erin

8) Finding Global History in China

Learn more about the history of China! Choose a specific time period and topic revolving around Chinese history that you would like to further explore. Conduct a research paper summarizing your findings. 

Idea by mentor John 

9) Henry VIII - The Misunderstood Tyrant

If you like to hear about the drama of other people's lives, studying up on Henry VIII might also entertain you! Henry is best remembered for establishing the Church of England and having six wives, but there has to be more to him than that… Dive into this project to uncover the secrets of this notorious British monarch! 

Idea by mentor Rebecca

10) Nature's Past: Let's Do Environmental History!

When you think of “History” you might think of politics and battles but it is so much more than that! Instead of writing a paper on a war, try focusing more on the environment and the material world. How much better was the environment when everyone rode horses instead of driving cars? What environmental problems did society face in the past and how do those compare or differ from today? 

Idea by mentor Gustave

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